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Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on February 8th, 2014
by Pincas Jawetz (pj@sustainabilitank.info)

 

Call for papers, The legal issues associated with the development and use of Arctic energy resources, Tromsø, September 2014.

from:  Nigel Bankes ndbankes@ucalgary.ca

 February 7, 2014

ENERGY LAW CONFERENCE

25-26 September 2014

Call for Papers

 

The legal issues associated with the development and use of Arctic energy resources

 

 

The Faculty of Law, at the University of Tromsø in conjunction with the K.G. Jebsen Centre for the Law of the Sea is pleased to announce the call for papers for the energy law conference on “The legal issues associated with the development and use of energy resources in the Arctic”.

 

You are invited to submit proposals to present a paper addressing the conference theme, broadly construed.

Without intending to be prescriptive, examples of topics that would fall within the scope of the conference include legal issues (domestic and international law) related to any of the following in an Arctic context:

the role of strategic and project-specific environmental assessments;

energy markets;

energy security in an Arctic context;

energy relations between the EU and Russia;

the energy relations of Nordic States;

energy relations between the EU and Arctic states;

the role of renewables in the Arctic including wind, geothermal, tidal; non-conventional energy resources such as gas hydrates;

the oil and gas leasing regimes of Arctic states; infrastructure issues (transmission lines and pipelines);

navigation and other law of the sea issues associated with getting Arctic resources to market; liability issues and liability regimes for energy projects; insurance issues; project financing issues;

delimitation of maritime zones and the management of transboundary hydrocarbon resources;

extended continental shelf claims;

energy resource projects on indigenous lands; social licence to operate;

climate change issues (e.g. regulation of black carbon); Arctic energy resources and endangered species;

energy as a human right;

energy efficiency;

regional governance issues (e.g. the role of the Arctic Council, OSPAR etc).

 

Proposals will be considered by the conference convenors on the basis of academic merit and policy significance and fit with the conference theme. Abstracts of no more than 500 words should be submitted to the convenors by April 30, 2014. Abstracts should be sent to maria.m.neves@uit.no.

 

We anticipate (depending on numbers) being able to cover the costs of hotel accommodation and meals for those selected to present papers.

 

For more information on the conference please visit our website www.uit.no/lawofthesea or contact christin.skjervold@uit.no.

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Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on December 23rd, 2013
by Pincas Jawetz (pj@sustainabilitank.info)

 

Op-Ed Columnist

Bits and Barbarism.

By
Published by The New York Times: December 22, 2013 84 Comments

This is a tale of three money pits. It’s also a tale of monetary regress — of the strange determination of many people to turn the clock back on centuries of progress.

  Fred R. Conrad/The New York Times

Paul Krugman

The first money pit is an actual pit — the Porgera open-pit gold mine in Papua New Guinea, one of the world’s top producers. The mine has a terrible reputation for both human rights abuses (rapes, beatings and killings by security personnel) and environmental damage (vast quantities of potentially toxic tailings dumped into a nearby river). But gold prices, while down from their recent peak, are still three times what they were a decade ago, so dig they must.

The second money pit is a lot stranger: the Bitcoin mine in Reykjanesbaer, Iceland. Bitcoin is a digital currency that has value because … well, it’s hard to say exactly why, but for the time being at least people are willing to buy it because they believe other people will be willing to buy it. It is, by design, a kind of virtual gold. And like gold, it can be mined: you can create new bitcoins, but only by solving very complex mathematical problems that require both a lot of computing power and a lot of electricity to run the computers.

Hence the location in Iceland, which has cheap electricity from hydropower and an abundance of cold air to cool those furiously churning machines. Even so, a lot of real resources are being used to create virtual objects with no clear use.

The third money pit is hypothetical. Back in 1936 the economist John Maynard Keynes argued that increased government spending was needed to restore full employment. But then, as now, there was strong political resistance to any such proposal. So Keynes whimsically suggested an alternative: have the government bury bottles full of cash in disused coal mines, and let the private sector spend its own money to dig the cash back up. It would be better, he agreed, to have the government build roads, ports and other useful things — but even perfectly useless spending would give the economy a much-needed boost.

Clever stuff — but Keynes wasn’t finished. He went on to point out that the real-life activity of gold mining was a lot like his thought experiment. Gold miners were, after all, going to great lengths to dig cash out of the ground, even though unlimited amounts of cash could be created at essentially no cost with the printing press. And no sooner was gold dug up than much of it was buried again, in places like the gold vault of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, where hundreds of thousands of gold bars sit, doing nothing in particular.

Keynes would, I think, have been sardonically amused to learn how little has changed in the past three generations. Public spending to fight unemployment is still anathema; miners are still spoiling the landscape to add to idle hoards of gold. (Keynes dubbed the gold standard a “barbarous relic.”) Bitcoin just adds to the joke. Gold, after all, has at least some real uses, e.g., to fill cavities; but now we’re burning up resources to create “virtual gold” that consists of nothing but strings of digits.

I suspect, however, that Adam Smith would have been dismayed.

Smith is often treated as a conservative patron saint, and he did indeed make the original case for free markets. It’s less often mentioned, however, that he also argued strongly for bank regulation — and that he offered a classic paean to the virtues of paper currency. Money, he understood, was a way to facilitate commerce, not a source of national prosperity — and paper money, he argued, allowed commerce to proceed without tying up much of a nation’s wealth in a “dead stock” of silver and gold.

So why are we tearing up the highlands of Papua New Guinea to add to our dead stock of gold and, even more bizarrely, running powerful computers 24/7 to add to a dead stock of digits?

Talk to gold bugs and they’ll tell you that paper money comes from governments, which can’t be trusted not to debase their currencies. The odd thing, however, is that for all the talk of currency debasement, such debasement is getting very hard to find. It’s not just that after years of dire warnings about runaway inflation, inflation in advanced countries is clearly too low, not too high. Even if you take a global perspective, episodes of really high inflation have become rare. Still, hyperinflation hype springs eternal.

Bitcoin seems to derive its appeal from more or less the same sources, plus the added sense that it’s high-tech and algorithmic, so it must be the wave of the future.

But don’t let the fancy trappings fool you: What’s really happening is a determined march to the days when money meant stuff you could jingle in your purse. In tropics and tundra alike, we are for some reason digging our way back to the 17th century.

A version of this op-ed appears in print on December 23, 2013, on page A29 of the New York edition with the headline: Bits And Barbarism.

—————————————————————————–

 

Video Video: Mining for Bitcoins in Iceland

At a secure facility that was once a NATO base, computer servers run around the clock mining bitcoins. The company behind the operation relies on cheap energy to turn processing power into cash.

————————————

  Economy  

Bitcoin: Currency Revolution or Bubblicious Fad?

You may not want to be the person holding the Bitcoin bag when the music stops.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock.com

April 17, 2013  |

Bitcoin has the media in a swoon. Libertarians are in love with it, and techies can’t get enough of the virtual phenom. Hailed as the world’s first decentralized digital currency, the beacon of a new alternative tender movement, and potentially the bane of big banks, the Bitcoin was born in 2009 to a mysterious developer (or perhaps multiple developers) known by the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto.

Bitcoin quickly got a high-profile customer in the form of Wikileaks and gained a cult following. Lately, Bitcoin has burst into mainstream consciousness with a wild boom-and-bust rollercoaster ride and the endorsement of the twins Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, the brothers famed for suing former Harvard classmate Mark Zuckerberg for stealing their social media idea. The value of a Bitcoin, which was worth $10 at the start of the year, recently leapt to $250, then nosedived to below $150 on April 11.

How does it work? (Warning: your head may explode)

Part of Bitcoin’s mystique is the glorious wonkery surrounding how it gets made and passed around. There’s a public peer-to-peer transaction log, called a block chain, which is stored on computers running Bitcoin and records transactions. You start your Bitcoin adventure by installing a “wallet” from bitcoin.org on your computer or smartphone. Now you’re in the network, and you can conduct transactions between other people in the network, much as you can call another Skype user once you’ve downloaded the program and joined the circle of Skype users.

Bitcoins are like gold in that there are a finite amount of them – this was done to try to keep the Bitcoin economy stable and prevent inflation. A fixed amount of Bitcoins will be released (“mined”) each year set within the open source code of the Bitcoin project.  Bitcoins, in blocks of 25, are awarded to miners when their computer generates a 64-digit number from a complex algorithm. The maximum number of Bitcoins is 21 million. Right now, there are about 11 million in circulation, and the number of coins that can be generated by the mining process gets cut in half every four years.

Bitcoins can be used to buy things online. The WordPress blog platform accepts Bitcoin, and so does WikiLeaks. Some sites offer gift vouchers for stores like Amazon, and you can also find sites selling electronic goods for Bitcoin. Bitcoin is also accepted on sites such as anonymous marketplace Silk Road, where users can buy illegal drugs.

The Bitcoin system is maintained by a volunteer open-source community coordinated by four core developers. Bitcoins are supposed to be encrypted in such a way that they can’t be “forged.” The transactions are made peer-to-peer and are supposed to be secure. Are they? No one really knows. It has been pointed out that handing over your bank information to strangers on the Internet (Bitcoin doesn’t take credit cards) may not be the wisest move. You also have to take it on faith that the limited number will stay limited and that it won’t be replaced by another digital currency.

Why are people excited?

The excitement over Bitcoin is a manifestation of the growing distrust of government, the global financial system and central banks, in particular. Tech-savvy libertarians get delirious over it because it’s touted as a form of cash that doesn’t need government backing, ostensibly beyond the reach of regulators and central bankers. Grassroots types who yearn for smaller scale, locally focused systems of exchange are also infatuated with Bitcoin. Many hope that Bitcoin is the future of the world economy.

Is Bitcoin something new?

 

Not really. Alternative means of trade often surface during difficult economic times. They can be as simple as a seashell or as high-tech as Second Life “Linden dollars” (remember that craze?)

When times are tough, you might start to feel a deep anxiety about those slips of paper covered with Masonic symbols in your pocket. During the Great Depression, businesses in the U.S. issued all kinds of paper and metal tokens as currency, even things as weird as rabbit tails. Many people rush to gold, as they have done lately, only to find that the prices can come down just as easily as they can go up.

Bitcoin shot up in value after the financial crisis in Cyprus, when trust in bank deposits suddenly plummeted as savers faced a one-off levy as part of a eurozone bailout. People were highly pissed off that governments could raid their savings accounts, and the desire to have some kind of currency that seemed protected from uncertainty suddenly gained new allure. Of course, you don’t get rid of the government that easily: the US Treasury is looking into applying laundering rules to virtual currencies like Bitcoin. You also don’t get rid of uncertainly by using a currency whose value is susceptible to wild swings.

What’s the problem with Bitcoin?

Nothing, as long as you can afford to lose.

The idea that you can have stable currency in the absence of a government is a libertarian fantasy. Ordinary money is legal tender, and it gets to be that because a government decrees it. By law, it must be accepted for the discharge of debts. Who has to take Bitcoin? Nobody.

Many economists are looking at Bitcoin as a kind of fashionable speculation, much like the famed Tulip Mania of the 17th century. Only with Tulip Mania, at least you got a bulb and would have a pretty flower to look at. Bitcoins are not even objects that you can use or wear. They’re more like art, the price of which goes up or down, depending on the fashion.

Money, remember, is purely a conventional item. If conventions change, it’s worth nothing. Can you buy anything with a rabbit tail today? Not likely.

Remember Beanie Babies, those dopey looking plush toys of the 1990s? They took off along with the tech bubble and sparked a trading frenzy that was heightened by the new Internet technology. They were supposed to transcend the normal rules of the market and subvert tried-and-true notions of investment value. Except they didn’t. And a lot of people ended up with a closetful of silly stuffed animals.

Really, Bitcoins are just a fad. They have also become a tool for financial speculation that has some disturbingly Ponzi-like elements. The complexity of the algorithm for creating them increases in stages, and so it takes more and more “investment” in terms of computer power and time to create Bitcoins. You may not want to be the person holding the Bitcoin bag when the fashion moves on.

Lynn Parramore is an AlterNet senior editor. She is cofounder of Recessionwire, founding editor of New Deal 2.0, and author of ‘Reading the Sphinx: Ancient Egypt in Nineteenth-Century Literary Culture.’ She received her Ph.d in English and Cultural Theory from NYU, where she has taught essay writing and semiotics. She is the Director of AlterNet’s New Economic Dialogue Project. Follow her on Twitter @LynnParramore.

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Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on December 20th, 2013
by Pincas Jawetz (pj@sustainabilitank.info)

 


China to expand presence in Antarctica with new research bases

China to expand presence in Antarctica with new research bases

Date: 20-Dec-13
Country: CHINA
Author: Ben Blanchard
China will expand its presence in Antarctica by building a fourth research base and finding a site for a fifth, a state-run newspaper said on Thursday, as the country steps up its increasingly far-flung scientific efforts.
Photo: NASA/Handout via Reuters


Putin calls Russia response to Greenpeace Arctic protest a lesson

Putin calls Russia response to Greenpeace Arctic protest a lesson

Date: 20-Dec-13
Country: RUSSIA
Author: Alexei Anishchuk
President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday Russia’s response to a Greenpeace protest over Arctic oil drilling should serve as a lesson and Moscow would toughen steps to guard against interference in its development of the region.
Photo: Alexander Zemlianichenko/Pool

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Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on December 1st, 2013
by Pincas Jawetz (pj@sustainabilitank.info)

 

The Rio meeting decided to close the non-performing Commission on Sustainable Development and with the help of an eminent group of people, who appointed an Open Ended Working Group to come up with the list of suggestions for Sustainable Develoment Goals. Their Fifth Session meeting just finished in the UN Headquarters’ building in new York. There will be three more Sessions.

 

 

 

Eighth Session (3-7 February 2014

It is at these Sessions and at the lunch-time break out  programs, that the subject may indeed show some progress. In effect, with the stalling Climate Change meetings – that at the 19th COP in Warsaw did practically produce nothing of substance, it is these New York Session tha are the last UN hope to fight poverty and help the environment.

Yes, the UN Secretary General continues to make uplifting and hopeful presentations but these find no echo by the time the UN puts its best foot forward at a PRESS Conference where it seems the UN hides from the Press. In the end – the Press comes back with questions about a nuclear Iran or the price of oil as it just happened in New York right before the closing of the Fifth Session.

WAFUNIF was active as much as an NGO like ours is allowed breathing space at the UN.

At first I participated at the preparatory day of The Major Groups where I am proud to say we still take a pro-UN position without bowing whatsoever to the International Chambers of Commerce. We may see an advantage of private enterprise being part of solution searching for a non-fossil fuel and non-nuclear future – but we also see that being sponsored by big business is not what will get us there. In effect it is a man or woman with the mentality of Jigar Shah who created SunSolar Corporation who is going to carry the day.

In this respect I found the evening time break-out session of Tuesday November 26, 2013, by the Asia-Europe Environment Forum, backed by Singapore and presenting the work of Profesor Laszlo Pinter and Ms. Dora Almassy of the Central European University in Budapest, had a very interesting triangle that had at its pinacle – something I saw for the first time at a UN futuristic event –  WellBeing & Happiness.

The triangle dealt with 11 further topics divided in four zones.

It was the Ultimate End to achieve Poverty and Inequality Eradication. A solution to Health and Population Problems, and Education and Learning. This via an Intermediate Goal (4) of Quality of Growth and Employment.

The Intermediate means are: (5) Settlements, infrastructure and transport;
(6) SCP (Sustainable Consumption and Production) and Economic Sectors, (7) Food Security, Sustainable Agriculture;
(9)Water availability and Access; with (10) Biodiversity and Ecosystems – and all of this siting on (11) Good Governance.

That day, at the meetings, South Africa’s delegate asked – “What are the Indicators of Good Governance? His words still ringing in my ears.

I suggested then to Dr. Pinter to switch his graph so that Governance, Biodiversity, Ecosystems, Sustainable Water and Sustainable Energy are THE ULTIMATE ENDS in a system that starts with Education and learning, Health and population management and Poverty and inequality eradication.

If we start with these first we will get to the ultimate goals and Happiness and Well-being. It is the means that must lead to the goals and we must start with understandable improvement in means so we reach the goal of Happiness via Sustainability.

At the lunch break-out that same day we had the Vienna based SE4All team and the shortened version of the “ENERGY and THE SDGs Panel”

Though Chaired by Dr. Kandeh K. Yumkellah with Norway’s State Secretary Hans Brattskar, World Bank’s Energy Unit Manager Vivien Foster, and the President of WWF and a Brazilian Minister present – missing were The President of Iceland who chairs the Arctic Circle Council and the Executive Director of UNEP. Also I missed in the audience Mr. Jigar Shah who told me he will come. I proceeded nevertheless with my double headed question intended for President Olafur Ragner Grimsson and Mr. Jigar Shah.

My question was about the melting ice of the Arctic that uncovers hidden riches of oil and minerals that if put to use will put us all back of our search for non-polluting solutions. Mr. Shah, with his Sun Edison Company has proven that the only natural resource needed is the grey brain-matter and that going for arctic oil really makes no sense. I did get some answers from members of the panel and a clear view that Dr. Yumkella knows this as well – but to me it was more important to get reactions afterwards and to hope I can introduce Jigar Shah to the SE4All team.

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Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on November 25th, 2013
by Pincas Jawetz (pj@sustainabilitank.info)

We wrote about these issues when we participated at the Arctic Circle Assembly in Reykjavik a month ago – we smelled there rat. Now the issue is hitting main-shore USA. 

We said in Reykjavik that the analogy with the DISCOVERY DAYS of Columbus and Balboa are no  comparison with the UNCOVERY DAYS when our warming sins that melted the ice allow us easy access to oil, gas, minerals, transportation – you name it.  The subject is worthy indeed of a good academic threshing out.

———————————————–

Fueling Our Future: The Geopolitics and Economics of Energy in the 21st Century
The Last Frontier: Security, Resources, and Politics in the Arctic

Thursday, December 5
6.30-7.45pm

RSVP here

With 7 billion people in the world (9 billion projected by 2050), many of whom live in rapidly developing countries, the need for modern technologies with their attendant energy demands is increasing at an exponential rate. Will it be possible to provide sufficient energy for this generation and the next? How will the energy race change global economies and politics? Join CGA Academic Director and Clinical Associate Professor Carolyn Kissane, and experts in the field to discuss the changing landscape of global energy: its potential, challenges, and its impact on how we live today.

Special Event at NYU Washington , D.C.!
Note special location:
The NYU Washington, D.C. Center
1307 L Street NW, Washington, D.C.

The Last Frontier: Security, Resources, and Politics in the Arctic

The Arctic is warming twice as fast as the rest of the planet. Diminishing sea ice and melting permafrost are expanding intercontinental shipping, increasing access to energy resources and minerals, and potentially igniting geopolitical and security challenges in what many consider the world’s final frontier.

Emerging from these new realities are increasingly complex challenges to sovereignty and security.

What current and future geopolitical and security issues stem from increased focus on this region, and what are the implications for nations holding territory there as well as other stakeholders?

Join the CGA at the NYU Washington, D.C. Center for a conversation about policy challenges and potential solutions for the future of the Arctic.

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Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on October 31st, 2013
by Pincas Jawetz (pj@sustainabilitank.info)

 

Activists Feel Powerful Wrath as Russia Guards Its Arctic Claims.

Dmitri Sharomov/Greenpeace, via Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Alexandra Harris, one of 30 people from a Greenpeace ship who are being detained by Russia.

MOSCOW — Gizem Akhan, 24, was about to begin her final year studying the culinary arts at Yeditepe University in Istanbul. Tomasz Dziemianczuk, 36, took a vacation from his job as a cultural adviser at the University of Gdansk in Poland that has now unexpectedly turned into an unpaid leave of absence.

Related:  Lens Blog: In Russia, Conflating Journalism and ‘Hooliganism’ (October 30, 2013)

——————————————————————–

   Ozan Kose/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Greenpeace activists with photos of a detained colleague, Gizem Akhan, outside the Russian Consulate in Istanbul.

Alex Von Kleydorff/The Hour Newspapers, via Associated Press

Maggy Willcox’s husband, Peter, a Greenpeace captain, is a prisoner.

Dmitry Kostyukov for The New York Times

Alina Giganova, whose husband, Denis Sinyakov, is being held.

——————————————————————

Dmitri Litvinov, 51, is a veteran activist who as a child spent four years in Siberian exile after his father, Pavel, took part in the Red Square protest against the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968.

“I didn’t expect my son to get in their clutch,” the elder Mr. Litvinov said in a telephone interview from Irvington, N.Y., where he settled to teach physics in nearby Tarrytown after being expelled from the Soviet Union in 1974.

