Russia's Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergei Lavrov was Chair of the Arctic Council in 2004-2006, and his successor for the next two years will be Norway's Minister of Foreign Affairs, Jonas Gahr Støre.
Norway had now published the priorities for its Chairmanship, focussing mainly on integrated resource management and climate change.
According to its programme for 2006-2008, the Norwegian Chairmanship will provide opportunities for members of the Arctic Council to exchange experience and knowledge, including traditional knowledge, with the aim of developing a common approach to ecosystem-based management of the natural resources of the Arctic.
The Norwegian Chairmanship also plans to take actions to increase research and monitoring on climate change and identify the sectors of society which are most vulnerable to its impacts in order to strengthen their adaptative capabilities. Norway also plans to consider initiatives and measures to reduce gas emissions and enhance removal of greenhouse gases in the Arctic.
The full programme can be found on the newly launched Norwegian Chairmanship website, which also features the new logo for 2006-2008.