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August 30, 2012

Today's Eventstodaysevents 


The House and Senate have adjourned for the August recess.



Circumpolar Conference Looks at Arctic Cities: Delegates gather in Greenland to talk about challenges of urbanization. The First International Conference on Urbanization in the Arctic is underway in Nuuk, Greenland. Organizers said as northern cities get larger they'll face unique problems and this conference will talk about those. With a population of 15,000, paved roads, a public transit system, traffic lights and a brand new shopping mall, Nuuk is quite urban. It's also home to the University of Greenland, where the conference is taking place. CBC News


Narwhale Arctic Connections: Beware of Polar Bears When Tagging Narwhals. This month, Clint Wright, Vancouver Aquarium's senior vice president and general manager, is venturing into Canada's Arctic to conduct research on narwhals which make up a vital part of the Arctic ecosystem. Keeping track of their population size and understanding migration patterns are important in making sure their populations stay healthy. He will be providing regular updates on his research - this is his fourth blog post. The Vancouver Sun






Arctic Melt, Smash and Grab Ahead. Shell's push to open up the Arctic Ocean is not going well. Having already scaled back its plans, it may be prevented from exploratory drilling in the Beaufort Sea this year. The reason? Whaling takes priority. With the Arctic sea ice at its lowest for at least 3 million years the rush to exploit hitherto inaccessible resources - principally oil, fish and minerals - is well and truly on. The massive melt constitutes an environmental disaster for many of the world's inhabitants, to say nothing of its flora and fauna, but for some people, it is simply a commercial opportunity. The New Scientist


sami Learning About Sami and Their Culture. Sami are the original indigenous people of the Arctic regions of Northern Scandinavia and Russia. For five centuries these nomadic reindeer herders' lifestyle was dictated by the long cold winters and short cool summers of the tundra and taiga. As the Sami followed traditional migration routes to communal pasturelands they took from nature only enough for survival and made minimal impact on the environment. These established territories became fragmented, however, when Norway, Sweden, Finland and Russia began invading the north polar regions to colonize and begin industrial exploitation of their timber and minerals. With the incursion the Sami found themselves systematically persecuted for having their own languages, cultural beliefs, animistic religion, and labor as itinerant herdsmen. Bluffon Today

Legislative Actionfutureevents  


No formal action was taken on Arctic legislation.

Future Events    


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.  


Wakefield 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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