On the 12th and the 13th January 2023 a high stand event was held at the Musée Océanographique (Oceanographic Museum) addressed to heads of higher education institutions in the University of the Arctic (UArctic) network. Created by the Arctic Council, UArctic is a network of universities, colleges, research institutes and other organizations involved in education and research with special focus to build and strengthen collective resources and infrastructure to boost sustainability at institutional and local level in the North involving all stakeholders. H.S.H. Prince Albert II of Monaco took part to the event as President of His Foundation that has been working together with the Arctic network for more than a decade in the fields of research, development, education and awareness key environmental matters and climate mitigation.
Participants to the meeting discussed on the main theme "Academic cooperation as a solution to achieving sustainable goals in a rapidly changing Arctic world". The panel, in partnership with the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation and the Versailles Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines (UVSQ), associate member of the Paris- Saclay University, attracted the attention of possible ways to encourage cross-sectoral connections in order to address the challenges arising from a rapidly changing world.
Climate change is increasingly affecting our Planet and circumpolar regions, including the Arctic, are impacted almost four times more than the rest of the world. According to targeted researches, this phenomenon has been traced back to a series of feedback loops that accelerate exponentially the loss of sea ice by melting. As a consequence, sea water is more exposed to solar radiation, thus reducing the portion of the white reflecting surface. That causes sea water temperatures to rise triggering the loss of additional polar ice pac, through a domino effect.
This "Arctic Amplification” can have a significant impact on other , with irreversible negative consequences on other areas of Planet Earth. Science must urgently find the best ways to solve these major problems, not only in theory but also in practice. Thus, science needs to be more and more committed to solve these major problems, offering practical solutions.
The meeting was discussed over four sessions, including a keynote address followed by a debate on big issues, notably:
The Green Shift, the Energy Crisis and the Quest for Natural Resources: Impacts on the Arctic Environment and Communities.
Arctic societies and communities in a rapidly changing world: how welcome is the renewed interest in the Arctic?
The role of oceans in the green shift: research gaps and needs (transport, deep-sea minerals, fish, local hunting, expert training).
Arctic cooperation in higher education and research: the need to rethink and intensify academic and cross-sectoral cooperation.
A parade of distinguished speakers attended the event, including:
- Sara Olsvig, International President of the Inuit Circumpolar Council (ICC), Greenland
- Vladimir Ryabinin, Executive Secretary and Assistant Director-General of the UNESCO Intergovernmental Commission on Oceanography, France (TBC)
- H.E. Olivier Poivre d’Arvor, Ambassador for Maritime Issues and Clusters, France (TBC)
- Sir Frederik Paulsen, Chairman of the UArctic Board of Directors.
The UArctic Summit in Monaco has therefore represented an important moment of peer to peer exchange that will will contribute proactively to the international scientific debate and hopefully enhance the role of communication professionals as certified mediators to involve the world public opinion in the "act-now" cause. ***
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La Fondation Prince Albert II de Monaco et l’UArctic collaborent depuis plus de dix ans dans le domaine de la recherche, du développement, de l’éducation et de la sensibilisation aux problèmes environnementaux du Nord ainsi qu’à la lutte contre le changement climatique. Son Altesse Sérénissime le Prince Albert II de Monaco participera en personne à la Réunion des Recteurs et prononcera le discours de bienvenue dans la matinée du 13 janvier.