Dmitri Litvinov and the others are just three of the 30 people aboard a Greenpeace International ship, the Arctic Sunrise, who are now confined in separate cells in the far northern city of Murmansk after staging a high-seas protest last month against oil exploration in the Arctic. All face criminal charges that could result in years in prison as a result of having grossly underestimated Russia’s readiness to assert — and even expand — its sovereignty in a region potentially rich with natural resources.

The vigorous legal response by the authorities, including the seizure of the ship itself, appears to have caught Greenpeace off guard and left the crew’s families and friends worried that the consequences of what the activists considered a peaceful protest could prove much graver than any expected when they set out.

“Naturally, every time Gizem sets out on a protest I feel anxious,” Ms. Akhan’s mother, Tulay, said in written responses delivered through Greenpeace. “I’m a mother, and most of the time she doesn’t even tell us she is participating. I’ve known the risks but couldn’t have foreseen that we would come face to face with such injustice.”

Critics of the government of President Vladimir V. Putin have added the crew of the Arctic Sunrise to a catalog of prisoners here who have faced politically motivated or disproportionate punishment for challenging the state. Among them are the former oil tycoon Mikhail B. Khodorkovsky, the punk performers of Pussy Riot and the protesters awaiting trial more than a year after violence broke out on the day of Mr. Putin’s inauguration last year.

But there is one crucial difference: Most of those who were aboard the Arctic Sunrise are foreigners.

They hail from 18 nations. Two of them, Denis Sinyakov of Russia and Kieron Bryan of Britain, are freelance journalists who joined the crew to chronicle the ship’s voyage, which began in Amsterdam and ended on Sept. 19 when Russian border guards borne by helicopters descended on the ship in the Pechora Sea.

Alexandra Harris of Britain, 27, was on her first trip to the Arctic. Camila Speziale, 21, of Argentina, was on her first trip at sea. Others were veteran Greenpeace activists, including the American captain, Peter Willcox, who was skipper of the Rainbow Warrior in 1985 when French secret service agents bombed it at dockside in Auckland, New Zealand, leading to the drowning of a photographer, Fernando Pereira.

The activists knew the protest was risky. Two of them, Sini Saarela of Finland and Marco Weber of Switzerland, tried to scale the offshore oil platform in the Pechora Sea owned by Russia’s state energy giant, Gazprom.

They plunged into the icy waters after guards sprayed water from fire hoses and fired warning shots, and they were plucked from the sea by a Russian coast guard ship and held as “guests.”  The next day, Sept. 19, however, the Arctic Sunrise was seized by border guards in international waters.

Greenpeace staged a similar but more successful protest in the summer of 2012. In that instance, activists, including Greenpeace’s executive director, Kumi Naidoo, scaled the same platform and unfurled a banner. After several hours, they departed, and the Russian authorities did not pursue any charges.

The authorities have shown little sign of leniency since the ship’s seizure, despite an international campaign by Greenpeace to draw attention to the prosecutions and even an appeal from Italy’s oil giant Eni, a partner of Gazprom, to show clemency for the crew, which includes an Italian, Cristian D’Alessandro.

The prosecution of the Arctic Sunrise crew has punctuated Mr. Putin’s warnings that he would not tolerate any infringement on Russia’s development in the Arctic. The region has become a focus of political and economic strategy for the Kremlin as its natural resources have become more accessible because of the warming climate.

When the government of the Netherlands, where Greenpeace International is based, filed an appeal to the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea to have the ship and crew released, Russia’s Foreign Ministry said it would not recognize the tribunal’s jurisdiction, citing the country’s sovereignty. The tribunal has scheduled a hearing on the Dutch claim anyway, but unless Russia seeks a compromise that would free the prisoners, the crew could be detained for months awaiting trial.

Greenpeace’s activists and their cause have not found much sympathy in Russia, their fate shaped in part by hostile coverage on state-owned or state-controlled television. The main state network, Channel One, recently broadcast an analysis that suggested that Greenpeace’s protest had been orchestrated by powerful backers with economic incentives to undermine Gazprom.

After their formal arrest on Sept. 24, the crew members appeared one by one in court and were charged with piracy and ordered held at least until Nov. 24. One by one their appeals for bail were denied. Last week, the regional investigative committee reduced the charges to hooliganism, a crime that nonetheless carries a penalty of up to seven years in prison.

The committee raised the possibility of new charges against some crew members that could result in longer sentences upon conviction.

According to Greenpeace and relatives, the prisoners have not been mistreated in the detention center where they are now held, next to Murmansk’s morgue. They have had access to lawyers and diplomats from their respective countries. They are allowed care packages delivered by Greenpeace, occasional phone calls and sporadic visits from those relatives who can make it to Murmansk. The captain and chief engineer were taken to visit and inspect the Arctic Sunrise, now moored in Murmansk’s port.

Conditions, though, are grim.

In letters or phone calls to their families, they have described small, unheated cells, unappetizing meals and Russian cellmates who smoke relentlessly. They spend 23 hours a day in their cells, with only an hour of exercise a day in an enclosed courtyard and the periodic visits with lawyers or trips to court for a hearing. “It’s very cold now,” Ms. Harris, the activist from Britain on her first Greenpeace operation in the Arctic, wrote in a letter to her parents and brother that was widely cited in the British press: “It snowed last night. The blizzard blew my very poorly insulated window open and I had to sleep wearing my hat.”

She went on to express a measure of resolve, saying she practiced yoga in her cell and tapped on the wall to the music piped in, but she also wrote of uncertainty in a confinement that she compared to slowly dying.

“I heard that from December Murmansk is dark for six weeks,” she wrote. “God, I hope I’m out by then.”

Reporting was contributed by Andrew Roth and Patrick Reevell from Moscow, Ceylan Yeginsu from Istanbul, and Joanna Berendt from Warsaw.

————————————————————————

Also:

Russia Denies Reports It Spied on Group of 20 Officials.

By JIM YARDLEY – same issue of the New York Times.

It rejected an Italian newspaper’s report that Russian spy agencies distributed special USB thumb drives to eavesdrop on participants at last month’s meeting in St. Petersburg.

“We don’t know the sources of the information,” said Dmitri S. Peskov, the spokesman for President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia, according to RIA Novosti, the state news agency. “However, this is undoubtedly nothing but an attempt to shift the focus from issues that truly exist in relations between European capitals and Washington to unsubstantiated, nonexistent issues.”

European leaders have been outraged by reports that the National Security Agency spied on allies in Europe, including Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany. The American spying operation has created a diplomatic crisis for the Obama administration, stirring fury in France, Spain and Germany, while intensifying criticism in Washington about the scope and methods of American espionage.

On Wednesday, the focus shifted to Russia, as Corriere della Sera, a leading Italian newspaper, published allegations that the Group of 20 meeting was the scene of a major effort in Russian espionage. According to the paper, Herman Van Rompuy, president of the European Council, had a debriefing with security officials after returning from St. Petersburg. The report was swiftly picked up by news agencies and newspapers in other countries.

The security team then conducted an examination of the thumb drives, which the Russians distributed as gifts to the 300 foreign delegates, who also received stuffed teddy bears, cups, diaries and cables to connect smartphones with computers, the Italian paper reported. Later, the European Council’s security office sent a report to Group of 20 participants, warning that some of the USB drives, as well as the cables, appeared to have been tampered with, Corriere della Sera said.

The European officials then handed the devices to German intelligence services, which conducted more tests and concluded that the sabotaged electronic equipment could be used to intercept data from computers and mobile phones. Corriere della Sera also reported that Italian secret service agents were still examining some of the devices distributed to Italy’s delegation.

In Brussels, a media official in Mr. Rompuy’s office declined to comment on Wednesday. “There are always measures in place to protect the infrastructure of the council and, as a rule, there is a cooperation with member states,” said the official, Nicolas Kerleroux. “But we won’t comment on any specific matter.”

 

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Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on October 25th, 2013
by Pincas Jawetz (pj@sustainabilitank.info)

We met in Reykjavik Dr. Neil T. M. Hamilton, Senior Political Advisor – Polar for Greenpeace International. I learned from him that though Greenpeace were among the original funders of the Arctic Circle Assembly in Reykjavik, they were not to be part of the Plenary Sessions of the conference. After all – the conference was about the mining of the resources of the region and much less about global environment concerns.

Dr. Hamilton gave me a FREE THE ARCTIC 30 square “rainbow” button which I put on. Several other people sported these buttons as well. Strangely, a Russian scientist who at first told me that the Greenpeace were just “Hooligans” as per their actions, by the time of the last day had a button as well.

I had tried to explain to the Russian – the first day of the conference – that their actions are plain political theater – harmless as per the action, but quite influential in swaying opinion politically – at least in the West. What they are doing is they highlight a problem – in this case the issues environment-related that endanger the local environment where the drilling is done, and the general global environment, because it continues reliance on fossil fuels. I also told him that in the West, jailing such protesters is an issue of human rights , and the on-going affair is viewed with disagreement in the West well beyond if it is right to drill there for oil.

Now we hear that the Russians decided to reduce charges from what could have led to a 15 years jail term – now to a 7 years in jail verdict.
The paper says that Greenpeace is not seeing in this a true change and their lawyers will fight to free the 30 members from any such accusation. Under the UN approved Law Of The Sea it seems that the Greenpeace vessel was not even in Russia territorial waters so the accusation  of piracy could in effect be inverted.

========================================

 

Russia Reduces Charges in Greenpeace Case.

 

 

 

 

MOSCOW — Russian investigators on Wednesday dropped piracy charges against the crew members of a Greenpeace International ship who staged a protest against oil exploration in the Arctic Ocean last month, but said they would still face lesser charges of hooliganism.

The announcement by Russia’s Investigative Committee appeared to be the first step toward de-escalating a growing diplomatic confrontation over the fate of the ship, the Arctic Sunrise, and the 30 crew members, activists and journalists aboard, but it did little to resolve it.

All 30 are being held in the northern city of Murmansk in what Greenpeace officials describe as grim prison conditions, and they could still face prison sentences as long as seven years if convicted of hooliganism. Piracy convictions carry a maximum penalty of 15 years.

Until Wednesday evening, Russia had shown no sign of bending to criticism from human rights and environmental organizations on the case. Only hours earlier, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs rejected an appeal by the Netherlands, where the ship is registered, to have the matter resolved by a tribunal under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.

Greenpeace rejected the reduction of charges, saying that the investigation was meant to stifle debate and peaceful protests. It again called for the immediate release of all the crew members.

“The Arctic 30 are no more hooligans than they were pirates,” Vladimir Chuprov of Greenpeace Russia said in a statement. “This is still a wildly disproportionate charge that carries up to seven years in jail. It represents nothing less than an assault on the very principle of peaceful protest.”

The ship and its crew were seized by helicopter-borne border guards in the Pechora Sea on Sept. 19, a day after two of its activists scaled the side of Russia’s first offshore oil platform in the Arctic. Russian troops cut their cables and fired warning shots.

Greenpeace staged the action, similar to one a year before that ended without arrests, to call attention to what the organization says are the dangers of oil drilling in the fragile Arctic environment. The crew members include citizens from 18 nations, including two from the United States.

The ship and its crew were towed to port in Murmansk, where each person was charged with piracy and denied bail. It was not immediately clear how the change in charges would affect the legal proceedings already under way.

The reduction of the charges appeared to reflect remarks made by President Vladimir V. Putin at a conference on the Arctic a month ago. He suggested that those onboard were clearly not pirates, but vigorously defended the actions of the border guards and said Russia would not tolerate any infringement on its sovereignty in the Arctic.

The protest focused on the Prirazlomnaya offshore oil platform, not far from the island of Novaya Zemlya, the former nuclear test range for the Soviet Union that was a target of Greenpeace actions in the 1990s. The platform is owned by the state-controlled energy company Gazprom and represents the manifestation of Russia’s ambitions to exploit the natural resources of the Arctic, made more and more accessible by the changing climate.

Gazprom completed it last year, though it has delayed actual production until next year amid safety and environmental concerns of the sort Greenpeace has sought to highlight.

The investigative committee also raised the possibility of bringing new charges against some of the crew members, including using violence against the authorities, even though both Greenpeace and the Russian authorities have said no one onboard was armed or resisted when the ship was seized.

###

Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on October 20th, 2013
by Pincas Jawetz (pj@sustainabilitank.info)

This week – Iceland’s leader, President Olafur Ragnar Grimsson, talks about Climate Change – First in Reykjavik and thenn in Senator Harkins’ Des Moines, Iowa

Sorry to say – we found no internet postings yet of content from the Reykjavik meeting but interesting material comes out from DesMoines.  Mainly by  Joel Aschbrenner of the DesMoines Register.
October 16, 2013
The Bacon Board meets the president of Iceland
The Bacon Board meets the president of Iceland: Blue Ribbon Bacon Festival organizers met with President Olafur Ragnar Grimsson during his visit to Des Moines

Icelandic President Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson envisions a day when his island nation will be a net exporter of tomatoes.

Making the inaugural address at Drake University’s Harkin Institute, Grímsson made a case for combating climate change with clean energy. His country now gets more than 85 percent of its power from renewable sources, like geothermal energy used to heat homes, drive power plants and even warm the greenhouses’ tomatoes.

“You could do the same thing in Alaska,” Grímsson joked. “And you could sell those Alaskan tomatoes at Whole Foods. It’s a great marketing idea.”

Produce aside, Grímsson focused on the importance of slowing the melt of glaciers around the globe. Melting glaciers are poised to raise sea levels, shift global weather patterns and alter rivers that provide water for crops that feed nearly a third of the world’s population, scientists say.

The challenge, Grímmson said, is erasing the perception that climate change affects only those who live near glaciers or ice caps, in places like Iceland.

“We live in an ice-dependent world,” he said. “In every country in every continent, our weather, our climate, our cities are dependent in way or another on what happens to the ice.”

Grimsson and Sen. Tom Harkin have been friends for decades. Harkin spoke last week at the inaugural Arctic Circle Assembly in Reykjavik, Iceland’s capital city.

The event drew participants from dozens of countries to discuss climate change, economic development and shipping lanes in the Arctic.

In the 1980s, the two worked together in Moscow with Parliamentarians for Global Action, an international network of legislators, to advocate for nuclear treaties.

Iceland, a country with fewer residents than the Des Moines area, has positioned itself as a leader in green energy. The nation is working with giants China and India, helping them develop strategies for reducing the greenhouse gas emissions.

The addition of China, which has long been lamented as a major polluter, to the conversation about climate change represents a crossroads in global policy, Grímsson said.

“China has been used as an excuse for non-action,” the president said. “But now we are witness to what I believe is an undeniable shift.”

 

 

 

###

Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on October 19th, 2013
by Pincas Jawetz (pj@sustainabilitank.info)

 

The following I learned, Thursday October 10, 2013, coincidentally at a breakfast meeting of the new series at he Green Tech Investors Forum run by Dr. Gelvin Stevenson and hosted by the New York Offices of the International law Firm Crowell &  Moring.

I said coincidentally because that day I was traveling to Reykjavik, Iceland, for the First International Conference of the Arctic Circle Nations, October 11-14, 2013. This Conference, as it turned out, was mainly concerned in the creation of wealth in the old way, but viewing  now on how it will be possible to using the access to the newly un-covered-of-ice waters and lands of the Arctic.

There could not have been a more contrasting set of visions then those exposed at the Manhattan event and the general spirit that drove the organizers of the Harpa Conference Center at the Reykjavik event. These two events will bring me back to post about pure SUSTAINABILITY after having lately been focused rather on the melt-down of the United States that to me was a much more frightening perspective then the climate change induced melting of the ice-caps at the three poles.

In the present posting I will be dealing with concepts put forward by Mr. Jigar Shah, the Star speaker at the Manhattan event. This will  follow  material from the other presenters before the Green Tech Investors Forum. Then, in following postings, I will be dealing with specifics from the Reykjavik meeting, and I foresee a series of postings about what can create Sustainable Wealth and what can be seen rather as a throw-back to past mistakes.

DSCI0056

——————————————————————————-

we already posted:

Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on April 10th, 2013

– See more at: www.sustainabilitank.info/2013/04…

 

and the full program of the Conference/meeting as provided several days before the event and which we posted October 10th so I could provide the link to the people present at the Manhattan event:

Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on October 10th, 2013

– See more at: www.sustainabilitank.info/2013/10…

——————————————————————————–

The Manhattan meeting was about a new company that has new proprietary technology or billing purpose – “Simply Grid” – it provides a solution for on-demand access to electricity.

The company’s proprietary technology includes a custom engineered controller which is deployed either within industry standard electric charging stations or as an augmentation to standard in-wall electrical outlets, and an Internet based management and billing system which allows for the automated initiation/termination of electric service via mobile app or text message, monitoring of usage, and billing. 

Simply Grid focuses on three markets: the mobile food industry, marinas and RV parks, and personal electronics in cafes and other public spaces.

 There are over 25,000 food carts and food trucks in the US, and they are expanding rapidly. Their legacy source of energy, gas or diesel powered generators, is expensive, polluting and noisy. Simply Grid’s solution – usually a four-foot high pedestal – enables private lot managers and municipalities to provide electricity to these vendors at a significant cost savings while providing a more pleasant environment for their customers.

 

 Simply Grid has a pilot in Union Square, midtown Manhattan, – with a food-cart vendor – Rafiqi’s – on the north side of the Square – in conjunction with the Mayor’s Office, ConEd, and NYC Department of Transportation. Additionally, the company has already deployments at food truck parks in Austin, TX and Atlanta, GA.

 

 Food carts’ portable generators—used by about 60% of all food carts—emit twenty times more particulate matter and other asthma-causing pollutants than NYC’s electric supply.

Simply Grid’s technology allows lot owners and municipalities to provide grid electricity to them, which makes them cleaner, quieter, and more profitable.

Electricity is made available to these vendors via outlets in industry standard electricity pedestals which have been customized with proprietary metering controllers. The controllers connect wireless to Simply Grid’s cloud-based platform which manages customer accounts, metering, and billing.

The system allows vendors  on city streets and RV lots to initiate service with their mobile phones and connect to the electric grid with cables they already use with their generators.The food vendors will be able to sell electricity to electric vehicles – cars, bikes etc. This will help clean up the air in cities by making it more feasible to use electric vehicles. Obviously, the electricity supply is a separate topic – but the decreased dependence on diesel and gasoline is clear. In this respect it is a company that does not only owe its success to efforts to decrease effects that cause global warming i.e. the use of petroleum products, but it also provides new lines of income to vendors of other services, and economically thus creates “CLIMATE WEALTH.”

The speakers at the meeting were SIMPLY GRID officials –Mike Dubrovsky; CEO, Jeffrey Hoffman,  COO;  Samuel Abbay, Co-Founder and Co-CEO. Present, and separate speaker, was partner and initiator of the “CREATING CLIMATE WEALTH” concept Jigar Shah who made already a lot of money when he created “SunEdison” – now a very successful company with billions in sales, and which he sold so he can go on creating new ideas and companies.

Creating Climate Wealth guru, Jigar Shah, is the real focus of this posting, and his just released manual – the book that is part autobiography and part blue-print for the future is:

“CREATING CLIMATE WEALTH: UNLOCKING THE IMPACT ECONOMY” caries ISBN: 978-0-9893531-0-6 – ICOSA publishing – www.icosamedia.com/publishing. It costs $21.95 and is a true manual.

Further information at www.creatingClimateWealth.com

—————————————————————–

Carl Pope, the former Executive Director of Sierra Club, writes among those that recommend this book – “Shah shows that a new massive wealth opportunity is at our fingertips, linking sustainability and economic development.”

We completely subscribe to this and must remark that Jigar Shah was able to show that the innovative management ideas that he promotes are not dependent on new technologies but rather on the imagination that frees us to use beneficially existing technologies in novel ways – this without government subsidies and rather in a pure private enterprise way. Obviously, this can be made possible only if government does not insist in interfering by supporting existing interests opposed to change.

“Creating Climate Wealth” introduces the general idea that natural resources fail us if we do not start a development with the concept that we want to answer a need, rather then pushing the sale of an exhaustible stash of resources – i.e. found fossil fuels or minerals.

Following that, we get the example of the creation of the SunEdison Company that came about to answer the need for cheap locally produced electricity, and eventually leads to the creation of the new company, the subjet of the October 10th meeting – “SimplyGrid” – that will eventually sell Renewable Energy via a smart grid. All this to be done by private investors that all what they need is non-interference from the government.

The important thing is that Jigar Shah is an entrepreneur who grew up in a home where his parents were already steeped in the spirit of entrepreneurship. JIGAR IS OUT TO MAKE MONEY IN A CLEVER WAY – AS SAID BY INNOVATING MANAGEMENT SO HE ANSWERS A TRUE NEED EFFICIENTLY AND AT LOWER COSTS THEN THE COMPETITION. Further, he structures his business plan so that all what he needs is a good client and he does not involve the client in his building the company.

