Arcticportal News
Award for climate change research
2012 Climate
Friday, 27 April 2012 18:53

Dr. Louis Fortier (centre) accepts The Weston Family Prize for Lifetime Achievement in Northern Research from Christian Bauta, Director, The W. Garfield Weston Foundation (far right) and Michael Goodyear, Executive Director, Churchill Northern Studies Centre (far left), at the 2012 International Polar Year Conference in Montréal. (CNW Group/The W. Garfield Weston Foundation)Dr. Louis Fortier (centre) accepts The Weston Family Prize for Lifetime Achievement in Northern Research from Christian Bauta, Director, The W. Garfield Weston Foundation (far right) and Michael Goodyear, Executive Director, Churchill Northern Studies Centre (far left), at the 2012 International Polar Year Conference in Montréal. (CNW Group/The W. Garfield Weston Foundation)The W. Garfield Weston Foundation has announced that Dr. Louis Fortier has been awarded the $50,000 Weston Family Prize for Lifetime Achievement in Northern Research for his work focused on the impacts of climate change on the Arctic.

The results of the survey, commissioned by The Churchill Northern Studies Centre with the support of the Foundation, along with the prize winner were announced today at the International Polar Year Conference in Montréal.

"Dr. Fortier embodies what a lifetime of research can achieve," says Michael Goodyear, Executive Director, Churchill Northern Studies Centre.

"By actively engaging northerners in the early planning stages of ArcticNet and through his dedication to the multidisciplinary use of the Canadian Research Icebreaker Amundsen, Dr. Fortier has helped ensure that arctic science not only remains top of mind for Canadians, but also serves the people of the North."

Dr. Fortier himself had this to say: "My work reflects the ongoing collaboration and open dialogue on key arctic issues with colleagues around the world, Inuit partners, the private sector, and policy makers in several Federal departments. Together we have been able to explore, document, and synthesize the impacts of climate change and modernization on all aspects of the Arctic world, including the human dimension," said Dr. Fortier, who is the Canada Research Chair on the Response of Arctic Marine Ecosystems to Climate Change and a Professor at Université Laval since 1989.

"The Weston Family Prize truly reflects a lifetime of national and international networking in many disciplines, and I'm thrilled to receive this honour."

New APECS director appointed
Other News
Friday, 27 April 2012 18:50

 APECS, the association of polar early career scientists, has appointed a new director, Alexey Pavlov.

Alexey will be in charge of guiding the development and administration of the organization, along with overseeing and managing all APECS activities, finances and events, recruitment of volunteers and members, and interacting with APECS mentors, advisors, and supporters.

Alexey highlights international & interdisciplinary collaboration as a key reason he is looking forward to taking on the role of APECS Director. "Collaboration with many interdisciplinary groups has brought me the opportunity to feel the environment of Polar Regions and to better understand current and upcoming challenges facing Polar research," he said.

"I'm looking forward to spending the next years of my life above the Arctic Circle and to 'Shaping the Future of Polar Research' with even more APECS members and mentors."

Security in the High North
2012 Other
Written by Magdalena Tomasik   
Thursday, 26 April 2012 19:26
(Photo: Arctic Portal)

The Icelandic case study with regards to the problem of security in the High North was 

brought up during the morning session at the IPY Conference by Margaret Cela, Ph.D student from the University of Lapland. Iceland, as the smallest sovereign country in the Arctic, chooses to go by the Arctic Council's definition of Arctic boundaries, which places the island as the only state fully within the Arctic territory.


During the Cold War and up to 2006, Iceland benefitted from a permanent US troop presence, not least financially. After the US base at Keflavik closed there have been drastic changes in Iceland. For the first time since independence Iceland is for the most part responsible for its own security affairs, and in 2011 the government launched the process of preparing the country's first ever comprehensive security policy.


After a few years of economic boom the oversized banking system crashed in 2008, leading to increased instability in politics and society. The political system and small administration are under a lot of pressure, forced to focus on the most prominent issues like Iceland's current entry negotiations with the European Union, unemployment and indebtedness at home. Combined with severe spending cuts in the Foreign Service, this has left little attention for longer-term issues like climate change and its consequences.


However, the Arctic is not being ignored. Indeed it has been optimistically spoken of in terms of financial gain and given high priority in terms of activity among elite policy makers. References to the Arctic have become commonplace in statements and speeches both by the President, and the Foreign Minister of Iceland. Yet the issue has never so far been a subject of wide popular debate, even in the context of the advantages or dangers of the EU application on which so many interest groups have been vocal.


A new official Arctic strategy is now in the making in which Arctic peace, cooperation and stability are emphasized. Iceland seeks to balance its hopes of economic benefit from sustainable exploitation of new Arctic resources with awareness of growing risks from accidents and pollution, especially at sea. In terms of process, Iceland seeks no radical change in Arctic governance, but aims to enhance its influence primarily through the Arctic Council and is not opposed to using the latter to accommodate new powers (EU, China) seeking a part in the region's affairs.

Arctic Portal hosts the side event during the IPY Montreal
2012 Other
Written by Magdalena Tomasik   
Wednesday, 25 April 2012 18:21

(Photo: Arctic Portal)

The Arctic Portal did host the side event in Palais de Congres in Montreal which was an important contribution into International Polar Year Conference. The speech given by Halldor Johansson treated on future in data management and creation of Arctic Gateway hub for all sources of information.


While the opening of new AP website was announced, the possibilities for future cooperation between scholars, policy makers and companies, were reviled.


The event was attended by close to forty international representatives with suggestions on data management, websites hosting and communication management.

J.C. Gascard talks about new EU project
Climate Change News
Written by Magdalena Tomasik   
Wednesday, 25 April 2012 14:46

(Photo: Arctic Portal; J.C. Gascard gives the speech on new EU Arctic - related  project


J.C Gascard, representative from the LOCEAN in Paris, France, gives the speech on new EU project for Climate Change, Economy and Society (ACCESS) which is a joined call from different departments of European Commission.


Under The University Pierre et Marie Curie coordination and involving 27 partners from 10 countries, the 4 years ACCESS project (Arctic Climate Change, Economy and Society 2011-2015) was selected in response to the first call 'the Ocean of Tomorrow' of the EU 7th Research and Development Framework Program (FP7-Ocean-2010) under Transport, Food, Agriculture and Fisheries, Energy, Environment, Socio-economic sciences and Humanities supervision.


The main objective of ACCESS is to build the knowledge for a sustainable growth of sea-based activities in the Arctic a) by improving understanding of Arctic marine ecosystems' response to a combination of natural and anthropogenic factors and b) by providing a scientific foundation for feasible, sustainable management measures supporting policies and related technologies.


ACCESS will evaluate the latest Arctic climate change scenarios and establish their impacts on marine transportation (including tourism), fisheries, marine mammals and the extraction of hydrocarbons in the Arctic for the next three decades with particular attention to environmental sensitivities and sustainability.


Understanding the socio-economic impacts of these changes on markets, economies and on European policy objectives along with their influence on Arctic governance, are key areas of research within ACCESS. An open and inclusive forum will give the opportunity to all stakeholders interested in the ACCESS consortium activities and cross-cutting research to interact with ACCESS.




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