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Berlin Statement on Legacy and Emerging Contaminants in Polar Regions



Rebecca Pugh, Ralf Ebinghaus, Elena Barbaro, Susan Bengtson Nash, Cristina de Avila, Cynthia de Wit, Valeria Dulio, Janine Felden, Antonio Franco, Juergen Gandrass, Marco Grotti, Heike Herata, Kevin Hughes, Morten Jartun, Hanna Joerss, Roland Kallenborn, Jan Koschorreck, Anette Kuster, Rainer Lohmann, Zhanyun Wang, Matthew MacLeod, Caren Rauert, Jaroslav Slobodnik, Roxana Suhring, Katrin Vorkamp, Zhiyong Xie


Polar regions should be given greater consideration with respect to chemical monitoring, chemicals risk assessment, and management, consistent with requirements of the precautionary principle. Protecting the vulnerable polar environments requires (i) restricting and preventing global emissions at their sources and (ii) raising political and public awareness. The Berlin Statement is the outcome of an international workshop with representatives of the European Commission, the Arctic Council, the Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting, the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs), environmental specimen banks, and data centers, as well as scientists from various international research institutions. The statement addresses urgent chemical pollution issues in the polar regions and provides recommendations for improving screening, monitoring, risk assessment, research cooperation, and open data sharing to provide environmental policy makers and chemicals management decision-makers with relevant and reliable contaminant data to better protect the polar environments. The consensus reached at the workshop can be summarized in just two words: "Act now!" Specifically, "Act now!" to reduce the presence and impact of anthropogenic chemical pollution in polar regions by: • Establishing participatory co-development frameworks in a permanent multi-disciplinary platform for Arctic-Antarctic collaborations and establishing exchanges between the Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Program (AMAP) of the Arctic Council and the Antarctic Monitoring and Assessment Program (AnMAP) of the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR) to increase the visibility and exchange of contaminant data and to support the development of harmonized monitoring programs. • Integrating environmental specimen banking, innovative screening approaches, and digital-sample freezing platforms to provide opportunities for improved assessment of contaminants to protect polar regions.


environmental contaminants, polar region, Antarctica, chemical pollution, monitoring, legacy contaminants


Pugh, R. , Ebinghaus, R. , Barbaro, E. , Bengtson Nash, S. , de Avila, C. , de Wit, C. , Dulio, V. , Felden, J. , Franco, A. , Gandrass, J. , Grotti, M. , Herata, H. , Hughes, K. , Jartun, M. , Joerss, H. , Kallenborn, R. , Koschorreck, J. , Kuster, A. , Lohmann, R. , Wang, Z. , MacLeod, M. , Rauert, C. , Slobodnik, J. , Suhring, R. , Vorkamp, K. and Xie, Z. (2023), Berlin Statement on Legacy and Emerging Contaminants in Polar Regions, Chemosphere, [online],, (Accessed March 2, 2024)
Created April 6, 2023, Updated April 7, 2023