Conference addresses global challenges in the Arctic on March 28

Posted on Mar 14, 2012 in Government and Law

Climate change, navigation lanes, sovereignty and resource extraction in the Arctic are subject to growing international attention.

Climate change, navigation lanes, sovereignty and resource extraction in the Arctic are subject to growing international attention.  

Now, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is drawing the debate into the limelight at a conference on March 28 to address the region’s future.

Experts on the countries with the longest Arctic coastlines will convene from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. for the “Who ‘Owns’ the Arctic?” conference at The Carolina Inn and the FedEx Global Education Center.

UNC Center for Slavic, Eurasian and East European Studies in conjunction with the Center for Canadian Studies at Duke University , in partnership with the Government of Canada, the country with the world’s second-longest Arctic coastline.

Confirmed conference speakers include:

  • Co-keynote speaker, Pavel Baev, research professor at Peace Research Institute Oslo in Norway
  • Co-keynote speaker, Michael Byers, author of “Who Owns the Arctic?” (Douglas & Mcintyre, 2009) and Canada Research Chair in Global Politics and International Law at the University of British Columbia
  • Susan Crate, associate professor of environmental policy and sciences, George Mason University
  • Richard G. Newell, Gendell Associate Professor of Energy and Environmental Economics at Duke University
  • Commander Tony Miller, oceanographer and deputy director of the U.S. Navy Task Force Climate Change
  • Co-keynote speaker, Mary Simon, president of Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, the national organization representing Inuit from Nunavut, Nunavik in Northern Quebec, Nunatsiavut in Labrador and the Inuvialuit region of the Northwest Territories
  • Brian Van Pay, office of ocean and polar affairs in the Bureau of Oceans, Environment and Science, U.S. Department of State

Conference participants include leading researchers and practitioners who will discuss issues related to Arctic energy and resource management from U.S., Canadian, Russian, Western European and other perspectives.

The conference coincides with the 30th anniversary of the United Nations Convention of the Law of the Sea, which grants sovereign states exclusive rights to all internal waters and territorial waters extending 12 nautical miles from shore. Debates about the convention’s implementation have been driving forces for the gathering.

Conference proceedings will be conveyed in real time through Twitter via the hashtag #ArcticUNCDuke and recorded and distributed via Vimeo following the conference. Selected conference papers will be published by the Canada Institute of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.

Register online at

UNC Global contact: Katie Bowler,, (919) 962-4504