February 28, 2014, Yukon, Canada - The Standing Committee of Parliamentarians of the Arctic Region (SCPAR) gathered in Ottawa recently to discuss shipping, economic development, and the health and well-being of Arctic residents as they prepare for a major conference this September in Whitehorse, Yukon.
GRID-Arendal’s Tiina Kurvits and John Crump participated in the meeting, part of the organization’s long-standing relationship with the elected members of parliaments from the eight countries that form the Arctic Council. Lars Kullerud, head of the University of the Arctic, also attended the meeting.
Canada is approaching the midway point of its two-year term chairing the Arctic Council. That country’s Minister of Environment, Leona Aglukaaq, updated the parliamentarians on the status of the Arctic Council work programme. Officials from the Canadian government discussed shipping and the Northwest Passage, which Canada claims as inland waters. Others outlined work that is going on to deal with long-term health and well-being issues in the Arctic, as well as options for economic development beyond resource extraction.
The University of the Arctic gave a presentation on the need to support northern innovation to create vibrant economies in the 21st Century.
Picture: Tiina Kurvits, John Crump and Lars Kullerud, from GRID-Arendal, attended the meeting. ©Bernard Thibodeau, House of Commons photographer