Climate change is creating both challenges and opportunities for economic development in the Arctic. Leaders from various sectors will present and discuss their perspectives regarding how Canada can position itself to take advantage of these opportunities while at the same time preparing for the challenges. Infrastructure such as rail lines, deep water ports; regional and international trade; tourism; and development of renewable and non renewable resources will be considered. Participation with the audience will highlight the role of science in the preparation for Arctic economic development at both the local and international levels.
Mr. Murad Al-Katib, Arctic Gateway
Dr. Heather Exner-Pirot, Observatoire de la politique et la securite de l’Arctique (CIRRIQ)
Mayor Michael Spence, Town of Churchill
Mayor Simionie Sammurtok, Hamlet of Chesterfield Inlet
The Pikialasorsuaq (North Water Polynya), located in northern Baffin Bay between Canada’s Ellesmere Island and Greenland, is the largest polynya in the Arctic and is home to a large and diverse biological ecosystem. This ecosystem has supported Inuit for millennia and is central to Inuit hunting and harvesting. In recent decades, Inuit communities and scientific literature have documented significant changes in the polynya’s physical and biological processes. In 2013, Inuit Circumpolar Council (ICC) Canada and ICC Greenland initiated a workshop to address the concerns of the communities in the Pikialasorsuaq area, resulting in an Inuit-led Pikialasorsuaq Commission. After community consultations and verification with Inuit throughout the region, the Commission published three major recommendations in a November 2017 report. These recommendations called for the establishment of an Inuit management regime and the protection and conservation of the Pikialsorsuaq. This panel will highlight different perspectives and ideas on how to implement these recommendations.