ICEBERG: innovative community engagement for building effective resilience and arctic ocean pollution-control governance in the context of climate change.

Effects of Climate Change and human activities on the European Arctic land-ocean continuum are complex and multi-faceted, with pollutants posing significant threats to ecosystem and human health.

The ICEBERG project has a two-fold aim: 1) to comprehensively assess sources, types, distributions, and impacts of pollution in combination with chronic climate-induced stressors on ecosystems and communities in the European Arctic’s land-ocean continuum using a One Health approach, and 2) to develop strategies for enhancing community-led resilience strategies, as well as pollution-control governance approaches. To this end, ICEBERG focusses on three (sub)regional case studies: western Svalbard, southern Kalaallit Nunaat (Greenland), and northern Iceland.

In ICEBERG, we will investigate known and emerging pollutants, including macro-, micro, nanoplastics, ship emissions, wastewater, persistent organic pollutants and terrigenous elements (heavy metals). To assess the effects of pollutant discharges from Arctic ship traffic, freshwater discharge, cryosphere meltwater, wastewater, and land-based atmospheric pollution on the marine food web, the project will use model simulations, remote sensing, in-situ observations and measurements. ICEBERG will analyse the sanitary quality of the food chain by characterising chemical contaminants using an exposomic approach. By doing so, we hope to gain a comprehensive understanding of the synergistic impacts of climate change and pollution on human health. Furthermore, we will evaluate the toxicological effects of micro- and nanoplastics as well as persistent organic pollutants (POPs) on human digestive health. The project will develop automatic marine litter detection tools combining the use of drones, AI and citizen science.

ICEBERG will incorporate multi-stakeholder and gender-based approaches to assess the impacts, risks and vulnerabilities faced by Indigenous communities and local communities. Together, we will co-create scenarios for change. Participatory scenario modelling will be used to co-design local pollution-control strategies, which includes both mitigation (reducing pollution) and adaptation (reducing vulnerability to pollution). Ultimately, ICEBERG will create novel governance approaches for pollution-control in the Arctic operating at various levels of scale (from local to EU and international level).


The ICEBERG project (

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Head and Shoulder 5Head and Shoulder 5Head and Shoulder 5
Prof. Thora Herrmann
Project Scientific Coordinator
Dr Élise Lépy
Project Manager
Paavo Antikainen