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The Governing Council, Recalling its decision 22/11 on sustainable development of the Arctic of 7 February 2003 and in particular paragraph 2, requesting the Executive Director to provide continuous assessments and early warning on emerging issues related to the Arctic environment, in particular its impact on the global environment, Recognizing that, despite the many successful and continuing efforts of the international community since the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment and the achievement of some progress, continuing efforts by Governments to protect the environment are needed as shown inthe United Nations Environment Programme’s fourth Global Environment Outlook report, which noted specific concerns in relation to melting Arctic sea ice,5 Recalling that “Melting Ice – A Hot Topic?” was the theme for the 2007 World Environment Day and focused on the effects of climate change on polar ecosystems and communities, ensuing consequences around the world and actions that could be taken to avoid abrupt, accelerating, or potentially irreversible environmental changes, Extremely concerned over the impact of climate change on the polar regions, especially the Arctic, because of the likely impacts of high rates of projected warming on natural systems and indigenous and other communities as well as biodiversity, with increasingly dramatic effects on the Arctic and potential significant global consequences, e.g., through contributions from glaciers and the Greenland Ice Sheet to sea level rise, Convinced of the need to protect the Arctic environment and to ensure environmental security for its indigenous and other communities, as well as for its biodiversity, Well aware of the influence of Arctic sea ice dynamics on the planetary climate system and ocean circulation, Also well aware of the need for and importance of cooperative measures to promote adaptation of Arctic ecosystems to climate change and for adaptive management of such ecosystems in the face of rapid climate change, Emphasizing that the International Polar Year 2007–2009, which involves thousands of scientists from over 60 countries working at both poles, provides a foundation for enhancing the scientific basis for informed decision making, Acknowledging the deep concern over the vulnerability of the environment and ecosystems of the Arctic Ocean and Arctic sea ice and the need for States to strengthen scientific cooperation, as noted in the preambular paragraphs of the United Nations General Assembly omnibus resolution on Oceans and the Law of the Sea adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in December 2007, Noting that the United Nations Environment Programme participates in Arctic Council meetings as an observer, Emphasizing that the exploitation of Arctic resources should be done in a sustainable manner, Believing that the Arctic environment, its indigenous and other communities and biodiversity benefit from the efforts of Arctic States and other interested States and stakeholders to ensure its protection and management with respect to commercial activities including shipping, fishing, oil, gas and mining operations in recently opened ice melt areas of the Arctic marine environment, Acknowledging the efforts of Arctic States, individually and collectively, to protect the Arctic environment and manage activities in the Arctic to minimize the impact of those activities on the Arctic environment, 1. Commends the Arctic Council for its activities related to the Arctic environment and its inhabitants; 2. Encourages the United Nations Environment Programme to cooperate, as requested, with the Arctic Council, relevant multilateral environmental agreements and other relevant regional and international bodies, as appropriate; 3. Urges Governments of Arctic States and other interested stakeholders to continue to apply the precautionary approach as set forth in Principle 15 of the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development in connection with their activities potentially affecting the Arctic environment, including its biodiversity, and to continue to conduct environmental impact assessments, as appropriate; 4. Requests Governments, together with the International Council for Science and the World Meteorological Organization , the sponsoring agencies of the International Polar Year, and other relevant regional and international bodies including the Arctic Council, the United Nations Environment Programme and multilateral environmental agreements, to enhance the scientific basis for informed decision-making through the promotion of international scientific collaboration and coordination to better track, understand, and predict Arctic change as a key International Polar Year legacy activity; 5. Encourages the United Nations Environment Programme to join with other relevant organizations and programmes to seek means to sustain and enhance Arctic observing networks beyond the International Polar Year research phase; 6. Also requests Governments of Arctic States and other interested stakeholders individually and collectively to expedite the implementation of appropriate measures to facilitate adaptation to climate change at all levels, including by indigenous and other communities as part of ongoing cooperation in the region.