Since its inception in 2017, the Polar Institute has become a premier forum for discussion and policy analysis of Arctic and Antarctic issues, and is known in Washington, DC and elsewhere as the Arctic Public Square. The Institute holistically studies the central policy issues facing these regions—with an emphasis on Arctic governance, climate change, economic development, scientific research, security, and Indigenous communities—and communicates trusted analysis to policymakers and other stakeholders.
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Explore our Core Thematic Focuses
Science Research and Climate Change
Climate change is the principle driver of most all other changes in the Arctic. Research is critical to understanding these far-reaching environmental changes and is essential in the creation of informed policy.
Indigenous peoples, communities, and ways of life are, in many places under pressure to adapt to changes in the environmental, social, and political landscape.
Viable and sustainable economic development in the Arctic is required to realize the full potential of a region that lacks, in many part of the Arctic, basic investments in infrastructure, services, or scalable commerce with linkages from local communities to global markets.
The Polar Institute highlights all forms of security: human security, environmental security, health security, and military security.
To maintain the cooperative nature of Arctic relations, governance structures—like the Arctic Council—must be properly supported.
The Wilson Center has partnered with the Government of Greenland to help inform, frame, and communicate future opportunities and challenges the Government will address in the coming decades.
Arctic Infrastructure Inventory
The Polar Institute manages an extensive database of infrastructure projects in the Arctic, for the benefit of researchers, investors, policymakers, and the public.
Once considered remote and isolated, the Arctic region is now part of the political, social, economic, security, and geopolitical landscape—this reality requires research and policy analysis now more than ever.
U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski
[The Polar Institute] is where we seem to be hosting these significant conversations.
Ambassador Kåre R. Aas
I want to commend the Wilson Center for what [the Polar Institute] has achieved in a short period of time.
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