AbstractBoth the Arctic and Antarctic, once pristine habitats, are threatened by pollution from new, local
emissions as well as long-range transport from the production and use of chemicals in industrial
regions. The German Environment Agency (UBA) and the Helmholtz-Zentrum Hereon co-hosted
the workshop „Act now – Legacy and Emerging Contaminants in Polar Regions“. For the first
time, international experts from contaminant research in polar regions, representatives from
regulatory chemical assessment and monitoring, environmental specimen banks, and
information and data platforms jointly discussed pressing chemical pollution issues in the two
polar regions and opportunities for collaboration.
The goal of the workshop was to provide recommendations for improving screening, monitoring,
assessment, cooperation, and data sharing to provide environmental policy and chemicals
management with effective and reliable pollution data to protect the polar environment. (Fig.1).
Members of the European Commission, the Stock holm Convention, the Arctic Council, the
Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting, Environmental Specimen Banks and Data Centres
discussed together with the research community two questions which were a common thread
throughout the workshop: What are the common goals and scientific bases for chemical research
and monitoring in the polar regions - and how do the respective approaches differ for the Arctic