SunEdison takes advantage of the vast roof space of large companies and puts there photovoltaics built with -off-the-shelf parts.
No waiting here for improvements that might take years, and no talk here of experimentation.

The client does not invest a penny – only agrees to buy the electricity at a price well below what it costs him today. Jigar finds the investors outside the product buying company and totally without government help except that he must make sure that existing electricity production companies do not cause the government to grant them a monopoly that would not allow this upstart to sell electricity. This is not a theoretical comment – it is rather a description of the sick US economy.

To get the details of this innovative way of doing business. and to realize the deep thoughts that went into Jigar’s choice of companies which he approached first, and the financial backers which he approached so that this will be a growing company with ever increasing revenues and financing, rather then a one time shot by a wise guy – please go to the sources which I presented here.

I read the book on the plane ride to Reykjavik, so it helped me be a little more critical of what I heard there.

 

 

 

###

Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on October 10th, 2013
by Pincas Jawetz (pj@sustainabilitank.info)

WHERE

 

Harpa Conference Centre

 

Austurbakki 2,

 

101 Reykjavík, Iceland

en.harpa.is/harpa/accessibility

www.ArcticCircle.org

CONTACT 

 

Margrét Stefánsdóttir

 

margret@meetingiceland.com

 

+354- 892-7163

Arctic Circle | PO Box 133 | Reykjavik | Iceland

WHO 

President Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson; Special Envoy of President Vladimir Putin to the Arctic, Artur Chilingarov; Greenland Premier, Aleqa Hammond,; U.S. Senator, Tom Harkin; U.S. Senator from Alaska Lisa Murkowsky; Google Executive Chairman, Eric Schmidt, The Presidents of Iceland and Breenland and the Prime Minister of the Faroe Islands, a former Prime Minister of France – Mr. Michel Rocard representing President Hollande and more.

Anticipated to be the largest and most diverse gathering of its kind, this event will include participants from Australia, Austria, Bangladesh, Belgium, Bhutan, Brazil, Canada, China, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greenland, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Italy, the Republic of Korea, Monaco, Nepal, the Netherlands, Nigeria, Norway, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Rwanda, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, the United States, and the Vatican City State. As of now there are 900 registrants and there is a large confirmed program.

The Arctic is now playing a significant role in issues such as globalization, economic development, energy exploration, environmental protection and international security. Plans for resource use and new sea routes linking Asia to Europe and America have led to an increased focus on the region.

 

 The mission of the Arctic Circle is to facilitate dialogue and build relationships to address rapid changes in the Arctic. The Assembly will strengthen the decision-making process by bringing together international partners to interact under one large “open tent.” This is a new mechanism for existing institutions to reach a global audience in an efficient way.

WHEN

The meetings – October 12-14, 2013

 

 

PROGRAM DRAFT | CONFIRMED SESSIONS AND SPEAKERS

(Last updated on October 7, 2013.)

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 11

18:00–20:00 WELCOME RECEPTION
Reykjavík Art Museum

Hosted by Arctia Shipping

Music by Guitar Islancio

 

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 12

07:30–08:30 COFFEE SOCIAL

Hosted by Olgoonik Corp. and Pt Capital08:30–10:10PLENARY SESSIONS

PLENARY SESSION 1: OPENING SESSION (08:30–10:10)

SPEAKERS:

Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson, President, Iceland

Aleqa Hammond, Premier, Greenland

Kaj Leo Holm Johannesen, Prime Minister, Faroe Islands

Lisa Murkowski, U.S. Senator

Patrick Borbey, Chair, Senior Arctic Officials, Arctic Council, and President, Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency (CanNor)

Anton Vasiliev, Ambassador at Large, Arctic Cooperation, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Russia
CHAIR:

Alice Rogoff, Publisher, Alaska Dispatch
VIDEO MESSAGES:

Hillary Rodham Clinton, Former Secretary of State, United States

Ban Ki-Moon, Secretary-General, United Nations

HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco

10:10–10:25COFFEE BREAK

Hosted by Esri10:25–13:10PLENARY SESSIONS

PLENARY SESSION 2: CLIMATE CHANGE: A PLAN FOR ACTION? (10:25–11:45)

VIDEO MESSAGE:

Al Gore, Former Vice President, United States, and Nobel Laureate
SPEAKERS:

Enric Sala, Explorer-in-Residence, National Geographic Society

Tom Harkin, U.S. Senator

Mark Halle, Vice President, International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD)

Sergio C. Trindade, President, SE2T International, and Nobel Laureate

Johan van de Gronden, Chief Executive Officer, World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Netherlands

Ghislaine Maxwell, Founder, The TerraMar Project
CHAIR:

Olav Orheim, Member, Scientific and Technical Committee, Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation

PLENARY SESSION 3: SHORT FILM: “LAST HOURS” (11:45–11:55)

“Last Hours” is the first in a series of short films from Tree Media Foundation that explore the perils of climate change and the solutions to avert climate disaster.

PLENARY SESSION 4: ARCTIC ICE MELT: GLOBAL WEATHER EVENTS (11:55–13:10)

VIDEO MESSAGE:

Rajendra K. Pachauri, Chair, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), and Nobel Laureate
SPEAKERS:

Li Yuansheng, Deputy Director, Polar Research Institute of China (PRIC)

Karin Lochte, Chair, Alfred Wegener Institute

Minik Rosing, Professor, Natural History Museum of Denmark, University of Copenhagen

Helgi Björnsson, Research Professor, Institute of Earth Sciences, University of Iceland

Ingibjörg Jónsdóttir, Associate Professor, Faculty of Earth Sciences, University of Iceland
CHAIR:

Alexander Borodin, MHC (Services) Ltd.
VIDEO MESSAGE:

James Balog, Photographer, National Geographic (“Chasing Ice”)

13:10–13:40LUNCH13:40–16:10PLENARY SESSIONS

PLENARY SESSION 5: SINGAPORE IN THE ARCTIC (13:40–14:15)

SPEAKER:

Sam Tan Chin Siong, Senior Parliamentary Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Singapore

PLENARY SESSION 6: ARCTIC GEOPOLITICS (14:15–14:45)

SPEAKER:

Strobe Talbott, President, Brookings Institution

PLENARY SESSION 7: ARCTIC ENERGY COOPERATION (14:45–16:00)

Arctic Energy Summit Report

SPEAKER:

Nils Andreassen, Executive Director, Institute of the North
Oil and Gas: Problems and Possibilities

SPEAKERS:

Heiðar Már Guðjónsson, Chairman of the Board, Eykon Energy

Rúni M. Hansen, Vice President, Arctic Unit, Statoil

Anthony Hodge, President, International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM)

Jörg Ranau, Deputy Director-General for Economic Affairs, Federal Foreign Office, Germany

Bae Sung-Ho, Senior Researcher, Global Energy Cooperation Center, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Republic of Korea
CHAIR:

Charles K. Ebinger, Director, Energy Security Initiative, Brookings Institution

PLENARY SESSION 8: LAUNCH OF ARCTIC YEARBOOK 2013: THE ARCTIC OF REGIONS VS. THE GLOBALIZED ARCTIC (16:00–16:10)

SPEAKER:

Lassi Heininen, Professor, University of Lapland, and Editor, Arctic Yearbook

Heather Exner-Pirot, Post-Doctoral Fellow, Johnson-Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy, University of Saskatchewan, and Co-Managing Editor, Arctic Yearbook

16:10–19:00BREAKOUT SESSIONSThese and the other breakout sessions in this agenda are organized by the participating organizations.

BREAKOUT SESSION A: ARCTIC SECURITY

Organized by the Northern Research Forum (NRF) and the UArctic-NRF Thematic Network on Geopolitics and Security
Changes in a State of Security in the Arctic

SPEAKERS:

Lassi Heininen, Professor, University of Lapland

Heather Exner-Pirot, Post-Doctoral Fellow, Johnson-Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy, University of Saskatchewan

Michal Luszczuk, Faculty Member, Jan Kochanowski University in Kielce

Steven Lamy, Professor of International Relations and Vice Dean for Academic Programs, Dana and David Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences, University of Southern California
The Nexus of Extractive Industries, the Environment and Climate Change: An Arctic (Security) Paradox

SPEAKERS:

Margrét Cela, Project Manager, Centre for Arctic Policy Studies (CAPS), University of Iceland, and Ph.D. Candidate, University of Lapland

Sóley Kaldal, Ph.D. Candidate, University of Iceland

Baozhi Cheng, Research Fellow, Shanghai Institutes for International Studies (SIIS)

Aki Tonami, Researcher, Nordic Institute of Asian Studies (NIAS), University of Copenhagen

Matthias Finger, Professor, École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL)

BREAKOUT SESSION B: BUSINESS COOPERATION: INDUSTRY LEADERSHIP AND COLLABORATION FOR RESPONSIBLE ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT OF THE ARCTIC

Organized by the World Ocean Council
SPEAKERS:

Sarah Barton, Chief Strategy Officer, Arctic Fibre Inc. and Quintillion Networks

Robert J. Blaauw, Senior Advisor, Global Arctic Theme, Shell International Exploration and Production B.V.

Sven-Olof Lindblad, President and Founder, Lindblad Expeditions

Gylfi Sigfússon, President and Chief Executive Officer, Eimskip

Mikael Thinghuus, Chief Executive Officer, Royal Greenland A/S
CHAIR:

Paul Holthus, Chief Executive Officer, World Ocean Council
Arctic Industry Panel: Industry Perspectives on Responsible Economic Development in the Arctic and the Value of Business Cooperation

MODERATOR:

Hans Christian Krarup, Denmark Country Director, Golder Associates

Panel Discussion: Further Developing an Arctic Business Leadership Council and Multi-Industry Collaboration and Leadership on Responsible Business Development in the Arctic Region

MODERATOR:

Tim Lunel, Support and Development Director, International Tankers Owners Pollution Federation (ITOPF)

Open Forum Discussion with the Arctic Business Community: Advancing Business Cooperation and Developing the Structure and Process for Fostering Cooperation

MODERATOR:

Theodore L. Rockwell, Alaska Regional Coordinator, Business Development, Energy and Environment, Battelle Memorial Institute

BREAKOUT SESSION C: HUNTERS AND FISHERMEN: FIRST-HAND OBSERVATIONS AND PERSPECTIVES

SPEAKERS:

Tønnes Berthelsen, Deputy Manager, KNAPK (Association of Fishermen and Hunters in Greenland)

Raychelle Daniel, Senior Associate, U.S. Arctic Program, Pew Environment Group

Anders J. H. Eira, Economist and Reindeer Herder

Steinar Pedersen, Associate Professor, Sámi University College, and Subsistence Salmon Fisherman

BREAKOUT SESSION D: ARCTIC LESSONS FOR THE HIMALAYAN/THIRD POLE REGION

Organized by the Climate Research Fund, the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) and the Skoll Global Threats Fund

PARTICIPANTS:

Frederik Paulsen, Founder, Paulsen Editions

Yao Tandong, Director, Institute of Tibetan Plateau Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences

Mihir Shah, Member, Planning Commission, Government of India

David James Molden, Director General, International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD)

Pema Gyamtsho, Member, Parliament of Bhutan

Linxiu Zhang, Professor and Deputy Director, Centre for Chinese Agricultural Policy, Chinese Academy of Sciences

Anil Kulkarni, Scientist, Indian Institute of Science

Eklabya Sharma, Director, Programme Operations, International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD)

Anil Gupta, Director, Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology

Ghulam Rasul, Chief Meteorologist, Pakistan Meteorological Department

Ravi Singh, Secretary-General and Chief Executive Officer, World Wildlife Fund (WWF) India

Arunabha Ghosh, Chief Executive Officer, Council on Energy, Environment and Water (CEEW)

Mahmood Akhtar Cheema, Country Representative, International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Pakistan

Ravindra Kumar Shakya, Vice Chairman, National Planning Commission of Nepal

Napa Bikram Kishore Tripura, Secretary, Ministry of Chittagong Hill Tracts Affairs of Bangladesh

Atiq Rahman, Executive Director, Bangladesh Centre for Advanced Studies

Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad, Chairman, Palli Karma-Sahayak Foundation

Karma Toeb, Glaciologist, Department of Geology and Mines, Bhutan

Ganesh Pangare, Head, Water Programme, International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Thailand

BREAKOUT SESSION E: UNIVERSITY OF THE ARCTIC: BOARD OF GOVERNORS MEETING

Closed Meeting (By Invitation Only)
UArctic is a cooperative network of more than 150 universities, colleges and other organizations dedicated to education, research and the promotion of indigenous and local capacities and sustainable development in the circumpolar North.

BREAKOUT SESSION F: THE SCIENCE OF ICE: GLOBAL RESEARCH COOPERATION

Organized by the Icelandic Centre for Research (RANNIS) and the International Arctic Science Committee (IASC)

Participants from RANNIS, the International Arctic Science Committee (IASC), the Alfred Wegener Institute, the Polar Research Institute of China, the U.S. Arctic Research Commission, Le Cercle Polaire, the Council of Managers of National Antarctic Programs (COMNAP) and other Arctic organizations and scientific institutions

SPEAKERS:

Edward Itta, Commissioner, U.S. Arctic Research Commission

Li Yuansheng, Deputy Director, Polar Research Institute of China (PRIC)

Karin Lochte, Chair, Alfred Wegener Institute

Laurent Mayet, Director, Le Cercle Polaire, and Special Advisor to Michel Rocard

Olav Orheim, Member, Scientific and Technical Committee, Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation
CHAIR:

Thorsteinn Gunnarsson, Head, Division of Evaluation and Analysis, Icelandic Centre for Research (RANNIS), and Council Member, International Arctic Science Committee (IASC)
RAPPORTEUR:

Amy L. Wiita, President and Principal Research Scientist, Cinza Research LLC

BREAKOUT SESSION G: ICE2SEA CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE INTERGOVERNMENTAL PANEL ON CLIMATE CHANGE REPORT: UNDERSTANDING ICE LOSS AND SEA-LEVEL RISE

Organized by the British Antarctic Survey
SPEAKERS:

David Vaughan, Science Leader, British Antarctic Survey

Guðfinna Aðalgeirsdóttir, Assistant Professor, Faculty of Earth Sciences, University of Iceland

BREAKOUT SESSION H: BUILDING CAPACITY IN ABORIGINAL COMMUNITIES: RELEVANT AND ACCESSIBLE EDUCATION IN THE NORTH

Organized by Yukon College
SPEAKERS:

Tosh Southwick, Director, First Nation Initiatives, Yukon College

Karen Barnes, President, Yukon College

BREAKOUT SESSION I: FILM SCREENING: “VANISHING POINT”

Organized by Meltwater Media

This documentary tells the story of two Inuit communities—one on Canada’s Baffin Island, the other in Northwest Greenland—and explores the consequences of rapid social and environmental change. The screening will be followed by a question-and-answer session with the director.

19:00OPEN RECEPTION AT HARPA19:30–22:30RECEPTION AND DINNER (BY INVITATION)

Hosted by Guggenheim Partners

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 13

07:30–08:30 COFFEE SOCIAL

Hosted by Arion Bank08:30–10:15PLENARY SESSIONS

PLENARY SESSION 9: NORTHERN SEA ROUTES: A NEW ERA IN GLOBAL SHIPPING (08:30–09:45)

SPEAKERS:

Yunpeng Li, President, China Ocean Shipping (Group) Co. (COSCO Group)

Dmitry Pourim, Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer, Sovfracht

Gylfi Sigfússon, President and Chief Executive Officer, Eimskip

Nils Andersen, Group Chief Executive Officer, A.P. Moller-Maersk

Ásbjörn Gíslason, Chief Executive Officer, Samskip
CHAIR:

Felix H. Tschudi, Chairman and Owner, Tschudi Group
The Russian Legislative Framework for the Northern Sea Route

SPEAKERS:

Mikhail Slipenchuk, Deputy, State Duma, Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation

PLENARY SESSION 10: ARCTIC BUSINESS COOPERATION: INVESTOR OUTLOOK (09:45–10:15)

SPEAKER:

Scott Minerd, Global Chief Investment Officer, Guggenheim Partners

10:15–10:30BREAK10:30–13:00PLENARY SESSIONS

PLENARY SESSION 11: LAW OF THE SEA (10:30–11:30)

Organized by the Symposium on Polar Law
SPEAKERS:

Erik Franckx, Professor of International Law, Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB)

Tomas H. Heidar, Legal Adviser, Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Iceland

Bjarni Már Magnússon, Specialist, School of Law, Reykjavík University

Larry Mayer, Professor of Earth Science and Ocean Engineering, University of New Hampshire

Philip Steinberg, Professor of Political Geography, Durham University
CHAIR:

Bosse Hedberg, Ambassador of Sweden to Iceland

PLENARY SESSION 12: THE ALASKAN STATE OF THE ARCTIC (11:30–12:15)

Underwritten by Ukpea?vik Iñupiat Corp.

SPEAKERS:

Lisa Murkowski, U.S. Senator

Mead Treadwell, Lieutenant Governor, State of Alaska

Reggie Joule, Mayor, Northwest Arctic Borough, Alaska
CHAIR:

Scott Borgerson, Chief Executive Officer, CargoMetrics Inc.
VIDEO MESSAGE:

Mark Begich, U.S. Senator

PLENARY SESSION 13: RUSSIA AND THE ARCTIC (12:15–13:00)

SPEAKER:

Artur Chilingarov, Explorer and Special Envoy of President Vladimir Putin to the Arctic
CHAIR:

Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson, President, Iceland

13:00–13:30LUNCH13:30–15:00BREAKOUT SESSIONS (WORKING LUNCHES)

Lunch will be provided

BREAKOUT SESSION A: ARCTIC SECURITY (CONTINUED)

Organized by the Northern Research Forum (NRF) and the UArctic-NRF Thematic Network on Geopolitics and Security
Future History of (State) Sovereignty and (National) Security in the Globalized Arctic

SPEAKERS:

Sandra Maria Rodrigues Balão, Assistant Professor, Technical University of Lisbon

Andreas Raspotnik, Research Fellow, University of Cologne

Alexander Sergunin, Professor, School of International Relations, St. Petersburg State University

Dorothée Cambou, Ph.D. Candidate, Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB)

Heather N. Nicol, Associate Professor, Department of Geography, Trent University

BREAKOUT SESSION D: ARCTIC LESSONS FOR THE HIMALAYAN/THIRD POLE REGION (CONTINUED AS NEEDED)

Organized by the Climate Research Fund, the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) and the Skoll Global Threats Fund

BREAKOUT SESSION J: POLAR LAW

Organized by the Symposium on Polar Law
Arctic Resource Development: Arctic Energy Meets Polar Law

SPEAKERS:

Mikhail Babenko, Oil & Gas Officer, Global Arctic Program, World Wildlife Fund (WWF)

Niels Einarsson, Director, Stefansson Arctic Institute

Theodore L. Rockwell, Alaska Regional Coordinator, Business Development, Energy and Environment, Battelle Memorial Institute

Larry Mayer, Professor of Earth Science and Ocean Engineering, University of New Hampshire

Maaike Knol, Researcher, Norwegian College of Fishery Science, Faculty of Biosciences, Fisheries and Economics, University of Tromsø
CHAIR:

Betsy Baker, Associate Professor and Senior Fellow for Oceans and Energy, Institute for Energy and the Environment, Vermont Law School

BREAKOUT SESSION K: ARCTIC INFRASTRUCTURE AND INVESTMENT: THE VIEW FROM ALASKA

Organized by the Arctic Imperative Summit, Olgoonik Corp. and Pt Capital

Investment in the Arctic: A Careful Balance

SPEAKERS:

Hugh Patkotak Sr., Chairman of the Board of Directors, Olgoonik Corp.

Mary Jane Lang, Chief Executive Officer, Olgoonik Corp.

Kevin Hand, President, Commercial Division, Olgoonik Corp.

James Pass, Managing Director, Guggenheim Partners

Hugh Short, Chief Executive Officer, Pt Capital

CHAIR:

Alice Rogoff, Publisher, Alaska Dispatch
Ports and Infrastructure

SPEAKERS:

Gail R. Schubert, President and Chief Executive Officer, Bering Straits Native Corp.

