Act now – Legacy and Emerging Contaminants in Polar Regions

Expert workshop hosted by the German Environment Agency (UBA) and the Helmholtz-Zentrum Hereon

25 January 11:00 – 16:30 CET and 26 January 11:00 – 16:30 CET (online)


The expert workshop aims to bring together organizations and scientists conducting substantial research activity in the Arctic and Antarctic. A special focus will be on Monitoring and Assessment Programs as well as on International Environmental Specimen Banks. The workshop offers a platform to present and discuss together with stakeholders, involved with policies and regulations of legacy and emerging contaminants, current challenges, future perspectives and recommendations for a sustainable development of polar regions.

The outcome of the workshop will be made publicly available as Workshop Proceedings.


Workshop Chairs - Heike Herata (German Environment Agency, UBA), Ralf Ebinghaus (Helmholtz-Zentrum Hereon)

  • 10:45 CET Technical introduction for all participants attending online
  • 11:00 CET Opening Christoph Schulte (German Environment Agency),
    Ralf Ebinghaus (Helmholtz-Zentrum Hereon)

  • 11:10 CET Results of the Workshop-Questionnaires Jürgen Gandraß, Helmholtz-Zentrum Hereon

  • 11:15 CET Session "Polar regions in a global perspective" Chair: Ralf Ebinghaus, Helmholtz-Zentrum Hereon
    • Cristina de Avila, Safe & Sustainable Chemicals, European Commission (11:15 - 11:30)
    The EU Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability and the polar regions: opportunities for a higher level of protection from contaminants

    • Dmitriy Polovyanenko, Stockholm Convention Regional Centre Russia (11:30 - 11:45)
    Activities of the Russian Stockholm Convention Regional Centre including the Arctic region

    • Cynthia de Wit, Stockholm University (11:45 - 12:00)
    AMAP work on POPs/CEACs in the context of regional to global perspectives

    • Susan Bengtson-Nash, University of Griffith (12:00 – 12:15)
    The Antarctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme; Modelling Antarctic Progress on Arctic successes

    • Discussion (12:15 - 12:35)

  • 12:35 CET Break
  • 12:45 CET Session "Lessons learned: Legacy and emerging contaminants in polar regions" Chair: Cynthia de Wit, Stockholm University
    • Katrin Vorkamp, Aarhus University (12:45 – 13:05)
    Contaminants in the Arctic – screening, monitoring and assessment

    • Zhyiong Xie, Helmholtz-Zentrum Hereon (13:05 – 13:25)
    Survey on contaminant pollution in polar regions

    • Matthew MacLeod, Stockholm University (13:25 – 13:45)
    Modeling legacy contaminant transport to the Arctic and for new priority substances

    • Discussion (13:45 - 14:05)

  • 14:05 CET Break
  • 14:35 CET Session "The influence of Climate Change: Scientific and policy needs" Chair: Roxana Sühring, Ryerson University
    • Elena Barbaro, University of Venice (14:35 – 14:55)
    What are research needs for investigating contaminants under climate change impacts in polar regions?

    • Roland Kallenborn, Norwegian University of Life Sciences (14:55 – 15:15)
    Chemicals of emerging Arctic concern in a changing Arctic: Status and research needs

    • Kevin Hughes, British Antarctic Survey (15:15 – 15:35)
    Addressing the impacts of climate change on contaminants in Antarctica: the work of the Subsidiary Group on Climate Change Response

    • Discussion (15:35 – 15:55)

  • 15:55 CET Breakout groups on key questions
    • Group 1 Rapporteurs Roland Kallenborn (Norwegian University of Life Sciences) & Hanna Joerss (Helmholtz-Zentrum Hereon)

    • Group 2 Rapporteurs Xiang-Zhou Meng (Tongji University) & Zhiyong Xie (Helmholtz-Zentrum Hereon)

    • Group 3 Rapporteurs Jan Koschorreck (German Environment Agency) & Valeria Dulio (NORMAN Association)

    • Group 4 Rapporteurs Mathew MacLeod (Stockholm University) & Pernilla Bohlin-Nizzetto (Norwegian Institute for Air Research) (tbc)

    Key Questions

    1. How can we raise awareness and visibility of polar contamination in the public, research community, and among policy makers?

    2. Are established Arctic monitoring concepts a role model for the Antarctic environment?

    3. How can we achieve a more systematic long-term monitoring and assessment of polar contamination through the integration of ESB concepts, data sharing and open access?

    4. How can we prioritize monitoring activities to provide environmental policies and chemicals management with effective and robust monitoring data from polar environments?

  • 16:25 CET Summary and Closing of Day 1 Heike Herata (German Environment Agency, UBA), Ralf Ebinghaus (Helmholtz-Zentrum Hereon)

  • 16:30 CET End of day 1
  • 11:00 CET Wrap up of Day 1 Heike Herata (German Environment Agency, UBA), Ralf Ebinghaus (Helmholtz-Zentrum Hereon)

  • 11:10 CET Outcome Breakout Groups
    • Outcome Breakout Group 1 (11:10 - 11:20)
    • Outcome Breakout Group 2 (11:20 - 11:30)
    • Outcome Breakout Group 3 (11:30 - 11:40)
    • Outcome Breakout Group 4 (11:40 - 11:50)

  • 11:50 CET Session "Linking Environmental Specimen Banks and research operations in the polar environment" Chair: Rebecca Pugh, National Institute of Standards and Technology
    • Jan Koschorreck, German Environment Agency (11:50 – 12:10)
    Environmental specimen banks – experiences and challenges

    • Marco Grotti, University of Genoa (12:10 – 12:30)
    The role of the Italian Antarctic Environmental Specimen Bank in the study of chemical contamination in Antarctica

    • Morten Jartun, Norwegian Institute for Water Research (12:30 – 12:50)
    Contaminants in the Arctic – sources, status and storage of the Norwegian Wildlife

    • Discussion (12:50 – 13:10)

  • 13:10 CET Break
  • 13:50 CET Session "Making data and knowledge widely available for a sustainable polar environment" Chair: Valeria Dulio NORMAN Association
    • Janine Felden, Alfred-Wegener-Institute (13:50 – 14:10)
    The world data center PANGAEA

    • Jaroslav Slobodnik, NORMAN Association (14:10 – 14:30)
    The NORMAN Database System and activities of the NORMAN network with regard to Chemicals of Emerging Concern in polar regions

    • Antonio Franco, Joint Research Centre, Ispra, European Commission (14:30 – 14:50)
    The European Information Platform for Chemical Monitoring (IPCHEM)

    • Rainer Lohmann, University of Rhode Island (14:50 – 15:10)
    The international panel on chemical pollution (IPCP)'s initiative towards a global science-policy body on chemicals & waste

    • Discussion (15:10 – 15:30)

  • 15:30 CET Break
  • 15:45 CET Results of the Workshop-Questionnaires – Recommendations and perspectives (Jürgen Gandraß, Helmholtz-Zentrum Hereon)
  • 15:55 CET Act now - towards sustainable polar environments – Open discussion Moderator: Jürgen Gandraß, Helmholtz-Zentrum Hereon
  • 16:20 CET Closing statements Heike Herata (German Environment Agency, UBA), Ralf Ebinghaus (Helmholtz-Zentrum Hereon)
  • 16:30 CET End of Workshop


Dr. Jürgen Gandraß

Helmholtz-Zentrum Hereon

E-mail contact

D-21502 Geesthacht