IAF’s ‘Sustainable Development’ Pillar to Feature Expert Discussion on Improving Arctic Ecology

Two discussions will be held on the ecology of the Arctic as part of the ‘Sustainable Development’ pillar at the 5th ‘Arctic: Territory of Dialogue’ International Arctic Forum, which will be held at the ExpoForum CEC in St. Petersburg on 9-10 April. Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Patricia Espinosa will take part in the discussions.

The session ‘Arctic of the Future: Sustainable Solutions’ will also be attended by Russian Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Dmitry Kobylkin; State Secretary of the Minister of Trade, Industry, and Fisheries of the Kingdom of Norway Roy Angelvik; Chairman of the Arctic Economic Council and President of Mariadi Oy Tero Vauraste; Ambassador-at-Large for Arctic Affairs of the European External Action Service Marie-Anne Coninsx, and other experts on Arctic development issues. The panellists will discuss the problems concerning global warming in the Arctic climate, which not only entail challenges, but also create new opportunities for international cooperation. 

The second event will be ‘The Arctic – The ‘Weather Kitchen’. The participants will discuss new opportunities that require urgent efforts to adapt measures to avoid a crisis in the region’s economic and social development. The discussion will be attended by Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the French Republic to the Russian Federation Silvie-Agnes Bermann, Director of the Climate and Energy Programme at the World Wildlife Fund Russia Alexey Kokorin, and other specialized experts.

“We are committed to an open, constructive international dialogue on the future of the Arctic region, and the Paris Agreement could be another step in successfully implementing the Arctic development programme as a whole”, Advisor to the Russian President Anton Kobyakov said. “In this regard, we wholeheartedly welcome Patricia Espinosa’s participation in the International Arctic Forum’s business programme and we expect to receive the most up-to-date information on scientific research concerning the ecology of the region as well as discuss projects that have been created to improve the climate of the Far North”.

Espinosa is the chief of the UN system responsible for climate change. Since 2016, Espinosa has been coordinating work to implement the Paris Agreement, which will take effect thirty days after it is ratified by at least 55 countries responsible for 55 percent of all harmful emissions to the atmosphere.

“We believe that adaptation and greater resistance of the Arctic region to global climate change is a difficult challenge common to all interested countries. Let us note, in this connection, the importance of the Paris Climate Agreement, the possibility of ratifying the Agreement being studied carefully by our country. “This must be a weighed and substantiated decision”, Russia’s Ambassador-at-large of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Nikolay Korchunov said, stressing the relevance of the issue. “The dialogue on environment protection must be continued. The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change remains a proven, authoritative, professional and not politically motivated platform for discussing the climate. We consider that participation by its Executive Secretary in the Forum makes the discussion of the development prospects for collaboration along climate lines even more in-depth and also contributes to substantive discussion of the Arctic development strategy in general.” 

The international community considers the Paris Agreement an important historical document and is counting on the political will of governments and the support of big business and civil society from leading countries in their efforts to transition to a low-carbon economy for the adoption of decisions on the development of the region as part of the agreement. The Paris Agreement establishes a framework for the active efforts of all parties involved in the development of the Arctic.

For reference: ‘Arctic: Territory of Dialogue’ 5th International Arctic Forum  and The Roscongress Foundation