Arctic Agenda Finalised for Brussels Debate

Brussels, September 19th 2012 – A packed agenda for next month’s Arctic Futures Symposium will see key Arctic stakeholders debate the region’s energy and marine resources, maritime safety and scientific research.

The symposium, which takes place in Brussels on October 4thand 5th, welcomes high-level speakers such as HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco, Maria Damanaki, European Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Belgian Federal Minister of Foreign Affairs, Foreign Trade and European Affairs Didier Reynders, and Charles Emmerson, Chatham House Senior Research Fellow on Energy, Environment and Resources.

Walt Meier, of the US National Snow and Ice Data Center, will present the significance of the declining in Arctic sea ice during summer 2012. Other featured speakers include Robert Blaauw, Shell International’s Senior Advisor to its Global Arctic Theme, Gustaf Lind, Swedish Ambassador to the Arctic and Chair of the Arctic Council's Senior Arctic Officials, and Duane Smith, President and Vice-Chair, Inuit Circumpolar Council (Canada). Also featured will be Greenland’s Deputy Foreign Minister Inuuteq Holm Olsen, British Antarctic Survey glaciologist Prof. David Vaughan, and Gunnar Wiegand, Acting Managing Director for Europe and Central Asia, European External Action Service.

The issues facing the Arctic, during this time of change and global warming uncertainty, will be subject to frank and lively debate between these, and other prominent Arctic players, such as EU and Arctic nation policymakers, scientists, and representatives of industry and the Arctic’s indigenous peoples.

This year's symposium also features a roundtable discussion with senior policymakers and representatives from Arctic Council nations, led by Charles Emmerson. The two-day event will also feature presentations and discussions on:

  • The future of Arctic energy resources - including renewable energy solutions
  • Sustainable management of living natural resources and marine protected areas
  • Developing maritime and coastal infrastructure to meet the growing needs of shipping and search and rescue efforts in an ice free Arctic
  • The vital importance of long-term scientific monitoring programmes in the Arctic

The Arctic Futures Symposium 2012 is an initiative of the International Polar Foundation, in partnership with the SPF Affaires étrangères, Commerce extérieur et Coopération au développement and the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation, with the support of the EU Committee of the Regions, the European External Action Service (EEAS) and the European Commission.

The Arctic Futures Symposium is scheduled for the 4th and 5th of October, in Brussels, at the Committee of the Regions, Jacques Delors Building.  Prior registration is mandatory. Registrations must be received no later than Monday, October 1st.

The 2012 Arctic Futures Symposium will take place at the EU Committee of the Regions Jacques Delors Building, located at:

Rue Belliard / Belliardstraat 101
B - 1040 Brussels, Belgium

For registration details and with further information, please visit or contact us at: or +32 2 543 06 98

Press contact

Dave Walsh
International Polar Foundation

+32 493 140 966 (M), or +32 2 543 06 98


The Symposium's provisional programme is available. There may be some small changes to the programme – please check for updates.

Featured Speakers at Arctic Futures 2012: