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January 2, 2014

 

capital Today's Congressional Action: 

The House and Senate are not in session. The Senate will meet on January 3, 2014, for a pro forma session.

 

 

 

Media 

 

Analysis: Recalling the Good Moments in 2013 Arctic News. A summary of some of the largest Arctic news stories including "An Inuk Assumed the Chair of the Arctic Council;" "RAIPON is Back in Business;" and others. Alaska Dispatch 

 

sweden map Reports of Violent Crime Increasing in Sweden's North. Reported cases of violent crime in Sweden have gone up by on average 39 percent since 2000, according to figures from BR?, the Swedish Crime Prevention Council, Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter reports. However, the numbers vary depending on where you live, with counties in the sparsely-populated north reporting the largest increases in numbers of police reports, and the figures do not necessarily mean that the actual amount of violent crime in Sweden is on the up. Alaska Dispatch

 

Delayed Arctic Breakthrough. After having lain idle in the desolate Pechora Sea since August 2011, the "Prirazlomnaya" platform in late December started pumping oil from Prirazlomnoye, Russia's first oil producing offshore field in the Arctic. Commenting on production launch, Gazprom CEO Aleksey Miller called the event a historical breakthrough in the region. "Let it be no doubt - Gazprom continues the development of the Arctic", he underlined in a press release. The "Prirazlomnaya" platform has been under construction for almost a decade. The 505,000 tons stationary installation is placed on the sea bed and can drill, produce and store oil from the field which has estimated reserves of 72 million tons. Production target in 2014 is 300,000 tons while peak annual production of six million tons is due to be reached by 2020, the company informs. Barents Observer

 

russian flag Russia Bans Norwegian Fish. Only 29 companies keep the right to export their products to Russia, and they will experience toughened quality control. Russian food safety authorities believe that Norway's system for quality control is too lax, which has allowed for low-quality fish to enter the Russian market. Russian authorities said they have found salmonella and E. coli bacteria in Norwegian fish. The import restrictions are imposed on a long list of fish including herring, cod, haddock and capelin, but do not affect salmon and trout, which Russia imports in large quantities. Barents Observer

 

Alaska Waters to Brace for More Shipping. Canada's energy board gave conditional approval earlier this month to the Northern Gateway Pipeline project, which would run through British Columbia- and would send hundreds more crude oil supertankers along high-traffic shipping lanes in Alaska waters. That means the Aleutian Islands will have to prepare for a higher risk of spills and accidents. Alaska Public Radio

 

Part II: Lt. General Russell Handy on Arctic Strategy. When Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel released the Pentagon's Arctic Strategy document last month, he said rapid change in the Arctic is leading to predictions of a 10-fold increase in vessel traffic for the Northern Sea Route in the coming year. The Alaskan commander for the state's military, Lt. General Russell Handy is tasked with coordinating and overseeing the implementation of the Arctic Strategy plan. In part two of our interview with General Handy, he says funding has not yet been determined, partially because of uncertainty over how quickly arctic climate conditions are changing. Alaska Public Radio

 

Preventing Language Loss: A 3-Step Process. Lance Twitchell says it's time for a dramatic shift in the way Alaskans look at endangered languages, like Tlingit. Twitchell is an assistant professor of Native Languages at the University of Alaska Southeast. "Sometimes we say the language is dying, we don't have many speakers. And some of these things get so insurmountable in your mind that you don't really know where to start," he says. The first place to start, Twitchell says, is at the individual level. He says it's important to speak as much as you can on a daily basis. Alaska Public Radio

 

Arctic Map U.S. Lags Behind Arctic Nations in Race to Stake Claims to Untapped Resources. The U.S. is racing to keep pace with stepped-up activity in the once sleepy Arctic frontier, but it is far from being in the lead. Nations across the world are hurrying to stake claims to the Arctic's resources, which might be home to 13 percent of the world's undiscovered oil and 30 percent of its untapped natural gas. There are emerging fisheries and hidden minerals. Cruise liners filled with tourists are sailing the Arctic's frigid waters in increasing numbers. Cargo traffic along the Northern Sea Route, one of two shortcuts across the top of the Earth in summer, is on the rise. PBS News

Legislative Actionfutureevents  

  

No legislative action was formally considered yesterday. 

Future Events

 

Arctic Frontiers, January 19-24, 2014 (Tromso, Norway). Arctic Frontiers is an international arena addressing development in the Arctic. The conference discusses how upcoming opportunities and challenges may be handled to ensure viable economic growth and societal and environmental sustainability. Annually, the conference attracts more than 1000 participants from 25 Arctic and non-arctic countries, representing science, business, politics, and civil society. The theme of the conference is 'Humans in the Arctic'. As with previous years the policy section will run for the first two days, followed by three days of science. The science section will have four parts under 2 main headings: Health, Society and Environment; and, Maritime Operational Challenges. 

 

Alaska Marine Science Symposium, January 20-24, 2014 (Anchorage, Alaska). The mission of the Alaska Marine Science Symposium is to bring together scientists, policymakers, students, educators, media and the public to share research findings focused on Alaska's marine fisheries and ecosystems. The Symposium is built around regional themes-Bering Sea, Arctic Ocean, and the Gulf of Alaska. Within each theme, there will be discussions on climate, oceanography, lower tropic levels, the benthos, fishes and invertebrates, seabirds, marine mammals, local and traditional knowledge, and socioeconomic research.

 

The agenda is available here.

 

The goal of the Arctic Encounter Symposium is to engage participants in a focused discussion, through a balanced forum, highlighting shared interests and concerns of the United States and the global community as we look north to the last emerging frontier - the Arctic. The Symposium will incorporate a diverse group of leaders and experts to debate how a rapidly changing Arctic will impact international law, domestic policy, business and commerce, the environment, and the people of the Far North. Speakers include policy makers, industry leaders, scientists, and academic experts. The two-day Symposium will take place at Seattle University School of Law with a dinner reception at the Seattle Aquarium on Pier 59. US Arctic Research commissioner Edward Itta is one of the speakers.