Mark L. Smith, Chief Executive Officer, Vitus Energy, and Former Mayor, Aleknagik, Alaska

Bob Herron, Representative, Alaska House of Representatives

CHAIR:

Alice Rogoff, Publisher, Alaska Dispatch

BREAKOUT SESSION L: THE ARCTIC INSTITUTE: INTERDISCIPLINARY ARCTIC CLIMATE AND ECOSYSTEM CHANGE

SPEAKERS:

Cecilia Bitz, Professor, Atmospheric Sciences, University of Washington

Michael Macrander, Science Lead, Shell Alaska

Mark Myers, Vice Chancellor for Research, University of Alaska Fairbanks

Eric Steig, Professor, Earth and Space Sciences, University of Washington
CHAIR:

Fran Ulmer, Chair, U.S. Arctic Research Commission

BREAKOUT SESSION M: FINNAFJORD HARBOR: A NEW HUB IN THE CENTRAL NORTH ATLANTIC

SPEAKERS:

Hafsteinn Helgason, Director of Business Development, EFLA Consulting Engineers

Robert Howe, Managing Director, Bremenports

BREAKOUT SESSION N: HEALTH AND WELL-BEING IN THE ARCTIC

Organized by the University of Akureyri

SPEAKERS:

Elín Ebba Ásmundsdóttir, Associate Professor, University of Akureyri

Árún K. Sigurðardóttir, Professor, University of Akureyri

Kristín Þórarinsdóttir, Lecturer, University of Akureyri

Kristín Guðmundsdóttir, Assistant Professor, University of Akureyri
CHAIR:

Kristinn P. Magnússon, Professor, University of Akureyri and Icelandic Institute of Natural History

BREAKOUT SESSION O: ARCTIC BIODIVERSITY CONSERVATION

Organized by Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna (CAFF), the biodiversity working group of the Arctic Council

Presentation, film screening and question-and-answer period

SPEAKER:

Tom Barry, Executive Secretary, Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna (CAFF)

Lawrence Hislop, Head, Polar Division, GRID-Arendal, United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)

BREAKOUT SESSION P: THE EMERGING RISKS AND THE ARCTIC BIOECONOMY

Organized by Matís and the University of Iceland’s Research Centre in Suðurnes, Iceland

SPEAKERS:

Guðmundur Halldórsson, Research Coordinator, Soil Conservation Service of Iceland

Halldór Pálmar Halldórsson, Director, Suðurnes Research Centre, University of Iceland

Hrönn Ólína Jörundsdóttir, Project Manager, Matís

Sigrún Elsa Smáradóttir, Research Group Leader, Matís
CHAIR:

Helga Gunnlaugsdóttir, Research Group Leader, Matís

BREAKOUT SESSION Q: ARCTIC RESOURCE DEVELOPMENT AND INDIGENOUS RELIGIOUS RIGHTS

Organized by the Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Rights in Constitutional and International Law at the University of Saskatchewan

SPEAKERS:

Michelle Biddulph, Juris Doctor Candidate and Researcher, University of Saskatchewan College of Law

Lorelle Binnion, Juris Doctor Candidate and Researcher, University of Saskatchewan College of Law
CHAIR:

Dwight Newman, Professor and Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Rights in Constitutional and International Law, University of Saskatchewan College of Law

BREAKOUT SESSION R: SELLING THE CLIMATE CRISIS MESSAGE

SPEAKER:

Richard Greene, Author and Communication Coach

15:15–18:00PLENARY SESSIONS

PLENARY SESSION 14: A CONVERSATION WITH ERIC SCHMIDT (15:15–16:15)

SPEAKER:

Eric Schmidt, Executive Chairman, Google
CHAIR:

Alice Rogoff, Publisher, Alaska Dispatch

PLENARY SESSION 15: ARCTIC LESSONS FOR THE HIMALAYAN/THIRD POLE REGION (16:15–18:00)

SPEAKERS:

Yao Tandong, Director, Institute of Tibetan Plateau Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences

Larry Brilliant, President, Skoll Global Threats Fund

Kuupik Kleist, Member, Parliament of Greenland

David James Molden, Director General, International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD)
CHAIR:

Arjun Gupta, Founder and Managing Partner, TeleSoft Partners

MONDAY, OCTOBER 14

07:30–08:30 COFFEE SOCIAL

Hosted by EFLA Consulting Engineers08:30–10:50PLENARY SESSIONS

PLENARY SESSION 16: THE FUTURE OF ARCTIC COOPERATION (08:30–09:50)

SPEAKERS:

Gunnar Bragi Sveinsson, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Iceland

Michel Rocard, Former Prime Minister of France and Special Envoy of President François Hollande

Kuupik Kleist, Member, Parliament of Greenland

Aqqaluk Lynge, Chair, Inuit Circumpolar Council
CHAIR:

Alice Rogoff, Publisher, Alaska Dispatch

PLENARY SESSION 17: THE FUTURE OF ARCTIC TOURISM (09:50–10:50)

SPEAKERS:

Gao Jie, General Manager, CTS Shanghai Private Overseas Affairs Co. Ltd.

Alain A. Grenier, Professor, Urban Studies and Tourism, Université du Québec à Montréal
CHAIR:

Sven-Olof Lindblad, President and Founder, Lindblad Expeditions

10:50–11:05COFFEE BREAK11:05–13:00PLENARY SESSIONS

PLENARY SESSION 18: POLAR LAW: THE RIGHTS OF INDIGENOUS PEOPLES (11:05–12:05)

SPEAKERS:

Edward Itta, Commissioner, U.S. Arctic Research Commission

Alexey Tsykarev, Member, Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, United Nations Human Rights Council
CHAIR:

Gudmundur Alfredsson, Professor of International Law and Human Rights, University of Akureyri

PLENARY SESSION 19: THE POWER OF MAPS (12:05–12:40)

SPEAKER:

Jenifer Austin Foulkes, Manager, Ocean Program, Google (Mapping Demo)

PLENARY SESSION 20: THE ARCTIC AT YOUR FINGERTIPS: NEW INFORMATION SOLUTIONS (12:40–13:00)

SPEAKER:

Andrey Suleykov, Chief Executive Officer, Appreal

13:00–14:30BREAKOUT SESSIONS (WORKING LUNCHES)

Lunch will be provided

BREAKOUT SESSION A: ARCTIC SECURITY (CONTINUED)

Organized by the Northern Research Forum (NRF) and the UArctic-NRF Thematic Network on Geopolitics and Security

Historical, Current and Future North Atlantic Security: Microstates, Small States, Middle Powers and Superpowers

SPEAKERS:

Rasmus Gjedssø Bertelsen, Assistant Professor, Aalborg University

Gustav Pétursson, Ph.D. Candidate, University of Iceland

Maria Ackrén, Associate Professor in Political Science, University of Greenland

Beinta í Jákupsstovu, Associate Professor of Social Science, University of the Faroe Islands

Michael Corgan, Professor, Department of International Relations, Boston University

Gunhild Hoogensen Gjørv, Associate Professor of Political Science, University of Tromsø

BREAKOUT SESSION D: ARCTIC LESSONS FOR THE HIMALAYAN/THIRD POLE REGION (CONTINUED AS NEEDED)

Organized by the Climate Research Fund, the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) and the Skoll Global Threats Fund

BREAKOUT SESSION J: POLAR LAW (CONTINUED)

Organized by the Symposium on Polar Law

SPEAKERS:

Julia Jabour, Program Leader, Ocean and Antarctic Governance, Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies, University of Tasmania

Jeffrey Smith, Ph.D. Candidate, Faculty of Law, McGill University
CHAIR:

Gunhild Hoogensen Gjørv, Associate Professor of Political Science, University of Tromsø

BREAKOUT SESSION S: ALASKA ARCTIC POLICY COMMISSION REPORT

SPEAKERS:

Bob Herron, Representative, Alaska House of Representatives

Lesil McGuire, Senator, Alaska Senate

BREAKOUT SESSION T: ARCTIC TRANSPORTATION AND RESPONSE INFRASTRUCTURE: BUILDING HUMAN CAPACITY
Workforce Development, Training and Education for Maritime and Response Activities

Organized by the Institute of the North

SPEAKERS:

Captain David (Duke) Snider, Vice President, Nautical Institute

Lawson Brigham, Professor, Geography and Arctic Policy, University of Alaska Fairbanks

CHAIR:

Nils Andreassen, Executive Director, Institute of the North

BREAKOUT SESSION U: THE DYNAMIC NORTH: SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

Organized by the School of Engineering and Natural Sciences at the University of Iceland
SPEAKERS:

Árný Erla Sveinbjörnsdóttir, Research Scientist, Institute of Earth Sciences, University of Iceland

Þóra Ellen Þórhallsdóttir, Professor, Faculty of Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Iceland

Snæbjörn Pálsson, Professor, Faculty of Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Iceland

Gunnar Stefánsson, Professor, Faculty of Industrial Engineering, Mechanical Engineering and Computer Science, University of Iceland

Anna Karlsdóttir, Assistant Professor, Faculty of Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Iceland

Ármann Höskuldsson, Research Professor, Institute of Earth Sciences, University of Iceland

Bryndís Brandsdóttir, Research Scientist, Science Institute, University of Iceland

Björn Karlsson, Associate Professor, Faculty of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Iceland

CHAIR:

Ingibjörg Jónsdóttir, Associate Professor, Faculty of Earth Sciences, University of Iceland

BREAKOUT SESSION V: EMERGING TRENDS IN THE WEST-NORDIC ARCTIC: SOCIO-ECONOMIC AND CULTURAL-HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVES

Organized by the Centre for Arctic Policy Studies (CAPS) at the University of Iceland
SPEAKERS:

Guðni Th. Jóhannesson, Assistant Professor of History, University of Iceland

Sigríður Huld Blöndal, International Relations, University of Iceland

Kristinn Schram, Director and Postdoctoral Researcher, Centre for Arctic Policy Studies (CAPS), University of Iceland

Lára Jóhannsdóttir, Postdoctoral Researcher, School of Business, University of Iceland

Egill Þór Níelsson, Researcher, Polar Research Institute of China (PRIC)

Þórður Þórarinsson, Secretary-General, West Nordic Council Secretariat

Aðalheiður Guðmundsdóttir, Associate Professor of Folkloristics and Ethnology, University of Iceland
CHAIR:

Margrét Cela, Project Manager, Centre for Arctic Policy Studies (CAPS), University of Iceland, and Ph.D. Candidate, University of Lapland

BREAKOUT SESSION W: ARCGIS: A MAPPING PLATFORM FOR ARCTIC RESEARCH

Organized by Esri

SPEAKER:

Drew Stephens, Oceans Manager, Esri

BREAKOUT SESSION X: OIL, GAS AND MINING DEVELOPMENTS IN THE WESTERN (NON-RUSSIAN) ARCTIC

Organized by Tactical Marine Solutions Ltd.

CHAIR:

Dermot Loughnane, Chief Executive Officer, Tactical Marine Solutions Ltd.

BREAKOUT SESSION Y: COOPERATION BETWEEN CLUSTERS

Organized by the Icelandic Joint Committee on Arctic Affairs, the Icelandic Arctic Cooperation Network, the Icelandic-Arctic Chamber of Commerce and the Arctic Services

SPEAKER:

Hákon Gunnarsson, Chief Executive Officer, Gekon

Thorsteinn Gunnarsson, Head, Division of Evaluation and Analysis, Icelandic Centre for Research (RANNIS), and Council Member, International Arctic Science Committee (IASC)

Heiðar Már Guðjónsson, Chairman of the Board, Eykon Energy

Embla Eir Oddsdóttir, Director, Icelandic Arctic Cooperation Network

Thorvaldur Ludvik Sigurjonsson, Managing Director, Eyjafjordur Business Development Agency
CHAIR:

Pétur Reimarsson, Director of Policymaking and Communications, Confederation of Icelandic Employers

BREAKOUT SESSION Z: CLIMATE CHANGE IN THE ARCTIC

Organized by the University of Akureyri

SPEAKERS:

Thomas H. McGovern, Professor, City University of New York

Jón Haukur Ingimundarson, Associate Professor, University of Akureyri and Stefansson Arctic Institute

Kristinn P. Magnússon, Professor, University of Akureyri and Icelandic Institute of Natural History

Hreiðar Þór Valtýsson, Assistant Professor, University of Akureyri
CHAIR:

Guðrún Rósa Þórsteinsdóttir, Director, University of Akureyri Research Centre and Northern Research Forum Secretariat

BREAKOUT SESSION AA: ARCTIC FORUM FOUNDATION

Invitation-Only Meeting for Arctic Business Round Table Partners

BREAKOUT SESSION BB: MITIGATING RAPID CLIMATE CHANGE IN THE CRYOSPHERE: BLACK CARBON AND SHORT-LIVED POLLUTANTS

Organized by the International Cryosphere Climate Initiative (ICCI)

Preview of the Cryosphere and Development Report, to be released by the World Bank and the ICCI for the 19th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 19)

SPEAKERS:

Pam Pearson, Director, International Cryosphere Climate Initiative (ICCI)

Lars Nordberg, Senior Advisor, Atmospheric Brown Cloud Project, United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)

Speakers from the Arctic Council, ICIMOD and Others

13:00–14:30LUNCH

MUSICAL PERFORMER:

Paul D. Miller (DJ Spooky)

INTRODUCTION:

Ross A. Virginia, Director, Institute of Arctic Studies, Dartmouth College

Following the performance, Mr. Miller will sign copies of “The Book of Ice,” which explores the impact of climate change on Antarctica through the prism of digital media and contemporary music compositions14:30–16:15PLENARY SESSIONS

PLENARY SESSION 21: THE REPUBLIC OF KOREA IN THE ARCTIC (14:30–15:15)

SPEAKERS:

Ahn Chong-Ghee, Deputy Minister for Economic Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Republic of Korea

Kim Jong-Deog, Research Fellow, Korea Maritime Institute

PLENARY SESSION 22: GREENLAND’S PERSPECTIVE ON THE ARCTIC (15:15–16:15)

SPEAKERS:

Klaus Georg Hansen, Head of Institute, University of Greenland

Tønnes Berthelsen, Deputy Manager, KNAPK (Association of Fishermen and Hunters in Greenland)

Johan Rasmussen, Royal Arctic Line

Naja Carina Steenholdt, Student, University of Greenland
CHAIR:

Kuupik Kleist, Member, Parliament of Greenland

16:15–17:00NETWORKING BREAK17:00–21:00FINAL BREAKOUT SESSIONS

BREAKOUT SESSION A: ARCTIC SECURITY (CONTINUED AS NEEDED)

Organized by the Northern Research Forum (NRF) and the UArctic-NRF Thematic Network on Geopolitics and Security

BREAKOUT SESSION D: ARCTIC LESSONS FOR THE HIMALAYAN/THIRD POLE REGION (CONTINUED AS NEEDED)

Organized by the Climate Research Fund, the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) and the Skoll Global Threats Fund

BREAKOUT SESSION J: POLAR LAW (CONTINUED)

Organized by the Symposium on Polar Law
Environmental Law, Including Access to Justice and the Aarhus Convention

SPEAKERS:

Sébastien Duyck, Researcher, Northern Institute for Environmental and Minority Law, Arctic Centre, University of Lapland

Rachael Lorna Johnstone, Professor, Faculty of Law, University of Akureyri

Simon Marsden, Associate Professor, Flinders Law School, Flinders University
CHAIR:

Timo Koivurova, Research Professor and Director, Northern Institute for Environmental and Minority Law, Arctic Centre, University of Lapland

BREAKOUT SESSION U: THE DYNAMIC NORTH: SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY (CONTINUED AS NEEDED)

Organized by the School of Engineering and Natural Sciences at the University of Iceland

BREAKOUT SESSION V: EMERGING TRENDS IN THE WEST-NORDIC ARCTIC: SOCIO-ECONOMIC AND CULTURAL-HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVES (CONTINUED AS NEEDED)

Organized by the Centre for Arctic Policy Studies (CAPS) at the University of Iceland

BREAKOUT SESSION CC: ARCTIC CIRCLE: EVALUATION AND NEXT STEPS

Meeting of Representatives from Participating Organizations

BREAKOUT SESSION DD: ICE NAVIGATOR PROJECT: FINAL STEPS TO A GLOBAL STANDARD

Organized by the Nautical Institute
SPEAKER:

Captain David (Duke) Snider, Vice President, Nautical Institute

BREAKOUT SESSION EE: ALEUTIAN ISLANDS RISK ASSESSMENT: REDUCING HAZARDS AND CONSEQUENCES OF MARITIME TRANSPORTATION NEAR THE ARCTIC

Organized by Nuka Research and Planning Group
SPEAKER:

Sierra Fletcher, Senior Program Manager, Nuka Research and Planning Group

BREAKOUT SESSION FF: AN OPEN-SOURCE DECISION MODEL FOR STRATEGIC PLANNING FOR THE ARCTIC REGION

Organized by Reykjavík University
SPEAKERS:

Þórður Víkingur Friðgeirsson, Assistant Professor, School of Science and Engineering, Reykjavík University

Páll Jensson, Professor, School of Science and Engineering, Reykjavík University

þorgeir Pálsson, Professor, School of Science and Engineering, Reykjavík University

Hlynur Stefánsson, Assistant Professor, School of Science and Engineering, Reykjavík University

BREAKOUT SESSION GG: EDUCATIONAL AND SCIENTIFIC ARCTIC EXPEDITION OF THE FAR EASTERN FLOATING UNIVERSITY

Organized by Maritime State University Named After Admiral G.I. Nevelskoi

PARTICIPANTS:

Pavel Salyuk, Maritime State University and V.I. Il’ichev Pacific Oceanological Institute, Far Eastern Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences

Denis Burov, Maritime State University

Ekaterina Sokolova, Maritime State University and Institute of Automation and Control Processes, Far Eastern Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences

19:00MEETING OF ARCTIC CIRCLE HONORARY AND ADVISORY BOARDS

Outcomes and Next Steps

PROGRAM DRAFT | CONFIRMED SESSIONS AND SPEAKERS

(Last updated on October 7, 2013.)

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 11

18:00–20:00 WELCOME RECEPTION
Reykjavík Art Museum

Hosted by Arctia Shipping

Music by Guitar Islancio

 

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 12

07:30–08:30 COFFEE SOCIAL

Hosted by Olgoonik Corp. and Pt Capital08:30–10:10PLENARY SESSIONS

PLENARY SESSION 1: OPENING SESSION (08:30–10:10)

SPEAKERS:

Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson, President, Iceland

Aleqa Hammond, Premier, Greenland

Kaj Leo Holm Johannesen, Prime Minister, Faroe Islands

Lisa Murkowski, U.S. Senator

Patrick Borbey, Chair, Senior Arctic Officials, Arctic Council, and President, Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency (CanNor)

Anton Vasiliev, Ambassador at Large, Arctic Cooperation, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Russia
CHAIR:

Alice Rogoff, Publisher, Alaska Dispatch
VIDEO MESSAGES:

Hillary Rodham Clinton, Former Secretary of State, United States

Ban Ki-Moon, Secretary-General, United Nations

HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco

10:10–10:25COFFEE BREAK

Hosted by Esri

10:25–13:10PLENARY SESSIONS

PLENARY SESSION 2: CLIMATE CHANGE: A PLAN FOR ACTION? (10:25–11:45)

VIDEO MESSAGE:

Al Gore, Former Vice President, United States, and Nobel Laureate
SPEAKERS:

Enric Sala, Explorer-in-Residence, National Geographic Society

Tom Harkin, U.S. Senator

Mark Halle, Vice President, International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD)

Sergio C. Trindade, President, SE2T International, and Nobel Laureate

Johan van de Gronden, Chief Executive Officer, World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Netherlands

Ghislaine Maxwell, Founder, The TerraMar Project
CHAIR:

Olav Orheim, Member, Scientific and Technical Committee, Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation

PLENARY SESSION 3: SHORT FILM: “LAST HOURS” (11:45–11:55)

“Last Hours” is the first in a series of short films from Tree Media Foundation that explore the perils of climate change and the solutions to avert climate disaster.

