EU-PolarNet contributions at past events


Breaking records: How high temperatures in the Arctic affect European society - Policy briefing

Date: 22nd June 2017
Location: EU Liaison Office of the German Research Organisations, Brussels

From this year on, EU-PolarNet will host annual policy briefings in Brussels. The first briefing was co-organised with the European Polar Board. It took place on 22nd June 2017 and ran under the theme "Breaking records: How high temperatures in the Arctic affect European society". The lunchtime event was set out to give EU and national policy makers an overview of the state-of-the-art research on abnormal temperatures in the Arctic and their consequences for Europe. For this sea ice expert Dirk Notz from the Max Planck Institute in Hamburg, Germany, gave a keynote address on how Europe is affected by a warming Arctic. A subsequent panel discussion built on the current scientific knowledge to reflect upon mitigation and adaptation options, which can reduce the vulnerability of both the European society and economy. The panellists were: Volker Rachold (Head of the German Arctic Office), Kirsi Latola (University of the Arctic Thematic Networks Director), Frej Sorento Dichmann (Senior Advisor Danish Agency for Science, Technology and Innovation).

Click here to see the full agenda.

Ninth International Congress of Arctic Social Sciences: People and Place

Date: 8th - 12th June 2017
Location: Umeå, Sweden

ICASS IX's theme was People and Place nad had the purpose to counteract the stereotypic understanding of the Arctic too often represented by icebergs and polar bears. A focus on people and place highlighted the many variances across the region in terms of climate, political systems, demography, infrastructure, history, languages, health, legal systems, land and water resources etc.

Our sessions:

17.1 Stakeholder engagement: moving from quantity to more quality
Arctic research projects have increasingly adopted stakeholder dialogue and engagement processes. The EU for instance is drafting a new polar research agenda together with relevant stakeholders and all new research projects funded by the EU need to engage with stakeholders (EU-PolarNet). But little is known about how successful all these research projects are in this engagement process and what methods are being used. In this session we did not only present potential frameworks of stakeholder engagement but we also looked for ways of scientific assessment of such engagement activities.

17.07 Incorporation of Social Science and Humanities in large EU projects

In the last decades social sciences have substantially increased their voice and visibility in Polar research (particularly in the Arctic) that is, also historically, dominated by natural sciences. However, insights form social sciences over the last two decades or so have led to a better understanding of rapid societal changes also in the context of physical processes such as climate change etc. Interdisciplinary (collaboration of social sciences, humanities and natural sciences) and transdisciplinary research (collaboration with stakeholders) becomes therefore also more and more a requirement in programs of national and international research funding agencies.

This is also the case for the EU commission funded EU-PolarNet initiative.The EU-PolarNet consortium is set to develop an integrated EU Polar research programme by identifying short and long-term scientific needs. It also seeks to optimise and co-ordinate the use of Polar infrastructure for multi-platform science missions whilst fostering trans-disciplinary collaboration on Polar research. An important focal point for this, and in future EU projects, is the inclusion of Social Science and Humanities in Polar research projects -also in those in the natural sciences. During this session we discussed the way we can best achieve this and the topics to be included.

Download sessions report.

Arctic Science Summit Week 2017

Date: 31st March - 7th April 2017
Location: Prague, Czech Republic

Arctic Science Summit Week (ASSW) is an annual gathering of international organizations involved in Arctic research. It is designed to strengthen collaborations across academia, government agencies, local communities, industry, non-governmental organizations and other Arctic stakeholders.

For more information visit the ASSW2017 website.

EU-PolarNet 3rd General Assembly

Date: 3rd April 2017
Location: ASSW/Prague, Czech Republic

EU-PolarNet's third general assembly coincided with the ASSW2017, which was held in Prague.While the morning session was closed to consortium members only, the afternoon was open to any one interested in the work of EU-PolarNet and affilated EU polar projects.

For more information download the agenda of the EU-PolarNet General Assembly.

Arctic Science: Bringing Knowledge to Action

Date: 24th - 27th April 2017
Location: Reston, Virginia, USA

Building on the 2011 Arctic Messenger of Change Conference held in Copenhagen, Denmark, the 2017 International Conference on Arctic Science: Bringing Knowledge to Action provided updated scientific, decision-making and policy-relevant information across a broad array of different Arctic issues and related scientifc disciplines.
Emphasis was on what state-of- the-art research is now telling us about present and future change within the Arctic- and its implications for policy- and decision-making. Organized to include plenary and breakout sessions covering both disciplinary and interdisciplinary perspectives, results from the various sessions will be used in shaping future science priorities and strategies across the Arctic Council’s six Working Groups.

