EPPR strives to be the premier international forum for collaboration on prevention, preparedness and response issues in order to advance risk mitigation and improve response capacity and capabilities in the Arctic

The Emergency Prevention, Preparedness and Response Working Group, EPPR, is one of the six Working Groups of the Arctic Council. EPPR focuses on the prevention, preparedness and response to environmental emergencies, search and rescue, natural and manmade disasters and accidents in the Arctic.

EPPR was established in 1991 and has been working since to enhance cooperation, information sharing, data collection and addressing gaps in the field of Arctic emergencies. While EPPR is not an operational response organization, EPPR develops, implements and supports projects and activities related to the mandate and collaborates with relevant stakeholders.

EPPR works together with other Arctic Council Working Groups and subsidiary bodies to produce information on best practices, to assess Arctic circumstances, to generate data and knowledge and to develop tools for informed decision making and cooperation in the Arctic.

EPPR main areas of work

  • Capacity building and improving understanding of Arctic emergencies
  • Development of guidance and risk assessment tools and best practices
  • Coordination and preparation of Arctic response exercises
  • Maintaining and supporting MOSPA and SAR Agreements
  • Knowledge and information sharing

EPPR guiding principles

  • Cooperation between the states participating to EPPR’s work
  • Involvement of Arctic inhabitants
  • Cooperation with External Bodies

Expert Groups

EPPR has three Expert Groups that support the work conducted in the Working Group. Expert Groups work under the direction and guidance of the EPPR.

Search and Rescue Expert Group SAR EG

Marine Environmental Response Expert Group MER EG

Radiation Expert Group RAD EG

How we work

EPPR meets twice a year, to share new and updated information, to discuss priorities and projects identified in the workplan, and to follow up on current activities. EPPR contributes to cross-cutting Arctic Council initiatives and organizes workshops and exercises as approved.

EPPR is currently chaired by Norway and supported by a Vice-Chair from Canada.

The EPPR Secretariat is located in Tromsø, Norway, and is a part of the Arctic Council Secretariat.

EPPR Mandate

EPPR Work Plan 2019-2021 in the SAO Report to Ministers

“The Arctic is an environmentally sensitive area with an extreme climate characterized by low temperatures, winter-time darkness, snow, ice and permafrost. These harsh conditions and the sparse and limited amount of infrastructure in much of the Arctic increase risks and impacts and hinder response activities”

The Team

Ole Kristian Bjerkemo
Ole Kristian Bjerkemo
EPPR Chair
Kathy Nghiem
Kathy Nghiem
EPPR Vice-Chair
Nina Ågren
Nina Ågren
Executive Secretary