Environmental Sustainability Consulting
Professor Richard Steiner, Oasis Earth, Anchorage
The Arctic is one of the most extraordinary, unique, and threatened regions in the global biosphere. The region is suffering effects of climate change more severely than elsewhere, with growing ecological and cultural consequences. Governments and industry are looking to exploit the Arctic for oil and gas, minerals, shipping, commercial fishing, tourism, and military and strategic interests; all of which may compound environmental impacts and risks. While the Antarctic is protected by international treaty, the Arctic is not, and remains largely subject to the commercial and strategic interests of the eight Arctic nations, including the U.S. There is growing global concern for the conservation and sustainability of the region.
Many feel that 2015/2016 will be pivotal years for the future of the Arctic: the U.S. assumes chairmanship of the Arctic Council; the Obama administration may consider legacy conservation actions in its final years; Arctic nations will make long-term decisions regarding resource development; and the UN Climate Summit in Paris offers a real opportunity for global agreement to reduce carbon emissions.
This may be a “last-best-chance” to secure permanent protections for the Arctic, and this is more likely to occur if there is broad public understanding and support for Arctic conservation, and with bold political leadership.
Imperiled Arctic Presentation
To help the general public better understand and engage current issues in the Arctic, a one-hour presentation has been developed for the general public, using over 300 spectacular professional photographs from across the Arctic, mostly from the National Geographic and Greenpeace International image collections.
The presentation is organized in three sections:
1. Place – The beauty, natural history, and uniqueness of the Arctic; marine and terrestrial biodiversity, and human communities;
2. Issues – Climate change, oil and gas, mining, shipping, fisheries, territorial disputes, contaminants, military proliferation, socio-economic challenges;
3. Solutions – Opportunities in 2015/2016 to shape the future Arctic through policy decisions that will be made by the U.S., the Arctic Council, industry, and the international community.
The Imperiled Arctic presentation is open for Q&A and discussion at the end; and is a non-profit, public education initiative.
To schedule Imperiled Arctic, host organizations need only provide speaker travel costs (from Anchorage, Alaska), on-site arrangements and advertising, and a negotiable speaker stipend (to help defray program development and photo licensing costs). Please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Richard Steiner is a marine conservation biologist who works internationally on marine environmental issues including Arctic conservation, offshore oil, climate change, shipping, oil spills, seabed mining, and marine biodiversity. He was a marine conservation professor with the University of Alaska for 30 years, first stationed in the Arctic. Today, he lives in Anchorage, Alaska, and continues to work on marine conservation issues across the Arctic, through his Oasis Earth project: www.oasis-earth.com.