Thematic Network on POPs and Chemicals of Emerging Concern in the Asian Arctic


The overall goal is to establish a Thematic Network amongst experts of different disciplines and from all three major northern regions on “persistent organic pollutants (POPs) and chemicals of emerging concern (CECs) in the Asian Arctic”. The Thematic Network intends:

  • to establish a special meridian sampling program including 6 monitoring sites, from Asian Arctic of Russia (Batagaika, Verkhoyansk Region) to the City of Shenzhen, South of China,
  • to understand the occurrence, trends, and sources of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) and chemicals of emerging concern (CECs) in multiple environmental compartments in the Asian Arctic and the Arctic as a whole,
  • to study the impact of emissions of POPs and CECs on the health of the ecosystems and indigenous people in the Asian Arctic, and their response to climate change,
  • to investigate the differences in sources and fate of the contaminants in both outdoor and indoor environment between Russia in the north and China in the south, and human exposure assessment in the regions.


The Thematic Network consists of research and education activities aimed at resolving sustainability questions in the Asian Arctic of Russia and near-Arctic region of China.

1) Research activities

  • Joint research on the sample collection, sample treatment, chemical measurement, and data analysis
  • Joint research workshops/conferences/publications
  • Coordinated contributions to international working groups
  • Close collaboration with the Arctic Council working group of Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme (AMAP) for the monitoring work; and the Task Force on Hemispheric Transport of Air Pollutants (HTAP) in support of the UNECE Convention on Long-range Transboundary Air Pollution (LRTAP Convention) for long-range transport modeling
  • Collaboration/sharing data archives

2) Education activities

  • Joint training workshop for Arctic sample collection, treatment and analysis
  • International Arctic Summer/Winter Schools on Arctic environment and ecosystem, Internships and joint educational programs for graduate studies and research
  • Sharing existing courses
  • Development of new joint courses
  • Exchange program: undergraduate and graduate school program
  • Sampling at six sampling sites, 3 in Russia (including 1 site within the Arctic) and 3 in China has already been started
  • Arctic Summer/Winter schools at HIT since 2019
  • Harbin Forum for Polar Environment and Ecosystem (HF-PEE) twice a year in Harbin
  • Seminars and lectures with guest researchers from the partner organizations
  • Related research and education programs at the partner organizations

Other Information

Video interview: Yifan Li, Lead of the UArctic Thematic Network on POPs and Chemicals of Emerging Concern in the Asian Arctic