PLENARY SESSION 4: ARCTIC ICE MELT: GLOBAL WEATHER EVENTS (11:55–13:10)

VIDEO MESSAGE:

Rajendra K. Pachauri, Chair, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), and Nobel Laureate
SPEAKERS:

Li Yuansheng, Deputy Director, Polar Research Institute of China (PRIC)

Karin Lochte, Chair, Alfred Wegener Institute

Minik Rosing, Professor, Natural History Museum of Denmark, University of Copenhagen

Helgi Björnsson, Research Professor, Institute of Earth Sciences, University of Iceland

Ingibjörg Jónsdóttir, Associate Professor, Faculty of Earth Sciences, University of Iceland
CHAIR:

Alexander Borodin, MHC (Services) Ltd.
VIDEO MESSAGE:

James Balog, Photographer, National Geographic (“Chasing Ice”)

13:10–13:40LUNCH13:40–16:10PLENARY SESSIONS

PLENARY SESSION 5: SINGAPORE IN THE ARCTIC (13:40–14:15)

SPEAKER:

Sam Tan Chin Siong, Senior Parliamentary Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Singapore

PLENARY SESSION 6: ARCTIC GEOPOLITICS (14:15–14:45)

SPEAKER:

Strobe Talbott, President, Brookings Institution

PLENARY SESSION 7: ARCTIC ENERGY COOPERATION (14:45–16:00)

Arctic Energy Summit Report

SPEAKER:

Nils Andreassen, Executive Director, Institute of the North
Oil and Gas: Problems and Possibilities

SPEAKERS:

Heiðar Már Guðjónsson, Chairman of the Board, Eykon Energy

Rúni M. Hansen, Vice President, Arctic Unit, Statoil

Anthony Hodge, President, International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM)

Jörg Ranau, Deputy Director-General for Economic Affairs, Federal Foreign Office, Germany

Bae Sung-Ho, Senior Researcher, Global Energy Cooperation Center, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Republic of Korea
CHAIR:

Charles K. Ebinger, Director, Energy Security Initiative, Brookings Institution

PLENARY SESSION 8: LAUNCH OF ARCTIC YEARBOOK 2013: THE ARCTIC OF REGIONS VS. THE GLOBALIZED ARCTIC (16:00–16:10)

SPEAKER:

Lassi Heininen, Professor, University of Lapland, and Editor, Arctic Yearbook

Heather Exner-Pirot, Post-Doctoral Fellow, Johnson-Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy, University of Saskatchewan, and Co-Managing Editor, Arctic Yearbook

16:10–19:00BREAKOUT SESSIONSThese and the other breakout sessions in this agenda are organized by the participating organizations.

BREAKOUT SESSION A: ARCTIC SECURITY

Organized by the Northern Research Forum (NRF) and the UArctic-NRF Thematic Network on Geopolitics and Security
Changes in a State of Security in the Arctic

SPEAKERS:

Lassi Heininen, Professor, University of Lapland

Heather Exner-Pirot, Post-Doctoral Fellow, Johnson-Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy, University of Saskatchewan

Michal Luszczuk, Faculty Member, Jan Kochanowski University in Kielce

Steven Lamy, Professor of International Relations and Vice Dean for Academic Programs, Dana and David Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences, University of Southern California
The Nexus of Extractive Industries, the Environment and Climate Change: An Arctic (Security) Paradox

SPEAKERS:

Margrét Cela, Project Manager, Centre for Arctic Policy Studies (CAPS), University of Iceland, and Ph.D. Candidate, University of Lapland

Sóley Kaldal, Ph.D. Candidate, University of Iceland

Baozhi Cheng, Research Fellow, Shanghai Institutes for International Studies (SIIS)

Aki Tonami, Researcher, Nordic Institute of Asian Studies (NIAS), University of Copenhagen

Matthias Finger, Professor, École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL)

BREAKOUT SESSION B: BUSINESS COOPERATION: INDUSTRY LEADERSHIP AND COLLABORATION FOR RESPONSIBLE ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT OF THE ARCTIC

Organized by the World Ocean Council
SPEAKERS:

Sarah Barton, Chief Strategy Officer, Arctic Fibre Inc. and Quintillion Networks

Robert J. Blaauw, Senior Advisor, Global Arctic Theme, Shell International Exploration and Production B.V.

Sven-Olof Lindblad, President and Founder, Lindblad Expeditions

Gylfi Sigfússon, President and Chief Executive Officer, Eimskip

Mikael Thinghuus, Chief Executive Officer, Royal Greenland A/S
CHAIR:

Paul Holthus, Chief Executive Officer, World Ocean Council
Arctic Industry Panel: Industry Perspectives on Responsible Economic Development in the Arctic and the Value of Business Cooperation

MODERATOR:

Hans Christian Krarup, Denmark Country Director, Golder Associates

Panel Discussion: Further Developing an Arctic Business Leadership Council and Multi-Industry Collaboration and Leadership on Responsible Business Development in the Arctic Region

MODERATOR:

Tim Lunel, Support and Development Director, International Tankers Owners Pollution Federation (ITOPF)

Open Forum Discussion with the Arctic Business Community: Advancing Business Cooperation and Developing the Structure and Process for Fostering Cooperation

MODERATOR:

Theodore L. Rockwell, Alaska Regional Coordinator, Business Development, Energy and Environment, Battelle Memorial Institute

BREAKOUT SESSION C: HUNTERS AND FISHERMEN: FIRST-HAND OBSERVATIONS AND PERSPECTIVES

SPEAKERS:

Tønnes Berthelsen, Deputy Manager, KNAPK (Association of Fishermen and Hunters in Greenland)

Raychelle Daniel, Senior Associate, U.S. Arctic Program, Pew Environment Group

Anders J. H. Eira, Economist and Reindeer Herder

Steinar Pedersen, Associate Professor, Sámi University College, and Subsistence Salmon Fisherman

BREAKOUT SESSION D: ARCTIC LESSONS FOR THE HIMALAYAN/THIRD POLE REGION

Organized by the Climate Research Fund, the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) and the Skoll Global Threats Fund

PARTICIPANTS:

Frederik Paulsen, Founder, Paulsen Editions

Yao Tandong, Director, Institute of Tibetan Plateau Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences

Mihir Shah, Member, Planning Commission, Government of India

David James Molden, Director General, International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD)

Pema Gyamtsho, Member, Parliament of Bhutan

Linxiu Zhang, Professor and Deputy Director, Centre for Chinese Agricultural Policy, Chinese Academy of Sciences

Anil Kulkarni, Scientist, Indian Institute of Science

Eklabya Sharma, Director, Programme Operations, International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD)

Anil Gupta, Director, Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology

Ghulam Rasul, Chief Meteorologist, Pakistan Meteorological Department

Ravi Singh, Secretary-General and Chief Executive Officer, World Wildlife Fund (WWF) India

Arunabha Ghosh, Chief Executive Officer, Council on Energy, Environment and Water (CEEW)

Mahmood Akhtar Cheema, Country Representative, International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Pakistan

Ravindra Kumar Shakya, Vice Chairman, National Planning Commission of Nepal

Napa Bikram Kishore Tripura, Secretary, Ministry of Chittagong Hill Tracts Affairs of Bangladesh

Atiq Rahman, Executive Director, Bangladesh Centre for Advanced Studies

Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad, Chairman, Palli Karma-Sahayak Foundation

Karma Toeb, Glaciologist, Department of Geology and Mines, Bhutan

Ganesh Pangare, Head, Water Programme, International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Thailand

BREAKOUT SESSION E: UNIVERSITY OF THE ARCTIC: BOARD OF GOVERNORS MEETING

Closed Meeting (By Invitation Only)
UArctic is a cooperative network of more than 150 universities, colleges and other organizations dedicated to education, research and the promotion of indigenous and local capacities and sustainable development in the circumpolar North.

BREAKOUT SESSION F: THE SCIENCE OF ICE: GLOBAL RESEARCH COOPERATION

Organized by the Icelandic Centre for Research (RANNIS) and the International Arctic Science Committee (IASC)

Participants from RANNIS, the International Arctic Science Committee (IASC), the Alfred Wegener Institute, the Polar Research Institute of China, the U.S. Arctic Research Commission, Le Cercle Polaire, the Council of Managers of National Antarctic Programs (COMNAP) and other Arctic organizations and scientific institutions

SPEAKERS:

Edward Itta, Commissioner, U.S. Arctic Research Commission

Li Yuansheng, Deputy Director, Polar Research Institute of China (PRIC)

Karin Lochte, Chair, Alfred Wegener Institute

Laurent Mayet, Director, Le Cercle Polaire, and Special Advisor to Michel Rocard

Olav Orheim, Member, Scientific and Technical Committee, Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation
CHAIR:

Thorsteinn Gunnarsson, Head, Division of Evaluation and Analysis, Icelandic Centre for Research (RANNIS), and Council Member, International Arctic Science Committee (IASC)
RAPPORTEUR:

Amy L. Wiita, President and Principal Research Scientist, Cinza Research LLC

BREAKOUT SESSION G: ICE2SEA CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE INTERGOVERNMENTAL PANEL ON CLIMATE CHANGE REPORT: UNDERSTANDING ICE LOSS AND SEA-LEVEL RISE

Organized by the British Antarctic Survey
SPEAKERS:

David Vaughan, Science Leader, British Antarctic Survey

Guðfinna Aðalgeirsdóttir, Assistant Professor, Faculty of Earth Sciences, University of Iceland

BREAKOUT SESSION H: BUILDING CAPACITY IN ABORIGINAL COMMUNITIES: RELEVANT AND ACCESSIBLE EDUCATION IN THE NORTH

Organized by Yukon College
SPEAKERS:

Tosh Southwick, Director, First Nation Initiatives, Yukon College

Karen Barnes, President, Yukon College

BREAKOUT SESSION I: FILM SCREENING: “VANISHING POINT”

Organized by Meltwater Media

This documentary tells the story of two Inuit communities—one on Canada’s Baffin Island, the other in Northwest Greenland—and explores the consequences of rapid social and environmental change. The screening will be followed by a question-and-answer session with the director.

19:00OPEN RECEPTION AT HARPA19:30–22:30RECEPTION AND DINNER (BY INVITATION)

Hosted by Guggenheim Partners

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 13

07:30–08:30 COFFEE SOCIALHosted by Arion Bank
08:30–10:15 PLENARY SESSIONS

PLENARY SESSION 9: NORTHERN SEA ROUTES: A NEW ERA IN GLOBAL SHIPPING (08:30–09:45)

SPEAKERS:

Yunpeng Li, President, China Ocean Shipping (Group) Co. (COSCO Group)

Dmitry Pourim, Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer, Sovfracht

Gylfi Sigfússon, President and Chief Executive Officer, Eimskip

Nils Andersen, Group Chief Executive Officer, A.P. Moller-Maersk

Ásbjörn Gíslason, Chief Executive Officer, Samskip
CHAIR:

Felix H. Tschudi, Chairman and Owner, Tschudi Group
The Russian Legislative Framework for the Northern Sea Route

SPEAKERS:

Mikhail Slipenchuk, Deputy, State Duma, Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation

PLENARY SESSION 10: ARCTIC BUSINESS COOPERATION: INVESTOR OUTLOOK (09:45–10:15)

SPEAKER:

Scott Minerd, Global Chief Investment Officer, Guggenheim Partners

10:15–10:30 BREAK
10:30–13:00 PLENARY SESSIONS

PLENARY SESSION 11: LAW OF THE SEA (10:30–11:30)

Organized by the Symposium on Polar Law
SPEAKERS:

Erik Franckx, Professor of International Law, Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB)

Tomas H. Heidar, Legal Adviser, Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Iceland

Bjarni Már Magnússon, Specialist, School of Law, Reykjavík University

Larry Mayer, Professor of Earth Science and Ocean Engineering, University of New Hampshire

Philip Steinberg, Professor of Political Geography, Durham University
CHAIR:

Bosse Hedberg, Ambassador of Sweden to Iceland

PLENARY SESSION 12: THE ALASKAN STATE OF THE ARCTIC (11:30–12:15)

Underwritten by Ukpea?vik Iñupiat Corp.

SPEAKERS:

Lisa Murkowski, U.S. Senator

Mead Treadwell, Lieutenant Governor, State of Alaska

Reggie Joule, Mayor, Northwest Arctic Borough, Alaska
CHAIR:

Scott Borgerson, Chief Executive Officer, CargoMetrics Inc.
VIDEO MESSAGE:

Mark Begich, U.S. Senator

PLENARY SESSION 13: RUSSIA AND THE ARCTIC (12:15–13:00)

SPEAKER:

Artur Chilingarov, Explorer and Special Envoy of President Vladimir Putin to the Arctic
CHAIR:

Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson, President, Iceland

13:00–13:30 LUNCH
13:30–15:00 BREAKOUT SESSIONS (WORKING LUNCHES)Lunch will be provided

BREAKOUT SESSION A: ARCTIC SECURITY (CONTINUED)

Organized by the Northern Research Forum (NRF) and the UArctic-NRF Thematic Network on Geopolitics and Security
Future History of (State) Sovereignty and (National) Security in the Globalized Arctic

SPEAKERS:

Sandra Maria Rodrigues Balão, Assistant Professor, Technical University of Lisbon

Andreas Raspotnik, Research Fellow, University of Cologne

Alexander Sergunin, Professor, School of International Relations, St. Petersburg State University

Dorothée Cambou, Ph.D. Candidate, Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB)

Heather N. Nicol, Associate Professor, Department of Geography, Trent University

BREAKOUT SESSION D: ARCTIC LESSONS FOR THE HIMALAYAN/THIRD POLE REGION (CONTINUED AS NEEDED)

Organized by the Climate Research Fund, the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) and the Skoll Global Threats Fund

BREAKOUT SESSION J: POLAR LAW

Organized by the Symposium on Polar Law
Arctic Resource Development: Arctic Energy Meets Polar Law

SPEAKERS:

Mikhail Babenko, Oil & Gas Officer, Global Arctic Program, World Wildlife Fund (WWF)

Niels Einarsson, Director, Stefansson Arctic Institute

Theodore L. Rockwell, Alaska Regional Coordinator, Business Development, Energy and Environment, Battelle Memorial Institute

Larry Mayer, Professor of Earth Science and Ocean Engineering, University of New Hampshire

Maaike Knol, Researcher, Norwegian College of Fishery Science, Faculty of Biosciences, Fisheries and Economics, University of Tromsø
CHAIR:

Betsy Baker, Associate Professor and Senior Fellow for Oceans and Energy, Institute for Energy and the Environment, Vermont Law School

BREAKOUT SESSION K: ARCTIC INFRASTRUCTURE AND INVESTMENT: THE VIEW FROM ALASKA

Organized by the Arctic Imperative Summit, Olgoonik Corp. and Pt Capital

Investment in the Arctic: A Careful Balance

SPEAKERS:

Hugh Patkotak Sr., Chairman of the Board of Directors, Olgoonik Corp.

Mary Jane Lang, Chief Executive Officer, Olgoonik Corp.

Kevin Hand, President, Commercial Division, Olgoonik Corp.

James Pass, Managing Director, Guggenheim Partners

Hugh Short, Chief Executive Officer, Pt Capital

CHAIR:

Alice Rogoff, Publisher, Alaska Dispatch
Ports and Infrastructure

SPEAKERS:

Gail R. Schubert, President and Chief Executive Officer, Bering Straits Native Corp.

Mark L. Smith, Chief Executive Officer, Vitus Energy, and Former Mayor, Aleknagik, Alaska

Bob Herron, Representative, Alaska House of Representatives

CHAIR:

Alice Rogoff, Publisher, Alaska Dispatch

BREAKOUT SESSION L: THE ARCTIC INSTITUTE: INTERDISCIPLINARY ARCTIC CLIMATE AND ECOSYSTEM CHANGE

SPEAKERS:

Cecilia Bitz, Professor, Atmospheric Sciences, University of Washington

Michael Macrander, Science Lead, Shell Alaska

Mark Myers, Vice Chancellor for Research, University of Alaska Fairbanks

Eric Steig, Professor, Earth and Space Sciences, University of Washington
CHAIR:

Fran Ulmer, Chair, U.S. Arctic Research Commission

BREAKOUT SESSION M: FINNAFJORD HARBOR: A NEW HUB IN THE CENTRAL NORTH ATLANTIC

SPEAKERS:

Hafsteinn Helgason, Director of Business Development, EFLA Consulting Engineers

Robert Howe, Managing Director, Bremenports

BREAKOUT SESSION N: HEALTH AND WELL-BEING IN THE ARCTIC

Organized by the University of Akureyri

SPEAKERS:

Elín Ebba Ásmundsdóttir, Associate Professor, University of Akureyri

Árún K. Sigurðardóttir, Professor, University of Akureyri

Kristín Þórarinsdóttir, Lecturer, University of Akureyri

Kristín Guðmundsdóttir, Assistant Professor, University of Akureyri
CHAIR:

Kristinn P. Magnússon, Professor, University of Akureyri and Icelandic Institute of Natural History

BREAKOUT SESSION O: ARCTIC BIODIVERSITY CONSERVATION

Organized by Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna (CAFF), the biodiversity working group of the Arctic Council

Presentation, film screening and question-and-answer period

SPEAKER:

Tom Barry, Executive Secretary, Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna (CAFF)

Lawrence Hislop, Head, Polar Division, GRID-Arendal, United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)

BREAKOUT SESSION P: THE EMERGING RISKS AND THE ARCTIC BIOECONOMY

Organized by Matís and the University of Iceland’s Research Centre in Suðurnes, Iceland

SPEAKERS:

Guðmundur Halldórsson, Research Coordinator, Soil Conservation Service of Iceland

Halldór Pálmar Halldórsson, Director, Suðurnes Research Centre, University of Iceland

Hrönn Ólína Jörundsdóttir, Project Manager, Matís

Sigrún Elsa Smáradóttir, Research Group Leader, Matís
CHAIR:

Helga Gunnlaugsdóttir, Research Group Leader, Matís

BREAKOUT SESSION Q: ARCTIC RESOURCE DEVELOPMENT AND INDIGENOUS RELIGIOUS RIGHTS

Organized by the Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Rights in Constitutional and International Law at the University of Saskatchewan

SPEAKERS:

Michelle Biddulph, Juris Doctor Candidate and Researcher, University of Saskatchewan College of Law

Lorelle Binnion, Juris Doctor Candidate and Researcher, University of Saskatchewan College of Law
CHAIR:

Dwight Newman, Professor and Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Rights in Constitutional and International Law, University of Saskatchewan College of Law

BREAKOUT SESSION R: SELLING THE CLIMATE CRISIS MESSAGE

SPEAKER:

Richard Greene, Author and Communication Coach

15:15–18:00 PLENARY SESSIONS

PLENARY SESSION 14: A CONVERSATION WITH ERIC SCHMIDT (15:15–16:15)

SPEAKER:

Eric Schmidt, Executive Chairman, Google
CHAIR:

Alice Rogoff, Publisher, Alaska Dispatch

PLENARY SESSION 15: ARCTIC LESSONS FOR THE HIMALAYAN/THIRD POLE REGION (16:15–18:00)

SPEAKERS:

Yao Tandong, Director, Institute of Tibetan Plateau Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences

Larry Brilliant, President, Skoll Global Threats Fund

Kuupik Kleist, Member, Parliament of Greenland

David James Molden, Director General, International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD)
CHAIR:

Arjun Gupta, Founder and Managing Partner, TeleSoft Partners

MONDAY, OCTOBER 14

07:30–08:30 COFFEE SOCIALHosted by EFLA Consulting Engineers
08:30–10:50 PLENARY SESSIONS

PLENARY SESSION 16: THE FUTURE OF ARCTIC COOPERATION (08:30–09:50)

SPEAKERS:

Gunnar Bragi Sveinsson, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Iceland

Michel Rocard, Former Prime Minister of France and Special Envoy of President François Hollande

Kuupik Kleist, Member, Parliament of Greenland

Aqqaluk Lynge, Chair, Inuit Circumpolar Council
CHAIR:

Alice Rogoff, Publisher, Alaska Dispatch

PLENARY SESSION 17: THE FUTURE OF ARCTIC TOURISM (09:50–10:50)

SPEAKERS:

Gao Jie, General Manager, CTS Shanghai Private Overseas Affairs Co. Ltd.

