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Arctic Futures Symposium



Perspectives for climate change in the Arctic and the policy implications for ecosystem management, research, and economic activities


The European Parliament will welcome the ARCTIC FUTURES SYMPOSIUM on October 14 and 15, 2010, playing host to speakers from around the Arctic Region (Canada, Denmark, Iceland, Russia,USA, Norway) who will be joining policymakers, scientists, academics, indigenous peoples, NGOs and other Arctic stakeholders to discuss future challenges for those living and working in the Arctic Rim.

Organised by the International Polar Foundation (IPF), the Fondation Prince Albert II de Monaco and the Aspen Institute, the event consists of a series of workshops held on Thursday October 14th, each focusing on different though crucial aspects of the future of the Arctic – from governance to scientific research and economic implications to the environment and conservation.

This will be followed on Friday October 15th by an open plenary discussing the outcomes of the workshops. HSH Prince Albert of Monaco, President of the European Council Herman Van Rompuy, Vice President of the European Parliament Isabelle Durant,CommissionerMariaDamanaki and President of the Polar Foundation and explorer Alain Hubert, among other notable experts, will speak.

Topics being discussed are:

• THE ARCTIC BASIN – Key Environmental Management Approaches for the 21st Century. Speakers will cover topics from the role of the Arctic Basin in the world climate system to options for conservation and sustainability in the Artic, with the aim of promoting a consensual approach to ecosystem-based management of living resources, sharing knowledge and setting benchmarks to establish best practice.

• THE CHANGING ARCTIC – Developing Environmental and Economic Possibilities: Opportunities for Collaboration. Examining issues like shipping, resource development and cooperative environmental management and protection in the Arctic and giving the opportunity to help reconcile the different positions of countries and organizations with interests in the Arctic.

• ARCTIC GOVERNANCE – Is the existing model adequate for the 21st century? Providing an international perspective on the fate of the Arctic and collaborative planning, conservation and sustainable development, this session also responds to the international response to changes in the Arctic due to climate change, noting interests such as the Communication from the European Commission to the European Parliament and Council entitled “The European Union And The Arctic Region” in 2008.

• ARCTIC RESEARCH NEEDS THE SCIENCE-POLICY INTERFACE Where scientists will be given the opportunity to explain the need for further long-term collaborative activity in the Arctic, especially in the field of global warming, and the need for coordinated policymaking in the future.

The Symposium will highlight the importance of the Arctic region for Europe, as a major trading partner and regional player in the resource, energy, fisheries and transport sectors, plus a focal point in scientific collaboration on topics related to climate change and more. Good governance of the region will have long ranging benefits for the EU and beyond. 

All Symposium information, including agenda, list of speakers and biographies and participants are available on the website

The Arctic Futures Symposium will be held at the European Parliament, Auditorium 1G3, Altiero Spinelli Entrance, 60 rue Wiertz, Brussels.