The Arctic Council has eight member states: Canada, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Russia, Sweden, and the United States. Emergency Prevention Preparedness and Response (EPPR) is one of six working groups under the Arctic Council.
National representatives from organisations in these countries form the working group EPPR. Participating on behalf of Sweden:
- Swedish Coast Guard
- Swedish Maritime Administration
- Swedish Radiation Safety Authority.
There are also a number of permanent representatives of indigenous populations. The chairmanship of the EPPR rotates and the chairman is elected for two years’ time. The chairing country has a Secretariat at its disposal and is directed through Ministerial meetings held every two years. The EPPR Working Group holds two meetings per year where different types of feedback and experiences from projects, meetings, seminars, exercises etc. are presented and discussed.
Three Expert Groups are active and working to develop practical actions to improve preparedness and response to environmental and other emergencies:
- Search and Rescue Expert Group
- Marine Environmental Response Expert Group
- Radiation Expert Group
Oil pollution prevention and maritime search and rescue
The main matters within the EPPR lie within the field of oil pollution prevention, where a cooperation agreement from 2013 governs the cooperation (Agreement on Cooperation on Marine Oil Pollution Preparedness and Response in the Artic), and within maritime search and rescue (SAR), where an agreement from 2011 governs the cooperation (Agreement on Cooperation on Aeronautical and Maritime Search and Rescue in the Arctic).
The Swedish Coast Guard and the Swedish Maritime Administration are the national contact points for each respective matter according to the agreements.
Radiological and nuclear matters
One recurring topic on the agenda is radiological and nuclear matters. In January 2020 the radiation expert group (RAD RN) was established.
Other recurring topics on the agenda include consequences of climate change, environmental issues, natural disasters, exercises, and other activities connected to the central issues.