October 19, 2015 • Philip Burgess
In a few short years the Arctic Circle assembly, held annually in Iceland’s capital has grown to become the largest Arctic related gathering, and is now attended by more than 1500 participants from close to 50 countries. The Assembly is held every October at the Harpa Conference Center and Conference Hall in Reykjavík, Iceland and has just wrapped up. In addition, the Arctic Circle organizes smaller forums on specific subjects, such as the 2015 forums in Alaska and Singapore, and the 2016 forums in Québec and Greenland. This year was no exception and even featured a keynote by President Hollande of France who noted the critical importance of action on climate change in advance of COP 21 in Paris, next month. Watch videos of the keynote presentations here and see photos here.
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Norway’s State Secretary and Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Tore Hattrem was in attendance and said Norway has stepped up its climate diplomacy over the last year and noted “Climate change affects everything. It can change food production globally, and in the end also affect security policy”
ICR Director Anders Oskal is on the Advisory Board of the Assembly and spoke at two sessions – one on Arctic Research and the other on Business and Cultural Development in the North where he was joined by Mikhail Pogodaev, who is currently the acting chair of the Northern Forum. In total ICR delivered 7 speeches and hosted 2 outbreak sessions in cooperation with the Northern Forum, IASSA, IASC, UArctic and business leaders.
The ICR/ WRH team are travelling onwards to the Arctic Council Senior Arctic Officials meeting, the first under the US chairmanship which gets underway in Anchorage tomorrow.
November 1, 2014 • Philip Burgess
Anders Oskal, the Director of the International Centre for Reindeer Husbandry will be presenting at the Arctic Circle conference tomorrow, Sunday November 2.
Oskal was invited by the President of Iceland to be a part of the Advisory Board to the high level conference entitled ‘Arctic Circle‘, which (from their website)
is nonprofit and nonpartisan. Organizations, forums, think tanks, corporations and public associations around the world are invited to hold meetings within the Arctic Circle platform to advance their own missions and the broader goal of increasing collaborative decision-making without surrendering their institutional independence.
The Arctic Circle is designed to increase participation in Arctic dialogue and strengthen the international focus on the future of the Arctic.
The meeting has attracted some very high profile names and organisations. Oskal will be presenting in the plenary session ‘Indigenous Voices in the Arctic”. Follow #ArcticCircle2014 on Twitter for live updates. Download the full programme here.
October 28, 2010 • Philip Burgess
(Souece – Iceland Review, mbl.is) It is now possible to monitor the movements of reindeer on the website of the East Iceland Nature Center (NA). GPS monitors have been placed on 12 females for research purposes, which transmit their location on a daily basis.
“A new world has opened up to us: how the animals behave, what land they use and where they go,” Skarphédinn G. Thórisson, a NA employee and the project’s leader, told mbl.is.
The project, which was launched in 2008, is Thórisson’s Master’s thesis from the Agricultural University of Iceland (AUI) in Hvanneyri.
In 2009, NA and AUI received a grant from Rannís, the Icelandic Center for Research, to purchase 15 GPS monitors and 12 thereof were placed on selected animals in the beginning of 2009.
May 13, 2010 • Philip Burgess
While the world has heard a lot about the impact of the Icelandic volcano on air traffic and the economy, what about its impact on Iceland’s reindeer?
In the last few weeks, the world could hardly have failed to have heard about the Icelandic volcano with the difficult to pronounce (for non Icelandic speakers) name. Air traffic has been disrupted across Europe and airlines have lost over a billion dollars in lost revenue. The impact on the regions climate is unclear but has been the topic of much speculation.
Latest information received from the Icelandic Meteorological Office indicates that the explosive activity from the Eyjafjallajökull volcano is continuing, with the ash plume reaching heights of up to around 18,000 ft. The Icelandic Met Office state that there are no signs that the eruption is about to end, with the volcanic eruption remaining dynamic.
April 24, 2009 • Philip Burgess
(pic: Páll Stefánsson) In areas of reindeer husbandry in Norway, Sweden or Finland, it is difficult to imagine that a reindeer that wandered onto a farm would get much hospitality. Harder still to imagine is that a Minister for Environment might get involved to argue that the reindeer must be protected and allowed to live, over the wishes of their national Environment agency. Even the farmer concerned wants to rescue ‘Lif’, an orphaned reindeer calf. Yet, that is exactly what has happened in Iceland, which as we all know is a little bit different. Read the full story here.
Many may not know that there are reindeer on Iceland at all, where a small scattered wild herd (no herding here) is concentrated in the East of the island and is subjected to an annual commercial hunt.
May 26, 2008 • Philip Burgess
(Iceland -Original story Morgunbladid mbl.is)
The staff at East Iceland Natural History Institute is quite busy these days making reindeer calves and counting wild reindeers in the eastern part of Iceland. One staff member was lucky to get away alive when a reindeer attacked him.