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August 21, 2012

Today's Eventstodaysevents 


The House and Senate have adjourned for the August recess.



HarperNorthern Development 'Happening Now,' PM Says. Prime Minister Stephen Harper suggested Monday the pace of oil and gas development in the North could increase exponentially in the coming years and that could feed money into the local and national economies. The untapped oil, natural gas and mining resources in the North could bring billions in revenues and investment, according to some estimates, and Harper went so far as to predict that cash could turn Canada into an economic powerhouse. Or as Harper put it: "You ain't seen nothing yet." Edmonton Journal


Reaction to Harper's Tour of the North. Prime Minister Stephen Harper began his summer tour of the Canadian North yesterday in Whitehorse, Yukon, in a bid to push his government's northern strategy. CBC News has learned that part of the tour will involve the announcement of a new park or reserve at the headwaters of the Nahanni River in the Northwest Territories. But many in the CBC Community were skeptical about those plans given that previously announced northern projects haven't come to fruition, such as the deepwater port and Arctic patrol ships. CBC News


coldwindsblowingNorthwest Alaska Village Declares Disaster in Wake of Heavy Rain, Flooding. The Northwest Alaska community of Kivalina has declared a disaster in the wake of heavy rain that saw waters rise and cut off the village's supply to clean drinking water. The Northwest Arctic Borough has also declared a disaster situation on behalf of the village, while school, which was supposed to begin Monday, is now on hold until the water situation is resolved. A week of heavy rain saw portions of Northwest Alaska receive in excess of seven inches of precipitation, in areas that normally experience only about 15-20 inches of rain annually. National Weather Service hydrologist Ed Plumb on Friday called the rainfall an "extraordinary event" that saw the spongy tundra in the region become saturated and begin to overflow into the area's rivers and streams. Alaska Dispatch


SCICEX[Canadian] Navy Planner Trying to Sell Ottawa on Submarine Replacement Plan. Naval planners have started to lay the groundwork for the possible replacement of the country's secondhand, glitch-prone Victoria-class submarines, arguing such warships are a necessary part of Canada's arsenal. Planners say the country will likely need bigger, quieter boats that can perform stealth missions, launch undersea robots and fire guided missiles at shore targets. Globe and Mail 


NOAANew Committee Will Advise Federal Leaders on Integrating Ocean Observation Systems. A new committee to advise federal leaders on integrating the nation's ocean observing systems  that collect and deliver ocean information will meet for the first time later this month in Washington. The meeting will be open to the public. The U.S. Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOSŪ) Federal Advisory Committee was created to evaluate scientific and technical information related to design, operation, maintenance and use of IOOS including how to improve it in the future. The committee will provide its expert advice to Jane Lubchenco, Ph.D., undersecretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and NOAA administrator, as well as to the Interagency Ocean Observation Committee, a separate group comprised of federal agency partners who collectively oversee IOOS development. NOAA

Legislative Actionfutureevents  


No formal action was taken on Arctic legislation.

Future Events    


2nd Cargo Airships of Northern Operations Workshop, August 22-24, 2012. Researchers from NASA Ames Research Center will provide insights into the new technologies that form the solid engineering basis for modern cargo airship systems. Speakers from the mining, oil, and gas industries will describe their transportation challenges and how they plan to exploit cargo airships in support of their businesses. Local Alaskan air freight firms will discuss how cargo airships can complement existing air transport fleets by providing additional capability and expanding air shipping services. The world's leading developers of airships will provide design and operational details on new cargo airships they're currently developing and preparing to deploy for commercial service. Representatives from the financial community will present the many options available for what has often been the missing element of airship development and operations, funding. The website will soon be updated. 


The Arctic Imperative Summit, August 24-27, 2012. The summit will be hosted by Alaska Dispatch and will bring together leading voices in this conversation, including residents from the small villages that comprise Alaska's coastal communities, state, national and international leaders, the heads of shipping and industry, as well as international policymakers and the news media. The goal of the summit is to sharpen the focus on the policy and investment needs of Alaska's Arctic through a series of high level meetings, presentations, investor roundtables and original research.


10th Conference of Parliamentarians of the Arctic Region, September 5-7, 2012. The 10th Conference of Parliamentarians of the Arctic Region will take place in Akureyri, Iceland 5-7 September 2012. The conference will be attended by members of parliament from the eight Arctic countries and the European Parliament, Arctic indigenous peoples and a variety of observers. The main items on the agenda are:

1.       Arctic Governance and the Arctic Council

2.       Economic opportunities in the Arctic

3.       Human Development in the Arctic: Interplay of Research, Authorities and Residents


The Conference will adopt a statement directed to the Arctic Council, the governments in the Arctic Region and the institutions of the European Union. 

Fifth Polar Law Symposium 2012, September 6-8, 2012. The theme for the symposium is quite open. It covers a wide variety of topics relating to the Arctic and the Antarctic. These include:

  • Human rights issues, such as autonomy and self-government vs. self-determination, the rights of indigenous peoples to land and natural resources and cultural rights and cultural heritage, indigenous traditional knowledge.
  • Local and national governance issues.
  • Environmental law, climate change, security and environment implications of climate change, protected areas and species.
  • Regulatory, governance and management agreements and arrangements for marine environments, marine mammals, fisheries conservation and other biological/mineral/oil resources.
  • Law of the sea, the retreating sea ice, continental shelf claims.
  • Territorial claims and border disputes on both land and at sea.
  • Peace and security, dispute settlement.
  • Jurisdictional and other issues re the exploration, exploitation and shipping of oil, gas and minerals, bioprospecting.
  • Trade law, potential shipping lines through the north-west and north-east passages, maritime law and transportation law.
  • The roles and actual involvement of international organizations in the Polar regions, such as the Arctic Council, the European Union, the International Whaling Commission, the

For more information, please see the Arctic Center


inuitconferencelogoArctic/Inuit/Connections: Learning from the Top of the World; October 24-28, 2012.  The 18th Inuit Studies Conference, hosted by the Smithsonian Institution, will be held in Washington, DC. The conference will consider heritage museums and the North; globalization: an Arctic story; power, governance and politics in the North; the '"new" Arctic: social, cultural and climate change; and Inuit education, health, language, and literature.  


28th Wakefield Symposium: Responses of Arctic Marine Ecosystems to Climate Change, March 26-29, 2013. This symposium seeks to advance our understanding of  responses of arctic marine ecosystems to climate change at all trophic levels, by documenting and forecasting changes in environmental processes and species responses to those changes. Presentations will focus on collaborative approaches to understanding and managing living marine resources in a changing Arctic, and to managing human responses to changing arctic marine ecosystems. Hosted by Alaska Sea Grant and sponsors.

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