Climate Change and Arctic Sustainable Development: scientific, social, cultural and educational challenges

International Experts Meeting3-6 March 2009, Monaco

Climate change is accelerating the transformation of environmental, social and cultural landscapes across the Arctic and Subarctic. These alterations, including their global impact, have yet to be comprehensively evaluated and monitored. To address this challenge, a coordinated effort is required that brings together relevant natural and social science expertise, cultural and educational perspectives, as well as appropriate ethical frameworks.

To this end, UNESCO organised an international experts meeting on climate change and sustainable development in the Arctic, which was held in Monaco from 3-6 March 2009. H.S.H. Prince Albert II of Monaco provided his support for the meeting, hosting and opening the event, alongside the Director-General of UNESCO, Mr Koichiro Matsuura. Mr Achim Seiner, Executive Secretary of UNEP, also addressed the experts group.

The expert meeting had a twofold objective: first, to provide a broad overview of changes due to global warming that are anticipated across the circumpolar North and to investigate ways that they be monitored; and second, to assess the scientific, social, cultural and educational challenges that must be met to ensure the region’s sustainable development within a global context.

Report and recommendations | Russian version
Meeting concept and background


News on the event
13/03/09: Confronting Climate Change in the Arctic
03/03/09: Speech by Achim Steiner, UNEP Executive Director, at the UNESCO's International Experts Meeting
03/03/09: Opening Speech by Professor Jean Malaurie, UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador in charge of arctic polar issues 
25/02/09: UNESCO experts meeting in Monaco on climate change and Arctic sustainable development


Download all abstracts [.PDF 3Mb] or below individually


Rosenberg, Stein
Sustainable Development Working Group, Arctic Council; Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs
The work of the Arctic Council

Stroeve, Julienne
National Snow and Ice Data Center, Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences, University of Colorado
Overview of Changes in the Arctic Sea Ice Cover
[Abstract PDF.] [Presentation PDF.]

Petersen, Aevar
Incoming Chair of the CAFF Arctic Council Working Group, Iceland
Arctic biodiversity and ecosystem services: How the Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna (CAFF) program can help
[Abstract PDF.] [Presentation PDF.]

Lynge, Aqqaluk
President of the Inuit Circumpolar Council, Greenland
Facing the impact of global climate change: Recommendations from the Arctic’s indigenous peoples
[Abstract PDF.]

Treadwell, Mead
U.S. Arctic Research Commission, marine transportation, civil infrastructure, human health, natural resource development
Economic development and social transformations: Why the Arctic Matters…
[Abstract PDF.] [Presentation PDF.]

Kullerud, Lars
President of the University of the Arctic
Education for Arctic Sustainable Development
[Abstract PDF.] [Presentation PDF.]

Hattingh, Johan
Professor of Philosophy at the University of Stellenbosch, South Africa, member of UNESCO COMEST
Sustainable development of the Arctic: A view from environmental ethics
[Abstract PDF.] [Presentation PDF.]

Larsen, Joan Nymand
Stefansson Arctic Institute, Iceland, president of International Arctic Social Sciences Association (IASSA)
Arctic Monitoring Systems
[Abstract PDF.] [Presentation PDF.]


Ice, ocean and atmosphere

Frolov, Alexander
Deputy Head of Federal Service for Hydrometeorology and Environmental Monitoring (ROSHYDROMET), Russian Federation
Climate change: Consequences for the Arctic physical environment
[Abstract PDF.] [Presentation PDF.]

Gascard, Jean- Claude
Co-chair of the EU framework project "DAMOCLES", France
Ice, oceans and atmosphere
[Abstract PDF.]

Goodison, Barry
World Meteorological Organization, Switzerland
Cryosphere and Climate: The Arctic Challenge
[Abstract PDF.] [Presentation PDF.]

Haugan, Peter M
Director, Geophysical Institute, University of Bergen, Norway
Observatories for understanding Arctic change
[Abstract PDF.]

Itta, Edward S.
President, Inuit Circumpolar Council, Alaska; Major, North Slope Borough, Alaska
Concerns of Indigenous People in Response to the Effects of Climate
[Abstract PDF.]

Kielsen, Lene Holm
Director of International Sustainable Development with Inuit Circumpolar Council (ICC) in Greenland
Siku-Inuit-Hila, "The Dynamics of Human-Sea Ice Relationships: Comparing Changing Environments in Alaska, Nunavut and Greenland"
[Abstract PDF.] [Presentation PDF.]

Yamanouchi, Takashi
Professor, National Institute of Polar Research (NIPR), Japan
Arctic Change in the Flow of Global Warming: Need for Long-Term Monitoring Observations
[Abstract PDF.] [Presentation PDF.]


Biodiversity and ecosystem services

Apressyan, Ruben
Professor; Head, Sector of Ethics, Institute of Philosophy, Russia; Member of COMEST UNESCO
Impending Social Changes in Arctic: Providence, Thoughtfulness, and Shared Responsibility
[Abstract PDF.]

Crump, John
Acting Manager, Polar Unit, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
Sustainable Development or Sustaining Development? Arctic governance in a changing climate
[Abstract PDF.] [Presentation PDF.]