Alain A. Grenier, Professor, Urban Studies and Tourism, Université du Québec à Montréal
CHAIR:

Sven-Olof Lindblad, President and Founder, Lindblad Expeditions

10:50–11:05 COFFEE BREAK
11:05–13:00 PLENARY SESSIONS

PLENARY SESSION 18: POLAR LAW: THE RIGHTS OF INDIGENOUS PEOPLES (11:05–12:05)

SPEAKERS:

Edward Itta, Commissioner, U.S. Arctic Research Commission

Alexey Tsykarev, Member, Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, United Nations Human Rights Council
CHAIR:

Gudmundur Alfredsson, Professor of International Law and Human Rights, University of Akureyri

PLENARY SESSION 19: THE POWER OF MAPS (12:05–12:40)

SPEAKER:

Jenifer Austin Foulkes, Manager, Ocean Program, Google (Mapping Demo)

PLENARY SESSION 20: THE ARCTIC AT YOUR FINGERTIPS: NEW INFORMATION SOLUTIONS (12:40–13:00)

SPEAKER:

Andrey Suleykov, Chief Executive Officer, Appreal

13:00–14:30 BREAKOUT SESSIONS (WORKING LUNCHES)Lunch will be provided

BREAKOUT SESSION A: ARCTIC SECURITY (CONTINUED)

Organized by the Northern Research Forum (NRF) and the UArctic-NRF Thematic Network on Geopolitics and Security

Historical, Current and Future North Atlantic Security: Microstates, Small States, Middle Powers and Superpowers

SPEAKERS:

Rasmus Gjedssø Bertelsen, Assistant Professor, Aalborg University

Gustav Pétursson, Ph.D. Candidate, University of Iceland

Maria Ackrén, Associate Professor in Political Science, University of Greenland

Beinta í Jákupsstovu, Associate Professor of Social Science, University of the Faroe Islands

Michael Corgan, Professor, Department of International Relations, Boston University

Gunhild Hoogensen Gjørv, Associate Professor of Political Science, University of Tromsø

BREAKOUT SESSION D: ARCTIC LESSONS FOR THE HIMALAYAN/THIRD POLE REGION (CONTINUED AS NEEDED)

Organized by the Climate Research Fund, the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) and the Skoll Global Threats Fund

BREAKOUT SESSION J: POLAR LAW (CONTINUED)

Organized by the Symposium on Polar Law

SPEAKERS:

Julia Jabour, Program Leader, Ocean and Antarctic Governance, Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies, University of Tasmania

Jeffrey Smith, Ph.D. Candidate, Faculty of Law, McGill University
CHAIR:

Gunhild Hoogensen Gjørv, Associate Professor of Political Science, University of Tromsø

BREAKOUT SESSION S: ALASKA ARCTIC POLICY COMMISSION REPORT

SPEAKERS:

Bob Herron, Representative, Alaska House of Representatives

Lesil McGuire, Senator, Alaska Senate

BREAKOUT SESSION T: ARCTIC TRANSPORTATION AND RESPONSE INFRASTRUCTURE: BUILDING HUMAN CAPACITY
Workforce Development, Training and Education for Maritime and Response Activities

Organized by the Institute of the North

SPEAKERS:

Captain David (Duke) Snider, Vice President, Nautical Institute

Lawson Brigham, Professor, Geography and Arctic Policy, University of Alaska Fairbanks

CHAIR:

Nils Andreassen, Executive Director, Institute of the North

BREAKOUT SESSION U: THE DYNAMIC NORTH: SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

Organized by the School of Engineering and Natural Sciences at the University of Iceland
SPEAKERS:

Árný Erla Sveinbjörnsdóttir, Research Scientist, Institute of Earth Sciences, University of Iceland

Þóra Ellen Þórhallsdóttir, Professor, Faculty of Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Iceland

Snæbjörn Pálsson, Professor, Faculty of Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Iceland

Gunnar Stefánsson, Professor, Faculty of Industrial Engineering, Mechanical Engineering and Computer Science, University of Iceland

Anna Karlsdóttir, Assistant Professor, Faculty of Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Iceland

Ármann Höskuldsson, Research Professor, Institute of Earth Sciences, University of Iceland

Bryndís Brandsdóttir, Research Scientist, Science Institute, University of Iceland

Björn Karlsson, Associate Professor, Faculty of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Iceland

CHAIR:

Ingibjörg Jónsdóttir, Associate Professor, Faculty of Earth Sciences, University of Iceland

BREAKOUT SESSION V: EMERGING TRENDS IN THE WEST-NORDIC ARCTIC: SOCIO-ECONOMIC AND CULTURAL-HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVES

Organized by the Centre for Arctic Policy Studies (CAPS) at the University of Iceland
SPEAKERS:

Guðni Th. Jóhannesson, Assistant Professor of History, University of Iceland

Sigríður Huld Blöndal, International Relations, University of Iceland

Kristinn Schram, Director and Postdoctoral Researcher, Centre for Arctic Policy Studies (CAPS), University of Iceland

Lára Jóhannsdóttir, Postdoctoral Researcher, School of Business, University of Iceland

Egill Þór Níelsson, Researcher, Polar Research Institute of China (PRIC)

Þórður Þórarinsson, Secretary-General, West Nordic Council Secretariat

Aðalheiður Guðmundsdóttir, Associate Professor of Folkloristics and Ethnology, University of Iceland
CHAIR:

Margrét Cela, Project Manager, Centre for Arctic Policy Studies (CAPS), University of Iceland, and Ph.D. Candidate, University of Lapland

BREAKOUT SESSION W: ARCGIS: A MAPPING PLATFORM FOR ARCTIC RESEARCH

Organized by Esri

SPEAKER:

Drew Stephens, Oceans Manager, Esri

BREAKOUT SESSION X: OIL, GAS AND MINING DEVELOPMENTS IN THE WESTERN (NON-RUSSIAN) ARCTIC

Organized by Tactical Marine Solutions Ltd.

CHAIR:

Dermot Loughnane, Chief Executive Officer, Tactical Marine Solutions Ltd.

BREAKOUT SESSION Y: COOPERATION BETWEEN CLUSTERS

Organized by the Icelandic Joint Committee on Arctic Affairs, the Icelandic Arctic Cooperation Network, the Icelandic-Arctic Chamber of Commerce and the Arctic Services

SPEAKER:

Hákon Gunnarsson, Chief Executive Officer, Gekon

Thorsteinn Gunnarsson, Head, Division of Evaluation and Analysis, Icelandic Centre for Research (RANNIS), and Council Member, International Arctic Science Committee (IASC)

Heiðar Már Guðjónsson, Chairman of the Board, Eykon Energy

Embla Eir Oddsdóttir, Director, Icelandic Arctic Cooperation Network

Thorvaldur Ludvik Sigurjonsson, Managing Director, Eyjafjordur Business Development Agency
CHAIR:

Pétur Reimarsson, Director of Policymaking and Communications, Confederation of Icelandic Employers

BREAKOUT SESSION Z: CLIMATE CHANGE IN THE ARCTIC

Organized by the University of Akureyri

SPEAKERS:

Thomas H. McGovern, Professor, City University of New York

Jón Haukur Ingimundarson, Associate Professor, University of Akureyri and Stefansson Arctic Institute

Kristinn P. Magnússon, Professor, University of Akureyri and Icelandic Institute of Natural History

Hreiðar Þór Valtýsson, Assistant Professor, University of Akureyri
CHAIR:

Guðrún Rósa Þórsteinsdóttir, Director, University of Akureyri Research Centre and Northern Research Forum Secretariat

BREAKOUT SESSION AA: ARCTIC FORUM FOUNDATION

Invitation-Only Meeting for Arctic Business Round Table Partners

BREAKOUT SESSION BB: MITIGATING RAPID CLIMATE CHANGE IN THE CRYOSPHERE: BLACK CARBON AND SHORT-LIVED POLLUTANTS

Organized by the International Cryosphere Climate Initiative (ICCI)

Preview of the Cryosphere and Development Report, to be released by the World Bank and the ICCI for the 19th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 19)

SPEAKERS:

Pam Pearson, Director, International Cryosphere Climate Initiative (ICCI)

Lars Nordberg, Senior Advisor, Atmospheric Brown Cloud Project, United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)

Speakers from the Arctic Council, ICIMOD and Others

13:00–14:30 LUNCHMUSICAL PERFORMER:Paul D. Miller (DJ Spooky)

INTRODUCTION:

Ross A. Virginia, Director, Institute of Arctic Studies, Dartmouth College

Following the performance, Mr. Miller will sign copies of “The Book of Ice,” which explores the impact of climate change on Antarctica through the prism of digital media and contemporary music compositions

14:30–16:15 PLENARY SESSIONS

PLENARY SESSION 21: THE REPUBLIC OF KOREA IN THE ARCTIC (14:30–15:15)

SPEAKERS:

Ahn Chong-Ghee, Deputy Minister for Economic Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Republic of Korea

Kim Jong-Deog, Research Fellow, Korea Maritime Institute

PLENARY SESSION 22: GREENLAND’S PERSPECTIVE ON THE ARCTIC (15:15–16:15)

SPEAKERS:

Klaus Georg Hansen, Head of Institute, University of Greenland

Tønnes Berthelsen, Deputy Manager, KNAPK (Association of Fishermen and Hunters in Greenland)

Johan Rasmussen, Royal Arctic Line

Naja Carina Steenholdt, Student, University of Greenland
CHAIR:

Kuupik Kleist, Member, Parliament of Greenland

16:15–17:00 NETWORKING BREAK
17:00–21:00 FINAL BREAKOUT SESSIONS

BREAKOUT SESSION A: ARCTIC SECURITY (CONTINUED AS NEEDED)

Organized by the Northern Research Forum (NRF) and the UArctic-NRF Thematic Network on Geopolitics and Security

BREAKOUT SESSION D: ARCTIC LESSONS FOR THE HIMALAYAN/THIRD POLE REGION (CONTINUED AS NEEDED)

Organized by the Climate Research Fund, the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) and the Skoll Global Threats Fund

BREAKOUT SESSION J: POLAR LAW (CONTINUED)

Organized by the Symposium on Polar Law
Environmental Law, Including Access to Justice and the Aarhus Convention

SPEAKERS:

Sébastien Duyck, Researcher, Northern Institute for Environmental and Minority Law, Arctic Centre, University of Lapland

Rachael Lorna Johnstone, Professor, Faculty of Law, University of Akureyri

Simon Marsden, Associate Professor, Flinders Law School, Flinders University
CHAIR:

Timo Koivurova, Research Professor and Director, Northern Institute for Environmental and Minority Law, Arctic Centre, University of Lapland

BREAKOUT SESSION U: THE DYNAMIC NORTH: SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY (CONTINUED AS NEEDED)

Organized by the School of Engineering and Natural Sciences at the University of Iceland

BREAKOUT SESSION V: EMERGING TRENDS IN THE WEST-NORDIC ARCTIC: SOCIO-ECONOMIC AND CULTURAL-HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVES (CONTINUED AS NEEDED)

Organized by the Centre for Arctic Policy Studies (CAPS) at the University of Iceland

BREAKOUT SESSION CC: ARCTIC CIRCLE: EVALUATION AND NEXT STEPS

Meeting of Representatives from Participating Organizations

BREAKOUT SESSION DD: ICE NAVIGATOR PROJECT: FINAL STEPS TO A GLOBAL STANDARD

Organized by the Nautical Institute
SPEAKER:

Captain David (Duke) Snider, Vice President, Nautical Institute

BREAKOUT SESSION EE: ALEUTIAN ISLANDS RISK ASSESSMENT: REDUCING HAZARDS AND CONSEQUENCES OF MARITIME TRANSPORTATION NEAR THE ARCTIC

Organized by Nuka Research and Planning Group
SPEAKER:

Sierra Fletcher, Senior Program Manager, Nuka Research and Planning Group

BREAKOUT SESSION FF: AN OPEN-SOURCE DECISION MODEL FOR STRATEGIC PLANNING FOR THE ARCTIC REGION

Organized by Reykjavík University
SPEAKERS:

Þórður Víkingur Friðgeirsson, Assistant Professor, School of Science and Engineering, Reykjavík University

Páll Jensson, Professor, School of Science and Engineering, Reykjavík University

þorgeir Pálsson, Professor, School of Science and Engineering, Reykjavík University

Hlynur Stefánsson, Assistant Professor, School of Science and Engineering, Reykjavík University

BREAKOUT SESSION GG: EDUCATIONAL AND SCIENTIFIC ARCTIC EXPEDITION OF THE FAR EASTERN FLOATING UNIVERSITY

Organized by Maritime State University Named After Admiral G.I. Nevelskoi

PARTICIPANTS:

Pavel Salyuk, Maritime State University and V.I. Il’ichev Pacific Oceanological Institute, Far Eastern Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences

Denis Burov, Maritime State University

Ekaterina Sokolova, Maritime State University and Institute of Automation and Control Processes, Far Eastern Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences

19:00 MEETING OF ARCTIC CIRCLE HONORARY AND ADVISORY BOARDSOutcomes and Next Steps

###

Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on July 17th, 2013
by Pincas Jawetz (pj@sustainabilitank.info)

Mr. Martin Nesirky, the Spokesperson for The UN Secretary-General, Mr. Ban Ki-moon, speaking to the UN accredited PRESS, Monday July 15th, ended his daily briefing by saying:

“This morning, the Deputy Secretary-General spoke to a large group of representatives from non-governmental organizations and the private sector on international migration and development. He emphasized the need to establish sustained and strong partnerships between different actors to harness the benefits of migration and improve the situation of migrants. He also commended the role played by civil society in building such partnerships.

He said that the General Assembly was meeting on international migration and development in October, and that this was an opportunity for member States to lay the foundation for improved local, regional and international migration policies.” That’s what I have. Questions, please? Yes, Pam?

There was not a single question on this topic!

This statement relates to full three days of activities right here at the UN Headquarters in New York and across the street in the Church Center – which followed a full year of preparations outside the UN in a process that was started in 2006 when there was a UN General Assembly mandated first “High-Level” Dialogue on this topic and was succeeded by yearly meetings and further regional meetings.

Now we are at the preparation stage for the October 3-4, 2013 Second United Nations High-Level Dialogue on Migration and Development with next planned meeting already for 2014 in Sweden, the home turf of Ambassador Ian Eliasson, the current Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations. And all of this in the name of figuring out the UN activities in the post-2015 era – as mandated at the 2012 RIO+20 Conference.

At Rio the recommendations included the removal of the non-producing Commission on Sustainable Development and its replacement with a High-Level Panel that will look into the creation of a system of Sustainable Development Goals that will follow in 2015 after the expiring Millennium Development Goals – and this allows for an unusual opportunity to try for making the avoidance of the need of Migration into a Sustainable Development Goal. But the UN seems to oppose this by all the means it has – and I will explain.

You see – when I walk the streets of New York these days I bump into people. This is because the daily temperature reaches 100 degrees Fahrenheit and people do not walk in a straight line. You must try to anticipate which way they will deviate – and I am as guilty as anyone else – this because global warming and Climate Change are already here with us. Relating to our topic here – MIGRATION occurs now not just because people are attracted by magnets of freedom from dictatorships, from religious or sexual oppression, or because of a chance to better education, but now – more and more – there is the push of hunger – climate change has made it impossible to support populations in their country of origin and this migration has become the highest security issue in our days. If heat and Climate Change is impacting New York, just think what this has done in Mali or Darfur!

The UN is not blind to this. The UN Secretary-General was supposed to be the opening speaker at the Monday, July 15, 2013 event at the meeting at the UN General Assembly with Mr. Vuk Jeremik, President of the General Assembly as Chairman of the session. But Mr. Ban Ki-moon chose to be on a July fact finding tour of Europe that took him to see the effects of glaciers melting in Iceland, and a visit in Paris on Bastille Day with the French troops fighting in Mali.

Both above visits, as well as the meetings in-between, would have made a great story had the UN Secretary-General returned to New York and told on Monday July 15th his impressions to the meeting here. But this seemingly did not cross his mind, and surely this is no reflection on the way Mr. Elliason presented the case. It must be said that seven years ago – at the first dialogue – Mr. Eliasson presided because it was his position of President of the UN General Assembly, so he is well versed with the issues – the roles of Civil Society, Labor Unions and Employers’ organizations, diaspora organizations, and academics. He stressed that the challenge is to reach to the help of the media – “Knowing the facts is the source of wisdom” he quoted.

Mr. Eliasson said he wants to see as a post 2015 program a five year action program in five areas of priority:
– the cooperation between States,
– a comprehensive data system of migration facts,
– the integration of the migrants into our societies and economies,
– plan migration with labor markets and development consideration,
– a framework for managing migration from crisis and violence regions.

What he did not mention is the right of people to avoid migration that was pushed upon them because of changes in the local environment.

Mr. Jeremik reminded us of the Rio vision for the post-2015 as an aspiration to strive for equitable approaches to overcome poverty and inequality.

At the meeting on Monday participated over 200 Civil Society organizations and 80 UN member States.
The main organization was in the hands of Switzerland and Swiss based NGOs like Caritas, The International Catholic Migration Commission, The Global Economic Forum, with with Ms. Susan Martin of Georgetown University, Institute for the Study of International Migration that awards you a Certificate on the subject, and Mr. Dennis Sinyolo, Education and Employment Coordinator at Education International, as moderators.

I sat through the full three days and saw that very good people from all over the globe were present – but by no means was this an objective success.

Starting with the strong Swiss presence I must say that as Migration means Emigration from one place and Immigration to another – this except Migration within the same country, Switzerland is a country of poor record as it does not allow citizenship except when the candidate is weighed in gold – and I am not abstract on this – Just think of the Agha Khan and his Swiss based Foundation. So, when A good looking lady presented herself as a migrant from El Salvador to Switzerland, with dual nationality and diamonds sparkling from her earrings, spoke about the Global Economic Forum backing the economic advantages that come from migration – I had to wonder about what I was hearing. Then let us not forget that simple mortals could not stay in Switzerland when their life was in peril. In general – I was more impressed by the people in the room then by some of the presenters, as in UN fashion – the good turns easily into the trite, and good ideas can produce easily flying meetings that are not free to the introduction of ideas born outside the initiating circle. Trying to introduce the notion that the UN is changing and that MDGs are ending with new SDGs taking their place, and the fact that the UN just opened this month the office for Sustainable Energy – the SE4All concept, and that right now there is an opportunity to talk of migration in context of Climate Change – all that was beyond the interest of the organizers and the moderators – but very much of interest of many of the participants.

Civil Society is surely a mixed bag, and the stress on remittances from the Migrants back to their families in the homeland become very important part of the economies of some oppressive governments – so, indiscriminately stressing the economic value may not be any better idea then using military from countries in trouble in order to beef up the troops of UN Peace-Keeping forces in other countries in trouble, when the pay for this service is income for the government that sends these troops. This comment may have nothing to do with the subject at hand but is important to the understanding of the depth of the problem when you work in he UN context.

Without delving further in depth of what was said, this because the meetings were just an interactive exercise that will generate its own papers, the real news this Monday were not the Civil Society NGOs that were allowed to participate – but rather those organizations that were excluded in total lack of transparency and thus gave a blue eye to the UN institution as a whole.

The subject came up when the United States pointed out that three NGOs were eliminated from participation this last week by being BLACKBALLED by some secret member State. These were three organizations – one registered in the UK and two in Israel and the UN does not release the names of the countries that objected to their participation. TO ME THIS WAS THE REAL NEWS OF THE MEETING – COVERING ON ALL THE GOOD THINGS THAT WERE SAID AT THE MEETING.

After the US, spoke also Israel and the EU, and eventually this became an important part in the summary of the meeting, when at the end it was presented by the Chef de Cabinet to the UNGA President, Mr. Dejan Sahovic, who is also from Serbia like the UNGA President.

Mr. Sahovic explained that this had nothing to do with the organizers of the event but is a UN given. Whenever there is an event at the UN, after Civil Society makes up the list of registered NGOs, these lists are distributed to all governments which have then the veto right against any line on that list.

OK, we knew that China will take out any NGO that is based in Taiwan, but how is it that an observer organization at the International Organization for Migration (IOM), that is competent in the subject matter and is very active, could be eliminated? To make it sound even worse – the UN does not release the name of the blackballing country and the delegate for the EU said clearly that the EU is worried about the lately decreasing importance of Civil Society at the UN.

I followed up trying to find who are these three blackballed organizations, but will not allow myself to express a guess to who was the blackballing State as this guesswork is easy – but we refuse to do it. Nevertheless, we must say that wonders do happen at the UN sometimes.

In this case it was with two NGOs with interest in Human Rights of Women – specifically women in Arab lands – even more specific – in Saudi Arabia – they DID SPEAK UP.
Lala Arabian from a Beirut based NGO INSAN, part of the Arab Network for Migrants, which I was told speaks a fluent English, decided to speak out in Arabic against the treatment of Arab women – specifically in Saudi Arabia. Further – A woman in an impeccable English, coming from a United Arab Emirates NGO, but probably living overseas, made a similar statement from the floor. I did not note her name but she came from www.migrant-rights.org/category/g…


The Three NGOs that were absent are:

1. The Institute for Human Rights and Business Limited (IHRB) is the British organization.
They partner with the Danish Institute for Human Rights (DIHR) on issues like the establishment of the new Myanmar Centre for Responsible Business headed by Vicky Bowman.
They specifically look at how to persuade business to respect Human Rights with Migration one of the specific topics. June 17-18, 2013 they just had a meeting in Tunis on the subject of Free Internet. Is this what some despot did them in for?

2. Microfy – “Microfinance for African refugees and migrant workers in Israel” – an Israeli based NGO that provides assistance to African refugees and asylum seekers, many of them who fled the genocide in Darfur. www.microfy.org Clearly a highly ethical organization that might have difficulty being listened to by despots.