Topics Addressed

  • The Arctic Cryosphere - Past, Present and Future Climate Change and related Impacts
  • Pollution in the Arctic - Sources, Pathways and Effects
  • Human Health Aspects of Pollution and Climate Change
  • Current and Future Processes and Consequences
  • Global and Arctic Systems Feedback Mechanisms - Science and Consequences
  • Resilience Within Arctic Ecosystems
  • Science and Policy-Making - Successful Deployment of Multilateral Adaptation, Mitigation and Climate Intervention Science Policy
  • Socio-Economic Drivers and Impacts of Arctic Change


AMAP-EU-PolarNet Stakeholder Workshop on Research Needs on Climate-related effects on the Arctic Cryosphere and Adaptation Options

Date: 28th April 2017
Location: Reston, Virginia, USA

This international stakeholder workshop was held in association with the AMAP-organized International Conference on Arctic Science: Bringing Knowledge to Action, which took place on 24 to 27 April 2016 in Reston, Virginia, USA. Sessions at this conference reporting the findings of the AMAP Arctic cryosphere assessment Snow, Water, Ice and Permafrost in the Arctic (SWIPA) and the regional reports on Adaptation Actions for a Changing Arctic (AACA) formed a scientific basis for the discussion of research needs at this half-day stakeholder workshop. In addition to rapporteurs' summaries of the conference highlights, workshop speakers stimulated discussions by thought-provoking presentations of key research issues in relation to both the need for further scientific understanding of the the impacts of the rapidly changing climate on the Arctic cryosphere and the need for investigation of options for adaptation to these changes by Arctic communities and residents.

Download the workshop programme.


Session at WOC Sustainable Ocean Summit

Date: 1st December 2016, 15:30 - 17:00
Location:  Rotterdam, Netherlands

This session, themed "Polar Science/Industry Collaboration for Sustainable Development" was an important contributor to the EU-PolarNet dialogue with stakeholders. Within this session, the polar researchers and industry representatives were able to discuss possibilities of an intensified and mutually beneficial cooperation in research and infrastructure usage for a sustainable development of the Polar areas.

Structure of the session:

Short introductory talks (10 min) and a longer panel discussion, chaired by Nicole Biebow, EU-PolarNet, Alfred Wegener Institute, Germany.


  • Sea ice change and forecast – Jeremy Wilkinson, British Antarctic Survey; United Kingdom
  • Collaboration: the social science perspective'– Annette Scheepstra, Rijksuniversiteit Groningen; The Netherlands
  • Polar Code and Polar Marine Research infrastructure – Juanjo Dañobeitia, Agencia Estatal Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas, Spain
  • Knowledge and innovative tools to promote safe, environmentally sound operations in the Arctic – Sveinung Loset, SAMCoT, Norway
  • Arctic Shipping Infrastructure and Environmental Risk - Lars-Henrik Larsen, Head of Department, Marine Assessments and Monitoring, Akvaplan-niva AS
  • Industry Perspectives on Business and Science Collaboration for Sustainable Development of the Polar Regios - Eero Hokkanen, Communications Manager, Arctia Ltd

More information about the summit can be found on the event's website.

COP22: Arctic change and its implications for global risk

Date: 18th November 2016 - 12:30 to 14:00
Location:  Marrakesh, Morocco

Together with the EU funded project ICE-ARC EU-PolarNet organised a side event at the World Climate Conference in Marrakesh on "Arctic change and its implications for global risk". The Arctic is experiencing dramatic environmental, economic, and societal changes that not only have implications for the high latitudes, but which are likely to lead to profound global consequences and risks. But how much do we really know about the impact of Arctic change? Building upon the EU's investment in Arctic science our session provided up-to-date information on the effects and risks associated with Arctic change globally, with a special focus on implications for the lower latitudes. To do this we covered four interconnected themes, which were:

  1. Climate change in the Arctic
  2. Arctic connections with the rest of the world
  3. Global economic risk and the Arctic
  4. Societal and security impacts of Arctic change



  • Provide an up-to-date and holistic overview of impacts and risks associated with Arctic change.
  • Provide an opportunity for stakeholders to deliver feedback on the advanced information that is required for decision-making regarding Arctic change and its socioeconomic impacts.


Six 10-minute high-level, keynote presentations on the multi-sector impacts of Arctic change. Followed by an open Q & A panel session.A flyer that describes the event can be found here.

Manuel Pulgar- Vidal: Head of WWF's International Climate and Energy Practice and Minister of State for Environment in Peru and President of COP20.


12:35: Opening statement: Andrea Tilche (Head of Climate Action and Earth Observation Unit) - via video link

12:45 Climate change in the Arctic: Jeremy Wilkinson (British Antarctic Survey)

12:55 Arctic connections with the rest of the world: Petteri Taalas (WMO Secretary-General)

13:05 Global economic risk and the Arctic: Dmitry Yumashev (Lancaster University)

13:15 Societal and security impacts of Arctic change: Lene Kielsen Holm (Greenland Climate Research Centre)

13:35 Q/A by Manuel Pulgar- Vidal

Arctic Circle 2016 - Breakout Session

Date: 7th October 2016
Time: 16:45 – 18:15
Location:  Reykjavik, Iceland

EU-PolarNet and ICE-ARC organised a breakout session on "The Future of Arctic Shipping Under IPCC Climate Scenarios". With the Polar Code coming into effect in 2017, this session addressed the environmental, social and economic impacts of increased shipping in Arctic waters in relation to different IPCC scenarios and propose necessary actions for developing sustainable Arctic shipping.


