The city of Archangel in Northwest Russia. Photo: Patrik Rastenberger

The Arctic Council Project Support Instrument (PSI) has received its first tranche of EUR 5 million from the Russian Federation for the implementation of the Arctic Council’s priority projects to prevent pollution of the Arctic.

The Russian Federation has allocated a total of EUR 10 million for the work of PSI and is the PSI’s biggest financial contributor. The Russian contribution enables the PSI to become operational and the first ever Arctic Council financial mechanism to support its projects.

The total amount of PSI contributions and deposits currently stand at about EUR 7.5 million. The total pledges to the PSI are of EUR 15.9 million. The current contributors to the PSI are Finland, Iceland, Norway, the Russian Federation, Sweden, the United States of America, the Sámi Parliament and NEFCO.

“Operationalisation of the PSI provides a pioneering platform for funding the Arctic Council’s environmental projects and will enable the implementation of new technology, result in better resource efficiency and, most importantly, will provide improvement to both the environment and health, for example, by reducing black carbon and mercury,” says Magnus Rystedt, Managing Director of NEFCO.

At the first PSI Committee meeting in May 2014, Russia was elected chair for a period of one year. The chairmanship will rotate between the contributing Arctic Council States. Sweden holds the Vice Chairmanship of the PSI for 2014. At its first meeting, the PSI Committee approved expressions of interest for the PSI Fund Manager to start work on priority Arctic Council projects addressing prevention, abatement and elimination of pollution affecting the Arctic. The next PSI committee meeting will be held in October in Helsinki.

PSI was established by the Arctic Council in 2005 and is administered by NEFCO. The purpose of the fund is to finance pollution preventing initiatives in the Arctic region. PSI is a financing instrument open to contributions from the Arctic Council members, observers and other interested partners.

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