International climate conference and “Our Common Future” – 20 years on
A special gathering of politicians and specialists will take place in Tromsø 4 and 5 June. The Norwegian Government will observe the 20th anniversary of the report “Our Common Future” from the World Commission on Environment and Development, led by former Norwegian Prime Minister Gro Harlem Brundtland. The Norwegian Polar Institute and the Ministry of the Environment will host a conference focussing on the world in a changing climate.
The Norwegian government has invited a number of distinguished participants to a round table discussion to mark the 20th anniversary of “Our Common Future”. The idea is to encourage a global outlook on a future-orientated agenda and create an arena for analysis and new visions. Dr Brundtland will provide the keynote address before the discussion. This event is the kick-off for two days with sustainable development and climate on the agenda.
On the very same day, the Norwegian Polar Institute and the Ministry of the Environment will host a conference which is planned as a meeting between decision makers and scientists and will also address the media and the general public.
The focus of the conference is the same as the topic of World Environment Day: decreasing ice and snow cover around the world. The Arctic mean temperature has risen at almost twice the rate as the rest of the world, diminishing sea ice and thawing permafrost. But the changes are not limited to the polar regions. All areas covered by ice and snow, such as the Himalaya and Andes mountains, are influenced by climate change. Rivers once fed by mountain glaciers could eventually run dry or change their courses, harming agriculture, human health and biodiversity. Declining sea ice has an immediate impact on animals and people in the Arctic and a longer term effect on the rest of the world by affecting ocean circulation and the global climate. As glaciers melt and oceans warm up, sea levels will rise. This will strongly impact inhabitants of low-lying islands and delta areas, where some of the world’s poorest people live.
The Melting Ice conference will be held in English and is open to everyone. The conference will:
- give an overview of global climate change, include a presentation by the chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) on new findings and recommendations
- focus on consequences for indigenous people, effects of climate changes in different geographic regions presented by scientific models and expected rise in sea level because of melting glaciers
- and look ahead at expected results and new knowledge from the International Polar Year projects, in which participants from nearly 70 countries are taking part.
A photo presentation on changes in the circumpolar Arctic over the last decade will also be shown. The Nordic Council of Ministers, which recently presented a climate strategy for the Arctic, has contributed financially to the conference, and there will be a special focus on Nordic issues during the last part of the conference.
Tromsø, which has been nicknamed the "Paris of the North" and "Gateway to the Arctic", is the main city of northern Norway. It was from here that explorers such as Roald Amundsen embarked upon their journeys into the High Arctic. In the summer of 2005, Nelson Mandela gathered a large audience at a fund-raising concert for HIV/AIDS in the city. Tromsø lies several hundred kilometres above the Arctic Circle, but is easily accessible from the rest of the world as it is less than two hours away by air from Oslo. The city has a number of organisations which specialize on polar and climate issues, such as the University of Tromsø, the Norwegian Polar Institute and other institutions at the Polar Environmental Centre. The venues will be Teorifagbygget (University of Tromsø), the Polar Environmental Centre (Polarmiljøsenteret) and Fokus cinema.
IMPORTANT: The programme has been updated. Download the updated programme here
MONDAY 4 JUNE 2007
SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT - 20 YEARS ON. A GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE ON HOW TO SUCCEED
Introductory speech by Norwegian Prime Minister Mr Jens Stoltenberg
Key note speech by former Norwegian Prime Minister Dr Gro Harlem Brundtland
Moderator: Norwegian Minister of Development Mr Erik Solheim.
Executive Director of UNEP, Achim Steiner, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Human rights and environmental activist Massoumeh Ebtekar from Iran, Dr Rajendra K. Pachauri, IPCC Chairman, Sheila Watt Cloutier, former president of Inuit Circumpolar Conference, Igor Tsjetsin, Secretary General of World Wildlife Fund in Russia
Conclusions by Norwegian Minister of Finance Ms Kristin Halvorsen
Lunch/viewing displays in the lobby
MELTING ICE - A HOT TOPIC? GLOBAL CHANGE, IMPACTS AND ACTIONS
Opening address by Norwegian Minister of the Environment Ms Helen Bjørnøy
Why ”Melting Ice” as a topic for the World Environment Day?
UNEP’s Executive Director, Mr Achim Steiner
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reports: findings and recommendations.
Dr Rajendra K. Pachauri, Chairman IPCC,
Climate change – consequences for different parts of the world from a scientific point of view.
Dr Erich Roeckner, Max Planck Institute
A changing climate – a challenge for indigenous peoples.
Sheila Watt Cloutier, former president, Inuit Circumpolar Conference
Chair: Dr Jan-Gunnar Winther, Director, Norwegian Polar Institute
183O Shuttle bus to hotels
1945 Pick-up at hotels for get-together at Polaria Visitors’ Centre with light meal
TUESDAY 5 JUNE 2007
MELTING ICE - A HOT TOPIC? GLOBAL CHANGE, IMPACTS AND ACTIONS
CLIMATE CONFERENCE CONTINUES 0900 - 1200
Dr Jan-Gunnar Winther, Director, Norwegian Polar Institute
Sea level rise as a consequence of large ice sheet melting.
Dr Chris Rapley, Director, British Antarctic Survey
Consequenses of melting ice in the Andes
Dr Andrés Rivera, Centro de Estudios Científicos, Chile.
Consequences of melting ice in the Himalayas
Dr. Samjwal Bajracharya, The International centre for Integrated Mountain development, Nepal
Photo presentation of climate change in the circumarctic
Dr Hinrich Bäsemann
New insight into ice melting – expected results from the International Polar Year
Dr David Carlson, International Polar Year Secretariat
Chair: Dr Kim Holmén, Research Director, Norwegian Polar Institute
1330-1730 NORDIC PERSPECTIVES Conference programme with focus on Nordic strategies and challenges. Detailed programme will follow.
1200-1530 MELTING ICE AND THE NEXT GENERATION Youth programme at Fokus cinema. Detailed programme will follow.
A registration fee of NOK 2500 covers the full programme (Sustainable development, Melting ice and Nordic perspectives), lunches included.
A fee of NOK 2200 covers a reduced programme, that is, without Nordic persepctives.
For inquiries or registration for the youth programme please contact Anne Kibsgaard, firstname.lastname@example.org .
On Sunday night, there will be a gala event in the Concert hall (Kulturhuset). The theme will be “Melting ice – a hot topic?”. The show will be in Norwegian, with some elements in English. Should you want to join, please tick the appropriate box of the registration form and add the cost of the ticket to your payment.
Media: Representatives of the press shall not pay registration fees. Please fill in the registration form, add PRESS or MEDIA in the space for the credit card details.
Invited guests: Invited guests shall not pay registration fees. Please fill in the registration form, add GUEST in the space for the credit card details.