IPF Education Coordinator Mieke Sterken Presents at VLA Conference

It was a successful day for education and outreach as teachers gathered to listen to IPF's Education Coordinator Mieke Sterken as she gave a presentation about the geopolitical situation in the polar regions.

Are the polar regions facing a geopolitical storm? Mieke Sterken addressed this question at the recent VLA Conference, organised by the Flemish Geography Teachers Association on Saturday, March 23rd in Antwerp.About 150 teachers, primarily specialised in teaching geography and history, attended the one-day event.

The day started with keynote speeches addressing the current situation in international relations. This was then followed by eight different topics the teachers could choose to explore further. The topics included the energy transition, lithium markets, China, and the war in Ukraine.

Mieke was given the task of giving two one-hour presentations on IPF’s behalf about the geopolitical situation in the polar regions. Both sessions saw a good turnout, and the second session was fully booked. In her talk she addressed the major climatic and ecological changes in the polar regions and how these are influencing international politics and political trends.

Mieke’s detailed lectures ensured that the teachers left the event with a wealth of information they can use when discussing the polar regions in their classrooms.

Mieke was very pleased with the interest the teachers showed in her lectures. “It’s important to address these themes comprehensively and keep teachers informed about the latest developments in climate change research and geopolitics,” she stated.”I think this kind of conference would even be of great value for people who aren’t geographers or teachers, especially journalists, policy makers and the public at large.”