3.”The Center for International Migration and Integration (CIMI)” advises governments and NGOs around the world on migration and integration.
CIMI has Observer Status wit the International Organization foe Migration (IOM) since 2003 and participates actively in all its meetings.
CIMI also partners with many other national and International organizations including the UNHCR (The UN Refugee Agency) and the International Committee of the Red Cross.
This information was confirmed by Ms. Michele Klein Solomon, the Permanent Observer for IOM at the United Nations. CIMI is also based in Israel.

###

Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on June 19th, 2013
by Pincas Jawetz (pj@sustainabilitank.info)

It was April 26, 1986 and Gorbachev worried about the Star-Wars or Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI) of President Reagan, called for the Summit and was ready for a CTBT agreement provided the US does its further experimentation with SDI technology in its Terrestrial Laboratories and not in Space. President Reagan reacted with his impressions from the treaty on the elimination of chemical weapons after the First World War when it was decided to eliminate nerve-gas (Mustard gas etc.) but all sides continued to keep in stock Gas-Masks – for just in case. So he wanted the SDI as a defense which clearly could not be acceptable by the Russian who said that – what if the US cheats and keeps some bombs – it will be hard then for the Soviets to have a position on their own. All that while both sides agreed that a Nuclear War cannot be won and therefore will never be fought.
So for the sake of deterrence – why talk of defense?

Gorbachev said that the smallest bomb in their arsenal has the power to do three times more harm then Chernobyl did, and he had no problem giving to Reagan their complete list of bombs and locations. If you cannot use them anyway why not agree to eliminate them all-together?

Here come the politics – both of the Heads-of-State had folks back home that would not go for an agreement that satisfies both sides equally – each side wanted to be the winner in the negotiations so no result can be obtained.

Needless to say that the Reykjavik exchanges are still base for the Scientists and Technologists meeting today and trying to prepare documents for the politicians meeting later on. Low and behold – President Obama is back in this 50 years old effort and wants to push the ball forward even if he says that full result might not be obtained in his lifetime.

The CTBTO headquartered in Vienna, under the leadership of Executive Secretary Tibor Toth of Hungary, is having its 2013 Conference  June 17-21, 2013 – the Science and Technology Conference – and the chair will then be turned over to  co-chairs from Mexico and Indonesia. It is for the long haul.
The Ambassador from Mexico spoke last night as well.

Hans Blix, former head of IAEA, who was on the program, surprised us by stating that he is today more worried about the environment then about a nuclear war. Now – that is something for us !!! Mr. Kandeh Yumkella, Director General of UNIDO, who will open the SE4All offices on July 1, 2013, was sitting in the first row. I am sure he did not miss theses words as well.


Also, Ellen Tauscher, 2009-2012 US Under-Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security, in the first Obama Administration, Special Envoy for Strategic Stability and Missile Defense, Former Democrat Congresswoman from California, a person that came from nowhere like Reagan or Gorbachev, then ended up on the New York Stock Exchange and became a most important Centrist Democrat, she said that MAD – “Mutually Assured Distraction” – was replaced by MED – “Mutual Economic Dependence” and that gives us hope.

Mr. Pramit Pal Chadhuri, Foreign Editor of Hindustan Times spoke about the Indian subcontinent and other Emerging States including China and Brazil. He said that if the two super-powers would move to accept CTBT so will India and Pakistan and even China. The Pakistani Ambassador to the UN, present in the room seemed to disagree.

The chair/Moderator of the debate was the very capable Patricia Lewis, Research Director of Chatham House, London.

 

============================

Obama Has Plans to Cut U.S. Nuclear Arsenal, if Russia Reciprocates.

 

Johannes Eisele/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

President Obama and his wife, Michelle, were greeted by an honor guard in Berlin on Tuesday.

 

 

 

WASHINGTON — President Obama plans to use a speech in Berlin on Wednesday to outline plans for further reductions in the American nuclear arsenal if Russia agrees to pare back its weapons at the same time, administration officials said Tuesday.

 

 

Resuming a drive toward disarmament that he had largely shunted aside over the past two years, Mr. Obama will propose trimming the number of strategic warheads that each of the two big nuclear powers still maintains by up to a third, taking them below the 1,550 permitted in the treaty he signed with Russia in his first term, a senior administration official said. That would leave each country with just over 1,000 weapons.

Mr. Obama will also declare that he will work with NATO allies to develop proposals for major cuts in tactical nuclear weapons, which are not covered by the existing treaty. Russia, which has far more tactical nuclear weapons deployed than the United States and Europe do, has firmly resisted such cuts. There are fears that its tactical weapons are in parts of Russia where they risk being seized by terrorist groups.

Mr. Obama will also announce that he will host a final nuclear security summit meeting in the United States just before he leaves office.

The president, who once talked about eventually ridding the world of nuclear weapons, faces enormous obstacles to any further reductions, both in Moscow and in Washington. President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia has demanded further concessions on missile defense before entertaining deeper nuclear cuts, and Republicans in the Senate have made clear they would resist any treaty that went beyond the New Start pact ratified in 2010. Mr. Obama’s aides have said that they have no appetite for another treaty battle, and that they would try to follow the precedent of the first President George Bush, who arranged reciprocal but not binding cuts with the dying Soviet Union without a treaty.

But the president’s return to the issue of nuclear reductions, however tentative, suggests he wants to invest at least some of his remaining time in office to making enough progress that he can point to it as an important legacy. “It’s a way of signaling what he sees his agenda for the rest of his second term being,” said an administration official, who, like others, declined to be identified in advance of the speech.

Supporters of further disarmament said they hoped Mr. Obama would refocus attention on the goal after rarely mentioning it in recent years, while he was consumed by other issues. “The most important thing he could do is lay out the broad agenda for the next three and a half years,” said John Isaacs, executive director of the Council for a Livable World, an advocacy group.

In addition to further reductions, Mr. Isaacs said, there are several policy changes Mr. Obama could take that would move the country further away from cold war-style national security. He said the president could take nuclear weapons off high alert and change nuclear doctrine to say that the only purpose of such weapons would be as a deterrent.

But administration officials cautioned against expecting the Berlin speech to be a sequel to Mr. Obama’s 2009 address in Prague laying out his vision for a nuclear-free world. Instead, nuclear reductions will be just one element of a larger, thematic address, officials said, and the president will not get into much detail about specific policy changes.

That is a significant lowering of the bar: For a while, Mr. Obama considered setting out much more ambitious goals in a speech administration officials hoped he would give this month, on the 50th anniversary of a famous speech John F. Kennedy gave at American University. That speech, less than a year after the Cuban missile crisis, created the push for what became the nuclear test ban treaty, signed two months later.

Early in Mr. Obama’s first term, aides described an ambitious agenda that included ratifying the long-stalled Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, and negotiating a new treaty that would ban the production of new fissile material, the makings of nuclear fuel. In the Berlin speech, Mr. Obama will repeat his call for the test ban treaty but will set no deadline for submitting it to the Senate, because of administration fears that it would go down to a second defeat.

Pakistan has blocked the opening of negotiations on the fissile material ban, and administration officials say they will put pressure on the new Pakistani government to move on that issue. He will also have to press Pakistan to cease its deployment of a new generation of tactical weapons that officials fear could easily be stolen by terrorists.

Mr. Obama’s early agenda has been frustrated by many setbacks. North Korea has conducted two nuclear tests during his tenure. Iran has installed 17,000 centrifuges and now has enough low- and medium-enriched fuel to produce a half dozen weapons, with further enrichment. Pakistan has the world’s fastest growing arsenal. Once Republicans made gains in the Senate, Mr. Obama never submitted the test ban treaty for ratification or negotiated further cuts with Russia.

Perhaps Mr. Obama’s biggest success has been his effort to lock down vulnerable nuclear materials around the world, a task nearly all countries have agreed to, even if he did not accomplish the entire job in the four years he initially envisioned.

The New Start treaty limited both the United States and Russia to 1,550 deployed strategic warheads and 800 missiles, bombers and submarine launchers, of which 700 could be deployed. As of March 1, Russia — with 1,480 deployed warheads and 492 deployed launchers — had already met two of the three limits and was close to the third. The United States — with 1,654 deployed warheads and 792 deployed launchers — was close but not under the caps.

Mr. Obama appears to recognize that the follow-up treaty he once envisioned with Russia now may be too difficult to push through the Senate. Instead, if Russia agreed to further cuts, the existing verification systems in the old treaty would be used to confirm that both sides were abiding by their new commitments.

But if Mr. Putin rejects this offer, one of Mr. Obama’s aides noted, “it will be very tough slogging for the next three years.”

###

Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on April 10th, 2013
by Pincas Jawetz (pj@sustainabilitank.info)

 
The Arctic Circle, New Assembly for 
International Cooperation on Arctic Issues 
To Be Inaugurated in Reykjavík, Iceland, October 12-14, 2013
_______
 
Learn More About Arctic Challenges and Opportunities
at the National Press Club Newsmakers Luncheon
with Iceland’s President Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson,
U.S. and Arctic Partners 
 

Iceland’s President Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson will address 

Arctic world challenges on April 15 at 12:30 p.m. 

at the Holeman Lounge of the National Press Club, 

529 14th St. NW, Washington, DC 20045.

 

Grímsson will be joined by other distinguished initiators to announce a new assembly to promote collaboration among Arctic and international partners. The mission of the Arctic Circle is to convene a diverse group of stakeholders in an annual gathering to facilitate dialogue and build relationships to confront the Arctic’s greatest challenges.

 

As the fastest-warming place on Earth, the Arctic is moving to the center of the geopolitical stage. It is playing an increasingly important role in globalization, economic development, energy exploration, environ­mental protection and international security. Various plans for resource utilization and new sea routes linking Asia to Europe and America in a new way have led to an increased focus on the region.

 

In the past, the region did not matter to the world’s decision-makers and was largely forgotten. Now, with sea ice levels at their lowest point in recorded history, the world is waking up to the challenges and opportunities the Arctic presents for its citizens as well

as for people in other parts of the world.

 

Rapid changes in the Arctic have led to a critical need for a new and inclusive international dialogue. To that end, the Arctic Circle will convene for the first time in Iceland at Harpa Reykjavík Concert and Conference Centre on October 12-14, 2013, to discuss issues that impact the global commons, including:

 

* Sea ice melt and extreme weather

* Security implications

* Fisheries and ecosystem management

* Shipping and transportation

* Natural resources

 

The Arctic Circle will be an open venue for institutions, organizations, forums, think tanks, corporations and public associations to hold their meetings or events without surrendering their independence or decision-making abilities. The assembly will meet in a different Arctic location each year.

 

The purpose of the Arctic Circle will be to assist and further such meetings by maximizing attendance and strengthening the opportunities open to everyone to attend different meetings and conduct their own networking events. The unique arts and cultural attributes of the Arctic will also be presented through a variety of performances, exhibitions and programs.

 

To attend the public luncheon, please visit the NPC online.
______


To learn about how you can participate in the Arctic Circle, 
visit us online and join our mailing list for updates.
______
 
Visit the Arctic Wire for News from the North, sponsored 
by Alice Rogoff, co-founder of The Arctic Circle

and publisher of the Alaska Dispatch.

 

Contact the Office of the President for information about Iceland.

###

Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on March 24th, 2013
by Pincas Jawetz (pj@sustainabilitank.info)

 

Russian PM lectures Barroso on Cyprus.

Medvedev: ‘The euro crisis has strengthened ideas that Europe is in decline.’

21.03.13

By Andrew Rettman

 euobserver.com/economic/119525

BRUSSELS – Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev humbled European Commission chief Jose Manuel Barroso in public remarks on Thursday (21 March) over the EU’s handling of Cyprus.

Speaking alongside Barroso at a conference in Moscow, he called the EU’s original Cypriot bailout idea “to put it mildly, surprising … absurd … preposterous.”

“The situation is unpredictable and inconsistent. It [the bailout model] has been reviewed several times. I browsed the Internet this morning and I saw another Plan B, or a Plan C or whatever,” he noted.

He upbraided EU institutions for failing to give Moscow due notice of its decision.

“The system of early warning did not work very well … that means we need to work on it,” he said.

He also quoted unnamed Russian “eurosceptics” as saying: “The euro crisis has strengthened ideas that Europe is in decline in the 21st century … that the European project has turned out to be too cumbersome.”

Earlier the same say, he told Russian newswire Interfax that he is thinking of reducing Russia’s holding of euro-denominated currency reserves.

In a sign of broader Russian upset, Leonid Grigoriev, an academic and a former Russian deputy finance minister, told a separate news conference that Russian money is no longer safe anywhere in the EU.

“The Cyprus situation has created new uncertainty in the banking sector. People have started thinking whether the same can happen elsewhere, in Spain, Portugal, Ireland?” he said.

The EU’s Plan A for Cyprus was to lend it €10 billion, but to impose a 7-to-10 percent levy on all Cypriot savers, including Russian expats, who alone stood to lose €2 billion.

It has now been scrapped.

It is unclear what new model might be found.

But the Cypriot finance minister, Michael Sarris, also in Moscow on Thursday, said he is in talks to give Russia shares in Cypriot “banks, natural gas [reserves]” in return for Russian bailout money.

For his part, Barroso told Medvedev that the EU could not have warned Russia even if it wanted to.

“Regarding the conclusions of the last Eurogroup [euro finance ministers, who drew up Plan A], Russia was not informed because the governments of Europe were not informed – let’s be completely open and honest about that issue. There was not a pre-decision before the Eurogroup meeting. The Eurogroup meeting concluded, I think, in the very early hours of Saturday and the decision was the result of a compromise,” he said.

He added: “Don’t believe in this idea of the decline of Europe … The European Union is stronger than it is today fashionable to admit.”

Leaked documents on internal EU talks seen by the Reuters news agency give substance to Russia’s criticism, however.

The notes record remarks by finance officials from euro-using countries during a panicky conference call about Cyprus held on Wednesday.

According to Reuters, a French official said Cyprus’ decision not to take part in the phone-debate is “a big problem … We have never seen this.”

A German official said Cyprus might quit the euro and there is a need to “ring-fence” other countries from contagion.

A European Central Bank official said there is a “very difficult situation” because savers might pull money from the island if banks re-open next week.

Meanwhile, Thomas Wieser, an Austrian-origin EU official who chaired the phone-meeting, described the situation as “foggy.” He added: “The economy is going to tank in Cyprus no matter what.”

—————————————————

To the above we add that Turkey, its holding onto North Cyprus, and its interest in the gas fields that stretch from Cyprus to Israel and Lebanon, having first development seen by Israel, are part of the larger scope of the Cyprus potential move away from the EU. But, In effect, these other aspects might make the EU stiffen up in a bailing out effort conditioned only on reorganizing some of the Cypriot Banks – letting Russian oligarchs foot part of the bill – without selling to Russia port holdings in the Mediterranean. Seeing a Syria solution that drives out Russia from its port facilities there, may be part of the American interest in the region as well. In short – Cyprus is not Iceland – this because it is geographically located in a very complicated region of the Outer EU. Is it so that an Obama trip could help by forcing a Cyprus-Turkey reconciliation first?

—————————————————

We just found out that The New York Times is catching up:

Russian Ties Put Cyprus Banking Crisis on East-West Fault Line

By ANDREW HIGGINS, The New York Times, March 24, 2013

With Cyprus’s role as a provider of financial services for Russians, what began as another episode in a familiar narrative has escalated into a drama with geopolitical implications.

 

==============================================================================================

Also, we know that Oligarch Abramowich is overexposed in Cyprus banks, is this also the case of Mr. Berezowski who just committed suicide at his home near London? Were there politics involved and this was a Russian in-fight? The coincidence of the timing will create rumors – we say.

Russian Oligarch and Critic of Putin Dead in Britain.

Stefan Wermuth/Reuters

Boris Berezovsky in London in last year. He is said to have committed suicide on Saturday.

By
Published: March 23, 2013

MOSCOW — Boris A. Berezovsky, once the richest and most powerful of the so-called oligarchs who dominated post-Soviet Russia, and a close ally of Boris N. Yeltsin who helped install Vladimir V. Putin as president but later exiled himself to London after a bitter falling out with the Kremlin, died Saturday.

He was 67 and lived near London, where last year he lost one of the largest private lawsuits in history — an epic tug-of-war over more than $5 billion with another Russian oligarch, Roman A. Abramovich, in which legal and other costs were estimated to be about $250 million.

Mr. Berezovsky’s death was first reported in a post on Facebook by his son-in-law Egor Schuppe and was confirmed by Alexander Dobrovinsky, a lawyer who had represented him.

Mr. Dobrovinsky wrote in Russian on his Facebook page: “Just got a call from London. Boris Berezovsky has committed suicide. The man was complex. An act of desperation? Impossible to live poor? A series of blows? I am afraid that no one will know the truth.”

The Thames Valley police in Berkshire, an hour from London, said Saturday that they were investigating the “unexplained” death of a 67-year-old man, apparently Mr. Berezovsky, in Ascot.

The police statement did not name Mr. Berezovsky, but British news reports said an investigation was under way at his home. “Specially trained officers are currently at the scene, including C.B.R.N.-trained officers, who are conducting a number of searches as a precaution,” said a spokeswoman for the Thames Valley police, referring to the force’s chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear team. “This is to enable officers to carry out an investigation into the man’s death. The body of the man is still in the property at this time.”

In London, Mr. Berezovsky had adopted much the same style as an oligarch in Russia, with chauffeurs and bodyguards. But recent news reports said Mr. Berezovsky had begun to sell personal assets, including a yacht and a painting by Andy Warhol, “Red Lenin,” to pay debts related to the lawsuit.

The lawsuit, in which Mr. Berezovsky brought a claim against Mr. Abramovich in a dispute over the sale of shares in Sibneft, an oil company, and other assets, ended in a spectacular defeat.

In her ruling, the judge in the case, Elizabeth Gloster, called Mr. Berezovsky an “unimpressive and inherently unreliable witness” and at times a dishonest one. By contrast, the judge said Mr. Abramovich had been “a truthful, and on the whole reliable, witness.”

Mr. Berezovsky’s legal troubles worsened recently with a claim by his former girlfriend, Elena Gorbunova, that he owed her about $8 million from the sale of a house they owned in Surrey, England. The judge also ordered him to pay more than $53 million of Mr. Abramovich’s fees.

A friend of the tycoon, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the press, said Mr. Berezovsky said he had been “extremely depressed” for at least six months since losing his case. “He was a great believer in British justice, and he felt it let him down,” the friend said.

A spokesman for Mr. Putin said Mr. Berezovsky had recently sent a letter asking President Putin for forgiveness and permission to return to Russia. “Some time ago, maybe a couple of months, Berezovsky sent Vladimir Putin a letter, written by himself, in which he admitted that he had made a lot of mistakes,” the spokesman, Dmitri S. Peskov, said on the Russia 24 television channel. “He asked Putin for forgiveness for the errors to be able to return home.”

Mr. Peskov said that he did not know Mr. Putin’s reaction, but that “news of anyone’s death, no matter what kind of person they were, cannot arouse any positive emotions.”

Mr. Berezovsky was a Soviet mathematician who after the fall of Communism went into business and figured out how to skim profits off what was then Russian’s largest state-owned carmaker. Along with spectacular wealth, he accumulated enormous political influence, becoming a close ally of Mr. Yeltsin’s.

With Mr. Yeltsin’s political career fading, Mr. Berezovsky helped engineer the rise of Mr. Putin, an obscure former K.G.B. agent and onetime aide to the mayor of St. Petersburg who became president of Russia in 2000 and last May returned to the presidency for a third term.

After his election, Mr. Putin began a campaign of tax claims against a group of rich and powerful Russians, including Mr. Berezovsky and Mikhail B. Khodorkovsky, an oil tycoon, who remains jailed in Russia.

Mr. Berezovsky fled to London, where he eventually won political asylum and at one point raised tensions by calling for a coup against Mr. Putin.

David E. Hoffman, the author of “The Oligarchs: Wealth and Power in the New Russia,” an exploration of the role of such magnates in the era after the breakup of the Soviet Union, said Mr. Berezovsky stood out for seeking not only wealth but political clout.

“Boris Berezovsky was among that wave of oligarchs who realized that great fortunes were to be made in the massive sell-off of assets in the new Russia,” Mr. Hoffman said by e-mail on Saturday. “While many of his peers also saw the opportunity, Berezovsky was more focused than most on the role that politics would play. He realized the need to co-opt those in power in order to make deals. He did it from the early days with automobiles and later with oil.”

Mr. Berezovsky had an outsize, if hardly always benevolent, role in post-Soviet Russia.

