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September 6, 2012

Today's Eventstodaysevents 


The House and Senate have adjourned for the August recess.


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




Healy, Coast GuardHealy 1202 Research Cruise. A blog detailing the daily progress of the Healy as researchers study the Arctic Ocean and map the sea floor. Blog post from September 4, 2012: This morning, we reached the northernmost point of our cruise, at latitude 83 30.5' N, longitude 162 07.3' W, on the southern side of the Alpha-Mendeleev Ridge. After reaching that point, we turned south to map another profile down to the Nautilus Basin. The seafloor is much more irregular on the Alpha-Mendeleev than the other areas we have mapped this year. While mapping, we generally have two of our team standing watch on the multibeam echo sounder and subbottom profiler data acquisition stations. The watch standers are responsible for ensuring that the systems are operating properly and that the necessary adjustments are made to the sonars as depth and bottom conditions vary. Center for Coastal and Ocean Mapping Joint Hydrographic Center 


Wetter Arctic Could Influence Climate Change, Study Finds. Increased precipitation and river discharge in the Arctic has the potential to speed climate change, according to the results of a study led by Xiangdong Zhang, a scientist at the University of Alaska Fairbanks International Arctic Research Center. Science Daily 


canadian flag[Canadian] Coast Guard Rescues Arctic Bay, Nunavut Narwhal Hunters. A Canadian Coast Guard ship rescued five Arctic Bay, Nunavut, narwhal hunters Wednesday. Christian Cafiti, with the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre in Trenton, Ont., said someone from Arctic Bay called to notify them about a 'Help' signal received from a SPOT satellite message device in the morning. Cafiti said by early in the afternoon, the same device sent out an SOS signal. Luckily, the Coast Guard ship Terry Fox was near the community assisting cargo ships. Crew members responded to the call and found five people on shore who had been narwhal hunting. CBC News


Rosneft, Exxon Probe Shallow Arctic Waters. Russian energy company Rosneft and Exxon Mobil announced plans for a feasibility study for a platform capable of exploring shallow arctic waters. The companies said they picked Russia's Vostochny Offshore Structures Construction Yard to examine the platform designated for the shallow waters of the Kara Sea near the Yamal Peninsula. The concept for the platform will be evaluated for a 48,600-square-mile area in water depths of 65-650 feet. UPAsia  


Western Arctic MP Attends Iceland Conference. Western Arctic MP Dennis Bevington is in Iceland as part of a four-member Canadian delegation at the Conference of Parliamentarians of the Arctic Region. Bevington said a number of issues will be discussed at the conference including the possible expansion of the Arctic Council, and economic opportunities in the region. But he said he is most interested in talking about social development in the Arctic. CBC News 


thiniceArctic Sea Ice Extent Continues to Melt Below Former Record Lows: Data Center. Following the new record low Arctic sea ice extent recorded Aug. 26, ice coverage has continued to drop and has now shrunk to less than four million square kilometres - smaller than the previous low extent of 2007. Compared to September conditions in the 1980s and 1990s, the Arctic sea ice extent has dropped by 45 per cent, the Colorado-based National Snow and Ice Data Center said Sept. 5. And that skimpy sea ice cover is likely to get lower yet, because at least one more week remains in the melt season. Nunatsiaq Online


Legislative Actionfutureevents  


No formal action was taken on Arctic legislation.

Future Events                      


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.  


Wakefield28th 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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