Putting Arctic shipping under the magnifying glass
Increased activity in fishing, oil exploration, pleasure cruising and shipping will place new demands on those operating in the north. But how? In 2014, the Arctic Frontiers conference highlighted the challenges and opportunities of the maritime industry in the north.
Each year, the independent Arctic Frontiers conference gathers key politicians, industry operators and researchers to discuss pan-Arctic issues. The Tromsø-based conference is so popular that it is visited annually by over 1,000 delegates and 100 journalists from around the world. That is no coincidence.
The Swedish Minister of Foreign Affairs, Carl Bildt, was one of many guests during Arctic Frontiers this year. (Photo: Rune Alexandersen)
Increased shipping in the north
When the conference is next held, from 19 to 24 January 2014, it shall be entitled Humans in the Arctic. This theme was chosen partly because of the increased shipping traffic in the area. An activity which is likely to increase dramatically in the future, and will demand new requirements for technical solutions, occupational health and search and rescue.
Opportunities and challenges
There are a number of partnerships behind Arctic Frontiers. The aim of the conference is to highlight the fact that there are significant opportunities for industry operators in the north, but it is essential that people and companies also consider the long-term consequences of activities in the area.
The primary language of the conference is English and presentations will be simultaneously interpreted into Russian and Norwegian.
Shipping and offshore activities in the Arctic
Arctic Frontiers is an open meeting place for representatives from politics, industry, research, diplomacy and civil society with an interest in Arctic issues. The conference was first held in 2007, and has since evolved into a key international forum for issues regarding the northern region.
Monday and Tuesday of the conference week are devoted to policy matters, and Wednesday through Friday is devoted to scientific matters. In addition to the scientific sessions, which deal with maritime issues under the headings Shipping in the Arctic and Search and Rescue, there are also two committees dealing with health issues. This committee addresses issues under the titles Health and environment and Live, work and stay healthy in the Arctic.