Gill, Mike
Chair, Circumpolar Biodiversity Monitoring Program, Environment Canada
Coordinating for Arctic Conservation: Towards Integrated Arctic Biodiversity Monitoring and Reporting
[Abstract PDF.] [Presentation PDF.]

Huntington, Henry
Huntington Consulting, specialising in Arctic research and related activities, Alaska USA
Connections between Arctic Peoples and Their Environment
[Abstract PDF.] [Presentation PDF.]

Koeck Günter
Executive Secretary, Austrian MAB National Committee, Austrian Academy of Sciences, Austria
Fish from sensitive ecosystems as bioindicators of global climate change (High-Arctic 1997-2009)
[Abstract PDF.] [Presentation PDF.]

Laine, Kari
Director, Thule Institute, University of Oulu, Finland
Northern Long-term Socio-ecological Research Platform (Northern LTSER Platform) cooperation in Finland: possibilities and challenges for long-term socio-ecological research
[Abstract PDF.]

Metcalf, Vera
Eskimo Walrus Commission, Kawerak, Inc., Nome, Alaska
Sustaining a Healthy Human-Walrus Relationship
[Abstract PDF.]

Minaeva, Tatiana
Arctic Senior Technical Officer, Wetlands International, Russia
Wetlands - key Arctic ecosystems: vulnerability to climate change and adaptation options
[Abstract PDF.] [Biodiversity presentation PDF.] [Wetlands presentation PDF.]

Retter, Gunn-Britt
Head of the Arctic and Environmental Unit of the Saami Council, Norway
Biodiversity and ecosystem services
[Abstract PDF.]


Circumpolar indigenous peoples and intangible cultural heritage

Abryutina, Larisa
Vice-president, Russian Association of the Indigenous Peoples of the North (RAIPON), Russia
Indigenous people of the Russian North and social and climate changes
[Abstract PDF.] [Presentation PDF.]

Baer, Lars-Anders
President of the Sami Parliament in Sweden; Member of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues
Circumpolar indigenous peoples, culture heritage, and development with identity
[Abstract PDF.] [Presentation PDF.]

Lebedeva, Anastassia
Scientific Research Institute of the national schools in the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia)
The role of nomadic schools in the revival and preservation of the cultural heritage of indigenous peoples of the North and the Arctic
[Abstract PDF.] [Presentation PDF.]

McClintock, Sharon
President/Alaska Native Claims Land Specialist for McClintock Land Associates, Inc., USA
Indigenous land claims in Alaska
[Abstract PDF.] [Presentation PDF.]

Motzfeldt, Jonathan
Former president of the Greenland Assembly, former prime minister of Greenland
Sustainable Development of the Arctic in the face of Global Climate Change seen from a Greenlandic viewpoint
[Abstract PDF.]

Näkkäläjärvi, Klemetti
President, Finnish Saami Parliament, Finland
The effects of climate change and international politics on indigenous cultures
[Abstract PDF.]

Parkinson, Alan
Deputy Director, Arctic Investigations Program Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, USA
Climate Change, Human Health and Sustainable Development in the Arctic
[Abstract PDF.] [Presentation PDF.]

Smith, Duane
Inuit Circumpolar Council, Canada
The Sea Ice is Our Highway: The Importance of Sea Ice to the Inuit Way of Life
[Abstract PDF.] [Presentation PDF.]

Southcott, Chris
Research Outreach Program Team (MIMIR), University of the Arctic, Canada
Climate Change and Sustainable Development in Canada’s Northern Communities
[Abstract PDF.] [Presentation PDF.]

Tollemache, Nadja
COMEST member, New Zealand
The concept of sustainability


Economic development and social transformations

Andreassen, Ann
Director of the National School of Special Education, Ummannaq, Greenland
On Thin Ice
[Abstract PDF.]

Barr, Susan
Senior Advisor (polar), Norwegian Directorate for Cultural Heritage, Norway
Protecting cultural heritage and community roots
[Abstract PDF.] [Presentation PDF.]

Funston, Bernard
Executive Secretary to the Arctic Council Sustainable Development Working Group
Sustainable Development of the Arctic: the Challenges of Reconciling Homeland, Laboratory, Frontier and Wilderness
[Abstract PDF.]

Kelman, Ilan
Senior Research Fellow, CICERO (Center for International Climate and Environmental Research) Oslo, Norway
Ethical Livelihoods
[Abstract PDF.]

Pavlenko, Vladimir
Director, Arctic Research Centre of the Russian Academy of Science, member of the International Arctic Scientific Committee (IASC) and European Polar Board (EPB), Russia
Economic development in the Russian Arctic

Pelyasov, Alexander
Director of the Center for Arctic and Northern economies, Council for Research for Productive Forces, Moscow, Russia
Arctic in the New Creative age (Arctic dimension of the knowledge economy)
[Abstract PDF.] [Presentation PDF.]

Rogne, Odd
Senior Advisor to Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme) & the International Programme Office for the International Polar Year), Norway
The Need for Arctic Data (Sustaining Arctic Observing Networks - SAON)
[Abstract PDF.]

Thomsen, Marianne Lykke
Senior Policy Advisor, Dept. of Foreign Affairs Greenland Home Rule Government
Sustainable Development of the Arctic in the face of Global Climate Change: Challenges and Opportunities in the case of Greenland.
[Abstract PDF.]

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