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2018 Sessions

The changing Arctic environment:

July 11:

Dr. Yekaterina (Katia) Kontar​: Disaster-related Science Diplomacy: Transcending Academic and National Boundaries to Reduce Disaster Risk in the Arctic

Bernhard Diekmann: Arctic Environments in Change

Sea Level and glacial retreat, sea-ice loss, atmosphere, permafrost, vegetation, messages from the past.

Session recording available on our YouTube channel at:

Bonus interview with Dr. Danita Catherine Burke on Climate Change and the politics of protecting the Arctic region:


July 18:

John Crump: Fingerprints of the Anthropocene: marine litter in the Arctic

The effects of human activities on the Earth are beyond doubt, so much so that many scholars are arguing that we have entered the Anthropocene – a period where humans are changing planetary systems in an unpredictable way. The Arctic is particularly sensitive to rapid change, something that was pointed out in the 2005 Arctic Climate Impact Assessment (ACIA) and in an overwhelming amount of research since that time. 

Most change in the Arctic is being driven by human activities in the southern part of the planet. Two major fingerprints of the Anthropocene on Arctic ecosystems are Short-Lived Climate Pollutants (SLCPs) and plastic. Since human beings are an integral part of these ecosystems the effects of these and other forms of pollution are a long-term threat. 

Participant presentations by Marianna Nitusova on Sea Ice; Alexis Garretson on Vegetation; Autumn-Lynn Harrison on Migratory Birds


Arctic Energy and Natural Resources:

July 25:

Roman Sidortsov: Arctic energy and the laws that govern it: a circumpolar overview

This lecture will provide a brief overview of legal and regulatory frameworks and approaches taken by the five Arctic littoral states to govern oil and gas exploration and extraction in the Arctic and Subarctic. Key projects and developments will be highlighted in the context of licensing (leasing), permitting, and environmental assessment. 

Jocelyn Joe-Strack: Energy in the Yukon

Energy generation and use in the Yukon Territory.

August 1:

Grant Sullivan: Diverging from Diesel - The true cost of Diesel Power in the Canadian North

The presentation will focus on the results of a study commissioned by Gwich'in Council International on the full cost of diesel generated electricity in northern off-grid communities. The full cost goes beyond the cost of materials and production to include associated environmental and other costs. Understanding the true cost is valuable in helping communities to make informed decisions about their energy futures.
The study determines the full cost by using utility-supplied rate filing documentation provided to governments and energy regulators by utilities; government carbon tax costs; and research related to the direct and indirect social costs associated with the use of diesel for electricity generation and building heating purposes. Information was gathered on 9 northern, off-grid communities in the Northwest Territories (3), Yukon (2), and Nunavut (4). 
Participant presentations on Arctic energy and natural resources by Dario Iulianella and Ashley Postler

Arctic Governance:

August 8:

Heather Exner-Pirot: The Arctic Council in a Time of Rapid Change

Despite rapid climate changes, geopolitical tensions, and an influx of global actors and interests, the Arctic region has remained remarkably stable and cooperative since the end of the Cold War. At the centre of this achievement is the Arctic Council, an intergovernmental forum composed of the eight Arctic states and six Indigenous organizations, which was established in 1996 to promote collaboration on sustainable development and environmental protection in the region.

This presentation will provide an overview of the Arctic Council and its role in regional Arctic governance, as well as assess its future directions as the Council develops a Strategic Plan for the first time.

Andreas Østhagen: Arctic International Security

This lecture will discuss various approaches to traditional military or state-centric ‘Arctic security’. Is the Arctic a 'security region? Or a security community? What are the linkages between the various Arctic states and their security concerns? To what extent do the oft-cited predictions of an Arctic “scramble” or “game” hold true? Emphasis is places on the Arctic coastal states and the distinct separation between European and North American security interests.


August 15:

Monica Tennberg: What kind of knowledge for climate change adaptation?

Relevant, accessible and comprehensive knowledge is a basic requirement for successful and effective adaptation to climate change and its various consequences for Arctic societies and peoples. Development of governance to support adaptation requires use of different kinds of knowledge, participation of various knowledge producers and  innovative ways of communication and interaction between decision-makers, local populations and stakeholders. The presentation will present and discuss the results of the project Adaptation actions for a changing Arctic – Perspectives from the Barents area.
Participant presentations on Arctic governance by Tuuli Tanninen, Vanamali Tay and Diane Yoder
Arctic Social Sciences and Humanities: 
August 22:
Alexey Tsykarev: Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples 
10th anniversary of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples: global trends and challenges.
The presentation will showcase the work of UN indigenous specific mechanisms, in particular the Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, as global tools to achieve sustainable development and dignity for indigenous communities worldwide. It will also elaborate on the global trends and lessons learned as we move towards full implementation of the UN Declaration. Specific UN studies and experts’ advice will be mentioned along with some useful information how they can be utilized in advocacy and practical work. More specifically, this presentation will focus on some specific issues of a critical importance for indigenous peoples, including climate change, assimilation of languages, access to proper healthcare and principle of free, prior and informed consent. 
Jannie Staffansson
On the Saami Council.
August 29:
Social impacts of a Changing Arctic: Victoria Herrmann, Jade Zoghbi and Sarah Abdelrahim