Arctic Challenges Debate set for Brussels

Brussels, September 3rd 2012 – The challenges facing the Arctic during a time of change and global warming uncertainty will be the subject of frank and lively debate between policymakers, Ambassadors from EU and Arctic nations, polar scientists, representatives of industry and Arctic indigenous peoples groups, at the 2012 Arctic Futures Symposium, taking place in Brussels on October 4th and 5th.

High-level speakers include 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, and author of The Future History of the Arctic.

Guest speakers will also include Sweden’s Arctic Ambassador Gustav Lind, Greenland’s Deputy Foreign Minister Inuuteq Holm Olsen, Robert Blaauw, Senior Advisor to Shell’s Arctic programme, Bernard Funston, Chair of the Canadian Polar Commission, British Antarctic Survey glaciologist Prof. David Vaughan and Lars-Anders Baer, chair of the Working Group of Indigenous Peoples in the Barents Euro-Arctic Region.

The third edition of the annual multidisciplinary forum brings together a wide range of Arctic stakeholders for animated debates on challenges facing those living and working in the Arctic. Multiple perspectives will be shared on issues such as transport and infrastructure, search and rescue, scientific research and monitoring, ecosystem stewardship and management of natural resource development.

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

  • The future of Arctic energy resources - including renewable energy solutions
  • Sustainable managing 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 and the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation, with the support of the EU Committee of the Regions, the European Commission and the European External Action Service (EEAS).

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.

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

Press contact

Dave Walsh
International Polar Foundation
Brussels, Belgium
+32 493 140 966 (M)