Meetings of this year’s Arctic Circle Assembly can be held on the Finnish icebreaker MSV Nordica, which has arrived this week in Reykjavik. "We want to showcase Finnish Arctic expertise in Iceland during the world’s largest annual international gathering on the Arctic", says Eero Hokkanen, Communications Manager at Arctia, the company owning the icebreaker.
"By reaching out especially to leaders of those nations and organizations in need of icebreaking services, we wish to discuss the idea of sharing icebreakers and jointly using all icebreakers around the world for common good", adds Mr Hokkanen.
The idea behind this is that Arctic offers its fleet and expertise for the international research community by using the rare occurrence of commercial icebreaker transit voyages also for other purposes such as polar research. Ideally, one day icebreakers all over the world could be jointly used for research purposes in polar areas.
Visiting the icebreaker
Organizations planning meetings during the Arctic Circle Assembly can hire space on board MSV Nordica for their events, a press release from Arctia reads. The vessel has two rooms available for meetings, one hosting maximum 40 people and the other 20, which can be booked through the Arctic Circle Assembly room reservation system.
The vessel will also be open to the general public through a restricted tour on board on all three days of the Assembly.
Arctic Circle Assembly 2017
The annual Arctic Circle Assembly, which this year takes place between 13 and 15 October at the Harpa Conference Centre in Reykjavik, is an ideal occasion to showcase Arctic expertise given the large number of people participating from various backgrounds.
Last year, over 2000 participants from more than 45 countries attended 82 breakout sessions. At this year’s Assembly there will be 135 sessions with over 600 speakers. The speakers will represent governments, businesses, scientific institutions, environmental organizations, companies, and other Arctic partners.
Archbishop of Constantinople attending Arctic Circle
Next to the visiting icebreaker, the Arctic Circle Assembly 2017 has more highlights to show for. His All-Holiness, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople will participate in the Assembly. He has been the 270th and current Archbishop of Constantinople since 1991. As the head of the Eastern Orthodox Church, he is regarded as the representative and spiritual leader of the 300 million Orthodox Christians worldwide.
Further, plenary and breakout session will address topics as diverse as engagement of indigenous peoples, arms race and disarmament in Arctic dialogues, food and agriculture in Greenland, engagement of Arctic youth, ocean governance and protection, Arctic fisheries, autonomous underwater vehicles for researching the Arctic Ocean, and sustainable community development.