UNESCO experts meeting in Monaco on climate change and Arctic sustainable development

Paris, 25 February

Climate change is accelerating the transformation of environmental, social and cultural landscapes across the Arctic and Subarctic. UNESCO is organizing an international experts’ meeting in Monaco from 3 to 6 March, “Climate Change and Arctic Sustainable Development: scientific, social, cultural and educational challenges.”

To analyse the multilayered and multiform interactions currently affecting the circumpolar North, an international and interdisciplinary approach is needed. The meeting will bring together 45 natural scientists, social and human scientists, environmental ethicists, education development specialists, NGOs and representatives of circumpolar indigenous peoples.

Prince Albert II of Monaco, the Director-General of UNESCO, Koïchiro Matsuura, and Professor Jean Malaurie, UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador in charge of Arctic polar issues, will open the meeting. Keynote speakers include Achim Steiner, Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP); Aqqaluk Lynge, President of the Inuit Circumpolar Council (ICC); Catherine Bréchignac, President of the International Council for Science (ICSU); and Stein Rosenberg, representing the Arctic Council.

Interdisciplinary plenary sessions and working groups will deliberate on the diverse aspects of climate-induced environmental changes in the Arctic. Due to reduced ice cover, access to mineral resources is expanding, leading to accelerated industrial activity in the North and the opening of new Arctic shipping lanes. These changes, alongside direct climate impacts, affect the livelihoods of indigenous peoples and threaten the survival of animals including polar bears, caribou and whales.

The Monaco meeting will first assess the changes anticipated across the circumpolar North and investigate ways to monitor them. Secondly, it will explore the scientific, social, cultural and educational challenges to be met to ensure the region’s sustainable development.

The event aligns with the aims of the UNESCO Strategy for Action on Climate Change, namely to “build and maintain a requisite knowledge base; help adaptation to the impacts of climate change; strengthen sustainable development.” An Intersectoral Platform was created in January 2008 to coordinate UNESCO activities in this domain.

  • Autor (es):Media Advisory N°2009-08
  • 25-02-2009
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