State of Alaska

AAPC Commissioners in Kotzebue in 2015
Commissioners of the AAPC at the Plenary meeting in Kotzebue in 2015. Credit: Alaska Arctic Policy Commission website.
The Alaska Arctic Policy Commission (AAPC) was created by the Alaska legislature in 2012, at the recommendation of the Alaska Northern Waters Task Force (NWTF), and was comprised of 26 Commissioners, including 10 Legislators and 16 experts from around Alaska. The goals of the AAPC included continuing the work of the NWTF, creating actionable Arctic policy for Alaska, and positively influencing federal Arctic policy.
AAP Plenary Meeting in Nome and Kotzebue, 2015
The Alaska Arctic Policy Plenary Meeting Nome in August, 2015. Photo courtesy of KNOM News

The AAPC completed its work in 2015 with the publication of a Final Report and an Implementation Plan for Alaska's Arctic Policy, which framed its strategic efforts recommendations into four lines of effort (see chart below).

In 2015, the Alaska State Legislature passed the draft Alaska Arctic Policy bill HB 1 (collectively produced by the AAPC).  The Policy was subsequently heard and altered in several committees, but remains substantively similar to the original AAPC draft. In 2015, the bill took effect and was codified in Alaska Statute 44.99.105, and is now officially Alaska's Arctic Policy. It consists of four pillars:

The following links provide additional resources about the AAPC and its outcomes.


Alaska Arctic Policy Commission Implementation Plan
#1 - Promote Economic and Resource Development   #2 - Address the Response Capacity Gap  #3 - Support Healthy Communities  #4 - Strengthen Science and Research
Facilitate the development of Arctic port systems in the Bering Strait region to support export and regional development. Ensure strengthened capacity within the Administration to address Arctic maritime, science, climate and security issues. Foster the delivery of reliable and affordable in-home water, sewer,
and sanitation services in all rural Arctic communities.
Ensure state funding to, and partnership with, the University of Alaska for Arctic research that aligns with state priorities and leverages the University’s exceptional facilities and academic capacity.
Strengthen or develop a mechanism for resource production-related revenue sharing to impacted communities. Support efforts to improve and complete communications and mapping, nautical charting, navigational infrastructure, hydrography and bathymetry in the Arctic region. Reduce power and heating costs in rural Alaskan Arctic communities. Increase collaboration and strengthen capacity for coordination within the Arctic science and research community.
Lead collaborative efforts between multiple levels of government
that achieve predictable, timely and efficient state and federal permitting based on good information, sound science, clear legal foundation and reasonable economic feasibility.
Expand development of appropriately integrated systems to monitor and communicate Arctic maritime information. Support long-term strategic planning efforts that leverage existing methods, synthesize past work and strengthen local planning that assesses and directs economic, community and infrastructure development, as well as
environmental protection and human safety.
Strengthen efforts to incorporate local and traditional knowledge into science and research and use this community-based knowledge to inform management, health, safety, response and environmental decisions.
Promote entrepreneurship and enterprise development. Facilitate and secure public and private investment in support of critical search and rescue, oil spill response and broader emergency response infrastructure. Anticipate, evaluate and respond to risks from climate change related to land erosion and deterioration of community infrastructure and services and support community efforts to adapt and relocate when necessary. Improve, support, and invest in data collaboration, integration,
management and long-term storage and archiving.
Support and advocate for multiple-use of Arctic public and ANILCA lands and promote prudent oil and gas exploration and development in the Arctic. Assure the state of Alaska Spill Prevention and Response Programs have sufficient resources to meet ongoing spill prevention and response needs in the Arctic. Develop and support public education and outreach efforts that (a) enhance the understanding of Arctic conservation including biodiversity and the sustainable use of biological resources and management of natural resources and (b) promote public participation in development of fish and wildlife management plans within existing management systems and policies. Support monitoring, baseline, and observational data collection to enhance understanding of Arctic ecosystems and regional climate changes.
Increase economic returns to Alaska and Alaskan communities and individuals from maritime and fisheries activities. Strengthen private, public and non-profit oil spill response organizations to ensure expertise in open water, broken ice, nearshore and sensitive area protection; be able to meet contingency plan requirements and operate effectively in the Arctic. Enforce measures that protect and help us better understand the food security of Arctic peoples and communities. Invest in U.S. Arctic weather, water and ice forecasting systems.
Support the continued exploration and development of the Ambler Mining District, Mid Yukon-Kuskokwim River and the Northern Alaskan Coal Province. Ensure that a variety of response tools are readily available and can be deployed during an oil or hazardous substance discharge or release. Identify and support industry, community and state practices that promote sustainability of subsistence resources, while protecting against undue ESA listings and broad-brush critical habitat designations. Update hydrocarbon and mineral resource estimates and mapping in the Alaskan Arctic.
Build on and promote Alaska’s position as a global leader in microgrid deployment and operation to advance a knowledge-based export economy, creating new jobs and revenue for the state. Foster and strengthen international partnerships with other Arctic nations, establishing bilateral partnerships with, in particular, Canada and Russia, to address emerging opportunities and challenges in the Arctic. Create workforce development program to prepare Arctic residents to
participate in all aspects and phases of Arctic development.
Encourage foreign and domestic private sector capital investment in Alaska’s resource industries through stable, predictable and competitive tax policies.