Arctic Technology Conference, February10-12, 2014. (Houston, TX) Founded in 1969, the Offshore Technology Conference (OTC) provides offshore resources in the fields of drilling, exploration, production and environmental protection. The Arctic Technology Conference (ATC) is built upon OTC's successful multidisciplinary approach, with 14 technical societies and organizations. The conference is an international event focused on continuing innovative technologies and solutions needed for exploration and production of energy within the circum-Arctic.

  

Arctic 2050, March 12, 2014 (Brussels, Belgium). The 4th European Marine Board Forum will bring together Arctic stakeholders from multiple sectors (science, industry, policy & governance, NGOs, etc.) to: discuss current trends and patterns of change in Arctic Ocean ecosystems, including human activity; identify possible "2050" scenarios for Arctic Change and the corresponding implications for human health and well-being; highlight key research gaps, needs and challenges in support of understanding, mitigating against, or adapting to Arctic change; stimulate dialogue across sectors to aid common understanding, collaborative actions and sustainability targets; promote a vision for a sustainable ecosystem-based management of the Arctic Ocean by 2050.

 

44th Annual International Arctic Workshop, March 14-16, 2014 (Boulder, CO). The Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research of the University of Colorado will host the workshop. This year's theme is "Arctic's New Normal." The workshop will consider shifting environmental baselines over decades to millennia and comparisons with the Antarctic. Previous Workshops have included presentations on Arctic and Antarctic climate, atmospheric chemistry, environmental geochemistry, paleoenvironment, archeology, geomorphology, hydrology, glaciology, soils, ecology, oceanography, Quaternary history and more.

 

Association of American Geographers Polar Geography Sessions, April 8-12, 2014 (Tampa, Florida).  Polar Geography Sessions are being planned in areas such as Sustainable Development in the Arctic, Urbanization and Transportation in the Arctic, etc. Contact Scott Stephenson (stephenson@ucla.edu) for more information, and see attached flyer. 

 

Arctic Science Summit Week April 5-8, 2014 and Arctic Observing Summit, April 9-11 (Helsinki, Finland). ASSW is a gathering for Arctic research organizations. Any organization engaged in supporting and facilitating arctic research is welcome to participate. The ASSW meeting in 2014 will be arranged during April 5-8 in Helsinki Kumpula Campus, in the facilities of FMI and Physics Department of the University of Helsinki. Second circular here

 

International Congress of Arctic Social Sciences, May 22-26, 2014 (Prince George, British Columbia). "The International Arctic Social Sciences Association (IASSA) announces the 8th International Congress of Arctic Social Sciences (ICASS VIII). ICASS is held every three years, bringing together people from all over the world to share ideas about social science research in the Arctic. ICASS VII, held in Akureyri in June 2011, attracted 450 participants from 30 different countries.  ICASS VIII's theme is Northern Sustainabilities. By using the plural, we underscore both that "sustainability" has social, cultural, economic, political and environmental dimensions, and that definitions of the concept vary."
 
IceTech14: International Conference and Exhibition on Performance of Ships and Structures in Ice, July 28-31, 2014 (Banff, Alberta, Canada). "The focus will be on the general theme of performance of ships and structures in ice - but with emphasis and special sessions on looking to the future in a warming world. Coverage will include technical aspects of offshore operations in Arctic and ice populated waters, as well related ice mechanics, icebreaking and ice resistance, global warming and geopolitical effects, safety and EER, subsea facilities and operations, and other relevant subjects in a polar context particularly in view of current global concerns. Both technical papers and selected panel sessions will be included. We will also continue to host a small commercial exhibition for organizations wishing to set up stand."
 

 Arctic Circle, September 5-7, 2014 (Reykjavik, Iceland). The inaugural gathering drew more than 1200 participants from 40 nations, bringing together a diverse group of individuals and organizations for a series of meetings and presentations addressing the challenges and opportunities of the changing Arctic. The Assembly established itself as a platform for high-level engagement on issues, such as the meeting between Russia and Greenpeace regarding the "Arctic 30" detention, and it also provided new observer states the opportunity to communicate their Arctic strategies. Details about the 2014 Assembly will be announced in the coming months.

 

Arctic Biodiversity Assessment, December 2-4, 2014. (Trondheim, Norway)

The Arctic Council's Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna (CAFF) working group is organizing the first Arctic Biodiversity Congress in Trondheim, Norway on December 2-4, 2014. The Arctic Biodiversity Congress will promote the conservation and sustainable use of Arctic biodiversity through dialogue among scientists, policy-makers, government officials, industry, civil society and indigenous peoples. It is closely linked to the findings and recommendations of the first Arctic Biodiversity Assessment (ABA) released in May 2013.  
 

Arctic Science Summit Week, April 23-30, 2015 (Toyama, Japan). ASSW is the annual gathering of international organizations engaged in supporting and facilitating Arctic research. The purpose of the summit is to provide opportunities for coordination, collaboration and cooperation in all areas of Arctic science. IASC's (International Arctic Science Committee) 25th anniversary will be celebrated during ASSW2015. The summit presents an opportunity to review IASC contributions and recognize those who have been instrumental in its founding, development and growth. ASSW2015 will also include the 3rd International Conference on Arctic Research Planning (ICARP III) and the 4th International Symposium on the Arctic Research (ISAR-4). These four-day symposia create a platform for exchanging knowledge, inspiring cross fertilization, and promoting collaboration. The summit attracts scientists, students, policy makers and other professionals from all over the world.

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