12 April 2021The online Arctic Guardian 2021 exercise will enhance circumpolar collaboration in the event of a marine search and rescue or oil spill incident in the ArcticThe Emergency Prevention, Preparedness and Response (EPPR) Working Group of the Arctic Council and the Arctic Coast Guard Forum (ACGF) will hold a joint online emergency response exercise from 12-14 April, hosted by the Environment Agency of Iceland and the Icelandic Coast Guard. The goal of the exercise is to improve Arctic nations’ capability to respond to maritime incidents requiring joint search and rescue (SAR) and marine environmental response operations. Arctic Guardian 2021 exercise is designed to improve collaboration between Arctic Council and ACGF member states who are signatories of the Agreement on Cooperation on Marine Oil Pollution Preparedness and Response in the Arctic (MOSPA) and the Agreement on Cooperation on Aeronautical and Maritime Search and Rescue in the Arctic (Arctic SAR Agreement). The collaborative exercise will provide public and private operational and policy-oriented SAR and marine environmental response organizations with a means to discuss their communication and coordination processes in the event of a marine SAR and/or oil spill incident in the Arctic. The Arctic Guardian 2021 exercise follows a scenario where an oil tanker and an expeditionary cruise vessel collide off the North coast of Iceland. Originally intended as a live exercise following a table-top exercise in fall 2020, the virtual format will ensure that all stakeholders can participate, and the global pandemic does not hinder Arctic emergency preparedness.