Organizers announce a conference entitled "Arctic Transportation Infrastructure: Response Capacity and Sustainable Development in the Arctic." It will be held 3-6 December 2012 at the Icelandair Hotel Natura in Reykjavik, Iceland.
Increased resource extraction to support economic and community development and increased shipping traffic through arctic waters have resulted in the corresponding need for an increased capacity to respond by sea and air. Arctic ports and airports serve as an important base for response, acting as a gateway to support SAR, resource extraction and development activities, pollution prevention and environmental safety, and community health and security.
The Arctic Council's Sustainable Development Working Group approved a project during the Swedish Chairmanship (co-led by the United States and Iceland) to assess transportation infrastructure. The Arctic Marine and Aviation Transportation Infrastructure Initiative (AMATII) seeks to evaluate Northern infrastructure--ports, airports, and response capability--by inventorying maritime and aviation assets in the Arctic.
The Arctic Transportation Infrastructure conference is part of this project. Invited participants include policy makers and government officials; aviation and marine subject matter experts from the private, public, independent and academic sectors; and community leaders and Permanent Participants.
During the first part of the conference, arctic experts will meet in both plenary and work sessions to discuss infrastructure vis-a-vis response, technology, and investment. Case studies and illustrative stories of northern aviation and marine infrastructure--contributed by participants--will serve to highlight the challenges of infrastructure development in the Arctic and its role in facilitating sustainable development.
Participants will also have a chance to view and evaluate the Arctic Port and Airport Database and web-based map, which is the primary deliverable of this project. Subject matter expert input will help refine and strengthen this tool.
The workshop will end with an interactive plenary session, discussing next steps and outlining areas of consideration for a Guidance Document, a deliverable for this Arctic Council project.