George Soros, a financier and a critic of the Russian oligarchs, had likened them to 19th-century American robber barons. But if that was an apt metaphor, the power and influence of these new tycoons was amplified by the legal and political vacuum left by the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Mr. Berezovsky amassed his fortune at first in automobiles, including a business he formed in 1993 with Aleksandr Voloshin, who would later become Mr. Yeltsin’s chief of staff. But like other oligarchs, Mr. Berezovsky’s interests spread across many sectors of the post-Soviet Russian economy, to oil; media; and Aeroflot, the Russian airline.

He survived an assassination attempt in 1994, a car bombing in which his driver was killed.  

The assassination attempt connected him to a K.G.B. officer, Alexander V. Litvinenko, who was poisoned by the radioactive isotope polonium 210 in London in November 2006.

Mr. Litvinenko, then working for the F.S.B., the domestic successor to the K.G.B., was assigned to investigate the blast, and Mr. Berezovsky became his mentor and later his employer.

Mr. Berezovsky helped Mr. Litvinenko flee Russia in 2000 before he, too, left the country to seek asylum in London.

On the day he was poisoned, Nov. 1, 2006, Mr. Litvinenko went from a meeting with several Russians at a hotel in central London to Mr. Berezovsky’s nearby office. There he met with a Chechen exile, Akhmed Zakayev, another Berezovsky protégé, and the two drove together to adjacent homes financed by Mr. Berezovsky, in North London.

After Mr. Litvinenko’s death, and with his wealth dwindling during his time in London, Mr. Berezovsky slowly withdrew his financial support for Mr. Litvinenko’s widow as she pressed for an inquest into the death, now scheduled to begin in May.

Boris Abramovich Berezovsky was born in Moscow on Jan. 23, 1946, to Abram Berezovsky, a civil engineer who worked in construction, and Anna Gelman, at a time when the Soviet Union was recovering from World War II.

He studied forestry and mathematics at the Moscow Forestry Engineering Institute. He worked as an engineer and researcher until the late 1980s.

In the mid-1990s, Mr. Berezovsky served on Russia’s security council, only to be dismissed from that post by Mr. Yeltsin in 1997.

Mr. Berezovsky and Mr. Putin had been close, and Mr. Berezovsky aided Mr. Putin’s rise to the presidency. But signs came quickly that Mr. Berezovsky had fallen out of favor. In October 2000, just 10 months after Mr. Yeltsin’s resignation, Mr. Berezovsky was ordered to vacate a spacious government country house and to return the government plates on his limousine. He left Russia for Britain that year.

In March 2003, the British authorities arrested Mr. Berezovsky and said they were beginning a process that could lead to his extradition. But he was granted political asylum later that year apparently after the British determined that Russia sought him solely on political grounds.

In 2007, he was convicted of fraud charges by a Russian court in absentia and sentenced to six years in prison, and had potentially faced prosecution in at least 10 other cases.

The sharpest blow to his wealth came from the failed lawsuit against Mr. Abramovich.

On the day last August when the court ruled against him, Mr. Berezovsky attempted an air of nonchalance. “Life is life,” he said, flanked by bodyguards, before driving off in a Mercedes.

Andrew E. Kramer contributed reporting from Moscow, Alan Cowell from Venice, and Ravi Somaiya from New York.

###

Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on August 20th, 2012
by Pincas Jawetz (pj@sustainabilitank.info)

First Chinese ship crosses Arctic Ocean amid record melt.

First Chinese ship crosses Arctic Ocean amid record melt Photo: China Daily
A general view shows Chinese ice breaker ship ”Xuelong”, also called ”Snow Dragon”, docking at Tianjin November 3, 2011.
Photo: China Daily

An icebreaker has become the first ship from China to cross the Arctic Ocean, underscoring Beijing’s growing interest in a remote region where a record thaw caused by climate change may open new trade routes.

The voyage highlights how China, the world’s no.2 economy, is extending its reach to the Arctic which is rich in oil and gas and is a potential commercial shipping route between the north Atlantic and Pacific oceans.

The icebreaker Xuelong, or Snow Dragon, arrived in Iceland this week after sailing the Northern Route along the coast of Russia.

Expedition leader Huigen Yang, head of the Polar Research Institute of China, said he had expected a lot more ice along the route at this time of year than the vessel encountered.

“To our astonishment … most part of the Northern Sea Route is open,” he told Reuters TV. The icebreaker would return to China by a route closer to the North Pole.

He said that Beijing was interested in the “monumental change” in the polar environment caused by global warming.

Sea ice floating on the Arctic Ocean is on track to beat a record low set in 2007, making the region more accessible but threatening the hunting lifestyles of indigenous peoples and wildlife such as polar bears and seals.

The thaw is slowly opening up the Arctic as a short-cut route – the German-based Beluga Group, for instance, sent a cargo vessel north from Korea to Rotterdam in 2009.

RECORD THAW

“The (Chinese) journey indicates a growing interest in the melting of the ice in the northern regions and how climate change is affecting the globe and the future of all nations,” the office of Icelandic President Olafur Ragnar Grimsson said.

Arctic sea ice extent on August 13 fell to 5.09 million square km (1.97 million square miles) – an area smaller than Brazil, according to the U.S. National Snow and Ice Data Center.

Sea ice reaches its smallest in September before expanding again as winter approaches. China has overtaken the United States as the top greenhouse gas emitter, mainly from burning fossil fuels, ahead of the European Union, India and Russia.

“China’s interest is a mix of business, science and geo-politics,” said Jan Gunnar Winther, director of the Norwegian Polar Institute.

For countries outside the region like China, there may be more opportunities to supply equipment to aid drilling, he said. South Korea’s Hyundai, for instance, is building a floating production unit for the Goliat oilfield in Norway’s Barents Sea.

Winther said that research into climate change in the Arctic was also relevant to China’s understanding of weather patterns that could affect its farmers.

China has applied to become an observer at the Arctic Council, made up of the United States, Russia, Canada, Sweden, Finland, Norway, Denmark and Iceland.

“The application will be handled in May next year,” said Nina Buvang Vaaja, head of the Arctic Council Secretariat.

Other applicants seeking to join the Council, which oversees management of the region, are Japan, South Korea, the European Union Commission and Italy. Germany, Britain, France, Poland, Spain and the Netherlands are already observers.

Date: 18-Aug-2012 – Reporting By Alister Doyle – Reuters.

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Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on October 28th, 2011
by Pincas Jawetz (pj@sustainabilitank.info)

Paul Krugman from REYKJAVIK, Iceland, October 27, 2011.

The Path Not Taken.

Financial markets are cheering the deal that emerged from Brussels early Thursday morning. Indeed, relative to what could have happened — an acrimonious failure to agree on anything — the fact that European leaders agreed on something, however vague the details and however inadequate it may prove, is a positive development.

But it’s worth stepping back to look at the larger picture, namely the abject failure of an economic doctrine — a doctrine that has inflicted huge damage both in Europe and in the United States.

The doctrine in question amounts to the assertion that, in the aftermath of a financial crisis, banks must be bailed out but the general public must pay the price. So a crisis brought on by deregulation becomes a reason to move even further to the right; a time of mass unemployment, instead of spurring public efforts to create jobs, becomes an era of austerity, in which government spending and social programs are slashed.

This doctrine was sold both with claims that there was no alternative — that both bailouts and spending cuts were necessary to satisfy financial markets — and with claims that fiscal austerity would actually create jobs. The idea was that spending cuts would make consumers and businesses more confident. And this confidence would supposedly stimulate private spending, more than offsetting the depressing effects of government cutbacks.

Some economists weren’t convinced. One caustic critic referred to claims about the expansionary effects of austerity as amounting to belief in the “confidence fairy.” O.K., that was me.

But the doctrine has, nonetheless, been extremely influential. Expansionary austerity, in particular, has been championed both by Republicans in Congress and by the European Central Bank, which last year urged all European governments — not just those in fiscal distress — to engage in “fiscal consolidation.”

And when David Cameron became Britain’s prime minster last year, he immediately embarked on a program of spending cuts in the belief that this would actually boost the economy — a decision that was greeted with fawning praise by many American pundits.

Now, however, the results are in, and the picture isn’t pretty. Greece has been pushed by its austerity measures into an ever-deepening slump — and that slump, not lack of effort on the part of the Greek government, was the reason a classified report to European leaders concluded last week that the existing program there was unworkable. Britain’s economy has stalled under the impact of austerity, and confidence from both businesses and consumers has slumped, not soared.

Maybe the most telling thing is what now passes for a success story. A few months ago various pundits began hailing the achievements of Latvia, which in the aftermath of a terrible recession, nonetheless, managed to reduce its budget deficit and convince markets that it was fiscally sound. That was, indeed, impressive, but it came at the cost of 16 percent unemployment and an economy that, while finally growing, is still 18 percent smaller than it was before the crisis.

So bailing out the banks while punishing workers is not, in fact, a recipe for prosperity. But was there any alternative?

Well, that’s why I’m in Iceland, attending a conference about the country that did something different.

If you’ve been reading accounts of the financial crisis, or watching film treatments like the excellent “Inside Job,” you know that Iceland was supposed to be the ultimate economic disaster story: its runaway bankers saddled the country with huge debts and seemed to leave the nation in a hopeless position.

But a funny thing happened on the way to economic Armageddon: Iceland’s very desperation made conventional behavior impossible, freeing the nation to break the rules. Where everyone else bailed out the bankers and made the public pay the price, Iceland let the banks go bust and actually expanded its social safety net. Where everyone else was fixated on trying to placate international investors, Iceland imposed temporary controls on the movement of capital to give itself room to maneuver.

So how’s it going? Iceland hasn’t avoided major economic damage or a significant drop in living standards. But it has managed to limit both the rise in unemployment and the suffering of the most vulnerable; the social safety net has survived intact, as has the basic decency of its society. “Things could have been a lot worse” may not be the most stirring of slogans, but when everyone expected utter disaster, it amounts to a policy triumph.

And there’s a lesson here for the rest of us: The suffering that so many of our citizens are facing is unnecessary. If this is a time of incredible pain and a much harsher society, that was a choice. It didn’t and doesn’t have to be this way.

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Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on October 12th, 2010
by Pincas Jawetz (pj@sustainabilitank.info)

The elections for the UN Security Council are in:

Japan, Mexico, Turkey, Austria, Uganda have finished their two year term and will be replaced by
India, Colombia, Germany, Portugal, and South Africa.

Lebanon, Brazil, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Nigeria, and Gabon are the hold-outs for 2011.

The only real contest was for the seats in the Western European and Other States Group (WEOG). The final contest there was between Canada and Portugal. Speaking after the vote, Portuguese Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs Joao Cravinho said the fact that Portugal is a smaller country appealed to other states of similar size and power.

“Our own campaign had enormous amounts of receptivity in the message that we brought about our willingness to engage closely – not just for the purposes of the campaign, but to engage closely over our tenure in the Security Council with different regional groups, with countries big and small. Our campaign was also based on the idea that countries of small or medium-sized dimension should have a voice, be present in Security Council, this message had a lot of echo and, in the end, was the basis for our success,” said Cravinho. We believe that the US would have liked to see Canada win this contest.

German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle told reporters that his country’s first round victory is a sign of international trust in Germany’s role in global affairs. We believe that Germany like Brazil, Japan and South Africa (G-4) should be permanent members of the UN Security Council. Next year Japan will be outside as they just completed their term.

These contests reminded us of the Island – Austria contest two years ago. Then both contenders were small States somewhat irrelevant in the UN structure – with one outside and one inside the EU. This time Canada was a larger contender, but Portugal has some similar-language former colonies that will back her. Then Iceland had the Scandinavian countries back her, but the economy was the miller’s stone around her neck – then, Austria fought as if the country’s life was at stake. In the larger context of the UN these fights point at the fact that the WEOG is a strange construct that has not got the feeling of the new UN forces yet, and is continuing under the assumption that nothing has changed, and that Europe can continue unchanged its post-World War II  multi-seating at important international bodies, even by over-ruling the non-EU members of the group. But unless the EU does unite into one strong force – these fights rather look like battles staged in an operetta.

The new elected States include India, Germany and South Africa which add up to Brazil and Nigeria from among the holdovers – to form a strongest quintet the UN has come up with in recent years. Only Japan will be missed. And let us see:

With India, South Africa and Germany winning three of the rotating non-permanent seats in the UN Security Council (UNSC), this is the first time the Security Council will witness the simultaneous presence of all BRIC, IBSA, and BASIC countries and three of the four G4 countries.

The BRIC countries comprise four emerging powers including Brazil, Russia, India and China who are set to becoming leading economies of the world by 2050. Russia and China are already permanent members of the UNSC – albeit not the original signers of the UN Charter!

Brazil was elected to a non-permanent seat last year and will remain there till end of 2011.

The IBSA comprises India, Brazil and South Africa, bringing three leading economies of three continents together.

The G4 comprising India, Brazil, Germany and Japan are aspiring for a permanent seat in the UNSC. India won the seat vacated by Japan from the Asia region.

The BASIC countries are The US and China – the so called G-2 – and IBSA. This is the leading group that chiseled out an approach to climate change in Copenhagen, will wait out changes in the US in Cancun, but will prepare some alternative approach for the 2011 meeting in Cape Town – not a moment too soon. So the UNSC will have the right configuration next year to deal with the subject.

India, as one of the four  countries seeking to expand the Security Council’s permanent membership,  G-4, U.N. Ambassador Hardeep Singh Puri said his country would use its two-year term to work towards a longer-term stay on the body. He also spoke about what India’s presence will contribute to the council.

“We bring the voice of one-sixth of humanity. We have 63 years of experience in nation building, and I think that is what the U.N. can use. We have experience in peacekeeping. We would like to transcend that into peace building,” said Puri.

South Africa has returned to the council after only a two-year absence. Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Maite Nkoana-Mashabane said her country would work with states both inside and outside the council to keep Africa as a zone of peace, security and development. It seems that Africa gets it now – that they must have a permanent representation at the table.

The BRIC nations – Brazil, Russia, India and China – could present a united front on several contentious issues.

Earlier this year, Kazakhstan withdrew from the race leaving India as a sole runner from Asia for the two year term. The last time India had a seat on the Security Council was in 1992.

“BRIC coordination in the Security Council becomes a fact of life,” the Indian Foreign Minister said after a meeting with the foreign ministers of the three other countries.

BASIC becomes a way to tackle the global environment problems starting 2011 – we say. The subject was introduced to the UNSC by the UK in 2006 and no doubt will now come back strengthened with this new palette of members. Mexico’s membership at the Security Council, they are one of the States that are finishing their term, did nothing for Cancun – as if they were not there at all.

——

And an aside about the future of WEAG contests – for the 2013-2014 UNSC membership shift the competition in 2012 will be between Australia, Luxembourg and Finland. Australia is afraid that their fate will be similar to that of Canada this year – but we understand that Australia did not back Canada this time as it would have been even harder to replace Canada that has a similar background like Australia, then it will be to replace Portugal.

Another aside please see www.innercitypress.com/weog2junke…
It seems that some believe that the right-wing Canadian government policies had something to do with the outcome that allows the EU to end up with four out of the total 15 chairs around the UNSC horse-shoe table.

Canada until this year managed to get a seat on the Council 6 times – that is once every decade – this compared to India that had a seat also 6 times earlier – last time in 1992 – and  was badly defeated by Japan in 2006. We found a paper from Winnipeg that accuses the Harper Government directly for this loss rather then trying to understand that distributing maple syrup bottles to delegations and sending in the mounties to the UN and paying for African Ambassador junkets – simply does not work when the competitor is a multi-headed EU. It is wrong to think that the right wing government was the only reason, – the UN had no problem with Colombia even though they were opposed by the ALBA group.

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Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on September 13th, 2010
by Pincas Jawetz (pj@sustainabilitank.info)





































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Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on August 3rd, 2010
by Pincas Jawetz (pj@sustainabilitank.info)

from Richard J.T. Klein <richard.klein@sei.se>
date Sun, Aug 1, 2010
subject Deadline for abstracts extended to 10 August: ‘Climate Adaptation in the Nordic Countries’


Due to technical problems with the abstract submission system we have extended the deadline for submitting abstracts to Tuesday 10 August.
Abstracts can be submitted online at nordicadaptation2010.net/

Abstracts are invited on all issues relevant to climate adaptation in the Nordic countries, including (but not limited to) the following:

– Theory and methods for adaptation research
– Scenario-based impact studies
– Vulnerability assessment and vulnerability indicators
– Adaptation as a social process (including cultural factors, values, institutions)
– Climate information, climate services
– Adaptation planning and decision tools
– Adaptation policy development
– The economics of adaptation
– Adaptation in urban regions
– Adaptation in rural areas
– Adaptation and natural resources (forests, agriculture, water, marine environment)
– Adaptation in the tourist sector
– Adaptation and human health
– Insurance, finance and adaptation
– The role of non-state actors in adaptation (civil society, private sector)
– Gender perspectives on adaptation
Nordic adaptation within an EU and global context
– Links between adaptation and mitigation

We also welcome your suggestions for parallel sessions, especially those that bring together knowledge from multiple locations and research projects. Session proposals should include a description of the session (topic, motivation, format). Please send your session proposal, together with abstracts for each suggested presentation, by email to nordicadaptation.content@sei.se no later than 10 August. All parallel sessions will be 90 minutes long.

As communicated earlier, the international conference ”Climate Adaptation in the Nordic Countries: Science, Practice, Policy’ will take place in Stockholm on 8–10 November 2010. Please note that we are unable to provide financial support to participants. Any requests to this effect will be ignored.

Should you have any further questions, do not hesitate to contact us at nordicadaptation.content@sei.se.

Richard Klein


Professor Richard J.T. Klein
Stockholm Environment Institute
Kräftriket 2B
10691 Stockholm, Sweden
web.me.com/rjtklein/

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Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on July 26th, 2010
by Pincas Jawetz (pj@sustainabilitank.info)

We know that most paper nominated the American Robert Dudley to replace Tony Hayward at the helm of the sinking BP.
After all one third of the company’s oil and gas wells, refineries and other business interests are in the US, and no less then 40% of its shareholders are in the US – and you bet – the major known disaster they are part of is in the US. So, will an American at top help quiet down the anti-foreigner sentiment projected at Hayward?

But then the following article tells us that this is a case fit to push a woman to the top – if you wish – over the cliff – thus scoring points somehow in a lost situation. You see – women can advance and take over the job from failed men? Will this then hold up? Will it be a fitting American Woman of  Texas – or Alaska – may be?

Day 96 to the Macondo Blow-out: Tony Hayward Out at BP; Don’t Be Surprised If They Pick a Woman to Replace Him.

BY Anya Kamenetz July 26, 2010.

Tony Hayward

Tony Hayward is reported to be out as the CEO of BP, with a sweet 600,000-pound pension waiting for him (that’s $928K) as a “reward” for not only presiding over the Deepwater Horizon disaster, but performing like a whiny schoolboy in the weeks and months since. “I want my life back”? Congratulations, you’ve got it.

If history is any guide, BP may well choose a woman to replace him. During the recent financial crisis and recession, women emerged as the go-to turnaround leadership candidates for institutions and nations in trouble. Carol Bartz as CEO of the embattled Yahoo. Mary Schapiro as head of the beleaguered SEC. Elin Sigfusdottir and Birna Einarsdottir, appointed to run two (out of three) of Iceland’s nationalized banks (New Landsbanki and New Glitni), after the collapse of the country’s financial system and Johanna Sigurdardottir as the nation’s interim prime minister–both the first-ever female head of state in Iceland and the first openly gay head of state anywhere. Elizabeth Warren, currently the leading candidate to head the newly created Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and try to make sense of the hash of consumer financial protections. Even at BP itself, before Cynthia Warner left to head biofuels startup Sapphire Energy, she was made the head of a new health, safety, and security group in BP’s refining sector in response to the 2005 Texas City disaster (unfortunately, she apparently failed to have a lasting impact on the oil company with the worst safety and environmental record in the Big Six).

Michelle Ryan and Alex Haslam, two British social psychologists, say these kind of barbed opportunities are all too commonly offered to women. They call this phenomenon “the glass cliff.”

In 2008, the S&P 500 fell 38.5%, its worst year since 1937. But the average large company run by a woman was down four points more–42.7%. Women’s average tenure as CEOs tends to be lower and stock performance worse.

Ryan and Haslam’s studies have found the reason behind this: It’s not that women are categorically worse leaders, but that they are disproportionately hired as CEOs only at firms that have been struggling for years. High-flying companies almost never appointed women to top positions. Their controlled experiments confirm that professionals in the business, legal, and academic worlds are far more likely to choose a woman for a leadership role when the enterprise’s chances are dicey.

The glass cliff is a dangerous corollary to the glass ceiling. For many complex reasons, women–along with other outsiders like minorities–tend to be handed the chance to lead only when an enterprise is already on a downward spiral. If BP decides to go this way, you heard it here first.

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