Canada will work with other nations to protect the vulnerable Arctic: Canada

From: Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada

Arctic science and Indigenous knowledge key to making the Arctic more resilient

October 26, 2018 – Ottawa, Ontario

The Arctic is the fastest warming place on Earth. Indigenous knowledge combined with Arctic research is essential to helping the government better understand how to protect northern regions against the impacts of climate change.

This was the topic of a speech delivered by the Honourable Stéphane Dion, Ambassador to Germany and Special Envoy to the European Union and Europe, during the second Arctic Science Ministerial meeting, which took place in Berlin, Germany, on October 25 and 26, 2018. Special Envoy Dion attended the conference as the head of the Canadian delegation on behalf of the Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science and Sport, and signed a joint statement with the other attending nations on Arctic science collaboration. The conference was a gathering of science ministers from Arctic and non-Arctic states as well as representatives of Indigenous and international organizations.

In his address, Special Envoy Dion discussed how science and Indigenous knowledge are key to understanding the threats Arctic communities face, which is necessary for building a path toward thriving, resilient environments and societies in the North. He highlighted how polar regions are subject to some of the most immediate and dramatic effects of global climate change and talked about how Arctic societies, environments and economies are experiencing these challenges first-hand.

The Government of Canada recently announced a federal carbon pollution pricing system, an initiative to help fight climate change and protect the environment while growing a clean economy.

“Our understanding of the challenges faced in the Arctic region, as well as their solutions, must be guided by local knowledge. Our ever-expanding scientific knowledge on the impacts of climate change in the Arctic is most valuable when used to address the pressing adaptation needs of northern communities and the wellness of Arctic residents, together with Arctic residents.”

– The Honourable Stéphane Dion, Ambassador to Germany and Special Envoy to the European Union and Europe

“Our government is committed to strengthening evidence-based decision making, and the Arctic is no exception to this. That is why Canada is co-developing an Arctic and Northern Policy Framework with Indigenous, territorial and provincial representatives. This framework will take an inclusive approach that brings together Indigenous knowledge and Arctic science.”

– The Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science and Sport

Quick facts

  • Canada supports science: Budget 2018’s historic investment of nearly $4 billion over five years in research and in the next generation of scientists is the single largest investment in fundamental research in Canadian history.

  • Budget 2018 is also providing $20.6 million over four years to POLAR Knowledge Canada to support the Canadian High Arctic Research Station campus and enable world-class, cutting-edge research that strengthens Canadian leadership in polar science and technology.

  • The first Arctic Science Ministerial was held at the White House in 2016 and focused on enhancing Arctic observations and data sharing, identifying pressing challenges in Arctic science, and empowering Arctic and non-Arctic citizens through STEM education.

  • The themes discussed at the second Arctic Science Ministerial included

    • strengthening, integrating and sustaining Arctic observations;
    • facilitating access to Arctic data and sharing Arctic research infrastructure;
    • understanding regional and global dynamics of Arctic change; and
    • assessing vulnerability and building resilience of Arctic environments and societies.

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