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The Arctic Circle – UAE: Third Pole Process

A comprehensive effort to introduce the Arctic model of collaboration to the Third Pole region.

The Arctic Circle – UAE: Third Pole Process is a comprehensive effort to introduce the Arctic model of collaboration to the Third Pole region. It builds on an effort which, over the years, has represented an active engagement with governments and institutions to strengthen scientific research and collaboration. In the coming years it will be conducted in collaboration with the UAE Ministry of Climate Change and Environment (MOCCAE). It will be a sustained effort to define the challenge, to initiate research collaboration, and to help identify effective dissemination of information to enable political deliberations and policy making. It will be an instrumental element in the preparations for the COP meetings in Egypt in 2022 and in Abu Dhabi in 2023.

"The UAE is committed to supporting global efforts to protect the natural world. If left unchecked, glacier melting will trigger higher biodiversity loss, impede economic growth, and lead to more acute food and water shortages. To avoid this bleak future, we are joining forces with Arctic Circle to roll out the Third Pole Process that will go a long way in forging meaningful partnerships and sharing experience to mitigate the impacts of climate change on the Third Pole region."

Her Excellency Mariam bint Mohammed Almheiri, UAE Minister of Climate Change and Environment.

The Process

The Third Pole Process builds on efforts which can be traced back more than a decade, with workshops and meetings in India, Bhutan, Nepal, China and Iceland. The early workshops were devoted primarily to presentations of scientific research. The agendas were designed to help initiate and sustain increased collaboration on efforts to understand the nature and consequences of climate change in the region. It then evolved into efforts to engage the policy making authorities and political establishments across the region. In the coming months it will be designed to contribute more systematically to formal efforts by the global community to address the challenge of climate change.


The process aims to build the foundations of knowledge to enable informed and constructive deliberations on action. The effort is guided by defining documents on the Arctic model, the Third Pole region and the nature and purpose of the process. Key documents are made available below. The process was instrumental in preparing the ground for landmark reports on the challenge of climate change in the Third Pole region. The most comprehensive is the Hindu-Kush Himalaya Assessment.

VIRTUAL: Science and Collaboration

A VIRTUAL dialogue with the Director General of ICIMOD, Dr. Pema Gyamtsho, and Dr. Eklabya Sharma, Coordinating Lead Author of the Hindu Kush Himalaya Assessment. The dialogue explores the Arctic Model of Collaboration and the way in which it can serve as a model and an inspiration for the Third Pole – Himalaya.

The glaciers of the region are melting at an unprecedented rate. A decline in glacial volume will have devastating effects on the people living in the region and will increase the vulnerability of its poorest population. It could also increase political tensions between the eight countries that border the region, resulting in conflict and mass migration.

The Process is devoted to the affairs of the Third Pole – Himalaya region and could facilitate collaboration, research and mutual consultation on issues across the region. It could gradually evolve into an institution of political collaboration, both as a venue for deliberation on shared interests and as a platform to collectively and constructively address contested issues.

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The Vision for the Emirates Climate Conference - COP28 UAE at the Arctic Circle Abu Dhabi Forum

The Arctic Circle – UAE: Third Pole Process

The Importance of Studying the Polar Regions

India's Arctic Policy

Arctic - Third Pole - Himalaya: Frontlines of Climate Change

Prof. YAO Tandong at the 2019 Arctic Circle Assembly in Reykjavík, Iceland

Third Pole - Himalaya: Arctic Circle VIRTUAL Prior to the Abu Dhabi Forum

Learning Opportunities between the Arctic and the Third Pole - Himalaya

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