Walt Meier, of the US National Snow and Ice Data Center, will present the significance of the declining in Arctic sea ice during summer 2012. Other featured speakers include Robert Blaauw, Shell International’s Senior Advisor to its Global Arctic Theme, Gustaf Lind, Swedish Ambassador to the Arctic and Chair of the Arctic Council's Senior Arctic Officials, and Duane Smith, President and Vice-Chair, Inuit Circumpolar Council (Canada). Also featured will be Greenland’s Deputy Foreign Minister Inuuteq Holm Olsen, British Antarctic Survey glaciologist Prof. David Vaughan, and Gunnar Wiegand, Acting Managing Director for Europe and Central Asia, European External Action Service. Full speaker list and provisional programme.

The issues facing the Arctic, during this time of change and global warming uncertainty, will be subject to frank and lively debate between these, and other prominent Arctic players, such as EU and Arctic nation policymakers, scientists, and representatives of industry and the Arctic’s indigenous peoples.

This year's symposium also features a roundtable discussion with senior policymakers and representatives from Arctic Council nations, led by Charles Emmerson. The two-day event will also feature presentations and discussions on:
• The future of Arctic energy resources - including renewable energy solutions
• Sustainable management of living natural resources and marine protected areas
• Developing maritime and coastal infrastructure to meet the growing needs of shipping and search and rescue efforts in an ice free Arctic
• The vital importance of long-term scientific monitoring programmes in the Arctic

The Arctic Futures Symposium 2012 is an initiative of the International Polar Foundation, in partnership with the SPF Affaires étrangères, Commerce extérieur et Coopération au développement and the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation, with the support of the EU Committee of the Regions, the European External Action Service (EEAS) and the European Commission.

The Arctic Futures Symposium is scheduled for the 4th and 5th of October, in Brussels, at the Committee of the Regions, Jacques Delors Building. Prior registration is mandatory. Registrations must be received no later than Monday, October 1st.

The 2012 Arctic Futures Symposium will take place at the EU Committee of the Regions Jacques Delors Building, located at:

Rue Belliard / Belliardstraat 101
B - 1040 Brussels, Belgium

For registration details and with further information, please visit www.arcticfutures.org or contact us at: events@polarfoundation.org or +32 2 543 06 98

Press contact: Dave Walsh International Polar Foundation, Brussels, Belgium, +32 493 140 966 (M), or +32 2 543 06 98 Email: dwalsh@polarfoundation.org

The Symposium's provisional programme is available here. Note: there may be some small changes to the programme – please check www.arcticfutures.org for updates.

Featured Speakers at Arctic Futures 2012:

• HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco
• Maria Damanaki, European Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries
• Gustaf Lind, Swedish Ambassador to the Arctic
• Karsten Klepsvik, Norwegian Ambassador to the Arctic Council
• Hannu Halinen, Finnish Ambassador for Arctic Affairs
• Klavs A. Holm, Danish Ambassador to the Arctic Council
• Hjálmar W. Hannesson, Icelandic Senior Arctic Official
• Inuuteq Holm Olsen, Deputy Foreign Minister of Greenland
• Alexander Kristiyanov, Deputy Chief of Mission of the Russian Federation to the European Union
• Gunnar Wiegand, Acting Managing Director for Europe and Central Asia, European External Action Service
• Didier Reynders, Belgian Federal Minister of Foreign Affairs, Foreign Trade and European Affairs
• Veronika Veits, Head of our Unit for International Affairs, Law of the Sea and Regional Fisheries Organisations, DG MARE
• Caroline Broun, Economic Officer for Environment, Science and Technology, United States Mission to the European Union
• Charles Emmerson, Chatham House Senior Research Fellow on Energy, Environment and Resources and author of The Future History of the Arctic
• Duane Smith, President and Vice-Chair, ICC Canada
• Bernard W. Funston, Chair, Canadian Polar Commission
• Georg Larusson, Director General of the Icelandic Coast Guard
• Lars-Anders Baer, Chair, Working Group of Indigenous Peoples in the Barents Euro-Arctic Region
• Alfred Jakobsen, Executive Director, ICC Greenland Office
• Prof. Konrad Steffen, Director, Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research
• Robert J. Blaauw, Senior Advisor Global Arctic Theme, Shell International Exploration and Production B.V.
• Prof. David Vaughan, glaciologist from the British Antarctic Survey (BAS) and Lead Co-ordinator of the EU’s FP7-funded ice2sea project
• Dr. Igor Krupnik, Anthropologist and Curator of Arctic and Northern Ethnology collections,Arctic Studies Centre, Smithsonian Institution
• Joachim Schwarz, Former Director, Hamburg Ship Model Research Center
• Julie Grignon, Director General, Directorate General for Electricity, Energy Sector, Québec Ministry of Natural Resources and Fauna
• Walt Meier, Research Scientist, National Snow and Ice Data Center, Univeristy of Colorado Boulder.
• Helge Tangen, Regional Director, Norwegian Meteorological Institute; board member of theEuropean Ice Services (EIS) ; Node Manager for the European Arctic, Polar View Earth Observation Ltd.
• Jens Boye, Fleet Manager, Royal Arctic Line
• Terry Callaghan, Coordinator, INTERACT consortium
• Dorothée Herr, Marine Programme Officer, Global Marine and Polar Programme,International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN)