The U.S. defines the Arctic in statute 15 USC § 4111 as
all United States and foreign territory north of the Arctic Circle and all United States territory north and west of the boundary formed by the Porcupine, Yukon, and Kuskokwim Rivers; all contiguous seas, including the Arctic Ocean and the Beaufort, Bering, and Chukchi Seas; and the Aleutian Chain.(Arctic Research and Policy Act of 1984, cf. e.g. U.S. Government Publishing Office, 2011) Canada, on the other hand, “has traditionally considered the lower 60° line of [northern] latitude rather than the polar circle, to demark the Arctic” (Hough, 2013, p. 5; Transport Canada, 2015). In view of these initial definitions, it is also not surprising that the working groups under the auspices of the Arctic Council, which is the main intergovernmental forum for addressing issues related to the Arctic region, apply different definitions to the Arctic region “that reflect each of their interests” (GRID-Arendal, 2013). For the purposes of the Arctic Monitoring Assessment Program (AMAP), for instance, the “Arctic region” was defined in accordance with “a compromise among various definitions” (AMAP, 1998, p. 10): AMAP relates its work to the area generally located north of the Arctic Circle (66°32’N), and north of 62°N in Asia and 60°N in North America, which covers the marine areas north of the Aleutian chain, Hudson Bay and parts of the North Atlantic Ocean including the Labrador Sea, but excludes the Baltic Sea (AMAP, 1998, p. 10). The Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna (CAFF), on the other hand, follows the Circumpolar Arctic Vegetation Map’s definition of the Arctic (CAFF, 2013), which builds on scientific criteria for Arctic habitats.