  • Andrea Tilche, Head of the Climate Action and Earth Observation Unit, Directorate General for Research and Innovation, European Commission: Sustainable development in the Arctic -the new Arctic Policy.
  • Paolo Ruti, Chief World Weather Research Division, World Meteorological Organisation
  • Kathrin Riemann-Campe, Post-doctoral Scientist, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research, Alfred Wegener Institute: IPCC AR5: Projections of Arctic Sea ice Change.
  • Johan Gille, Senior Consultant, ECORYS: Current business restrictions and future opportunities for Arctic shipping.
  • Kathy Law, Director of Research, Observations Spatiales (LATMOS), 16 Laboratoire Atmosphères, Milieux: Current and future impacts of pollution from Arctic shipping.
  • Lawson Brigham, Distinguished Professor of Geography & Arctic Policy, University of Alaska Fairbanks: The IMO Polar Code and Future Arctic Marine Operations.
  • Jeremy Wilkinson, Sea Ice Physicist, British Antarctic Survey: Conclusions and recommendations for necessary actions from an ICE-ARC perspective
  • Björn Dahlbäck, Director General, Swedish Polar Research Secretariat: Conclusions and recommendations for necessary actions from an EU-PolarNet perspective

Entire Programme for the Arctic Circle.

More information about the Arctic Circle.

EU-PolarNet Townhall Event

Date: 27th September 2016
Time: 08:30 - 17:45
Location: Brussels, Belgium

EU-PolarNet hosted a major Townhall Event in Brussels, themed "Towards the 1.5°C climate goal - Contributions of Polar Research". The objective was to stimulate a dialogue between national policy makers, polar scientists, industries, local communities and civil society to explore how future polar research can contribute to the “1.5°C target” agreed at the Paris COP meeting last year.

Keynote addresses and high-level expert panels set the scene for thought-provoking discussions focussed on what European society needs from polar research and what Europe’s priorities for polar research should be. 

For more information about the event and to watch the keynotes and panel discussions, please click here.


ICES ASC 2016: Stakeholder Workshop on Research Needs on Arctic Ecosystems and Ecosystem Services

Date: 20th September 2016
Time: Morning scientific session: 10:00 - 13:00; afternoon workshop: 14:00 - 18:00
Location: Riga, Latvia

The second AMAP/EU-PolarNet stakeholder workshop was part of a full-day event, which began with a morning scientific session entitled ‘AMAP/EU-PolarNet/ICES Session on Arctic Ecosystem Services: Challenges and Opportunities’, which was Theme Session P of the ICES Annual Science Conference. Based on the scientific presentations in this session, the AMAP/EU-PolarNet Stakeholder Workshop on "Research Needs on Arctic Ecosystems and Ecosystem Services" was held in the afternoon, with participants representing not only scientists and the research community but also various other stakeholders with interests associated with Arctic marine ecosystem services, including fisheries, shipping, and tourism.

Workshop co-chairs: Candace Nachman (USA), Susanne Kortsch (Norway)


  • Lars-Otto Reiersen (AMAP Executive Secretary): Opening and welcome
  • Nicole Biebow (EU-PolarNet Projekt Manager): Context of the workshop: Research needs defined for EU-PolarNet work
  • Janet Pawlak (AMAP Secretariat): Aims and outcome of the workshop

  • Candace Nachman (NOAA National Marine Fisheries Sevices): Summary of research needs from morning session
  • Paul Wassmann (University of Tromsø): Research needs on climate-related changes in the Arctic Ocean and cryosphere
  • Victor Smetacek (Alfred Wegener Institute): Research needs for Arctic ecosystems and biodiversity

  • Lars-Otto Reiersen: Need for monitoring in Arctic Ocean: contaminants, climate, acidification
  • Richard Rivkin (Memorial University of Newfoundland): Needs for interdisciplinary Arctic state and process studies
  • Tina Schoolmeester (GRID Arendal): New research challenge: Litter/plastics in the Arctic Marine Environment

A description of the AMAP/EU-PolarNet/ICES Session on Arctic Ecosystem Services: Challenges and Opportunities is available at: and can be downloaded here.

Flyer for the Stakeholder Workshop can be downloaded here.

SCAR Open Science Conference

EU-PolarNet Town Hall @SCAR OSC

Date: Wednesday, 24th August, 19:00-21:00
KLCC, Kuala Lumpur

EU-PolarNet – Connecting Science with Society

This Town Hall meeting aimed to interact with and inform our Antarctic stakeholders about the project and discuss with them how they can contribute to the project.

Minutes of workshop with international partners and stakehoders at SCAR Open Science Conference

Adaptation Futures 2016

Date: 10th - 13th May 2016
Location:  Rotterdam, Netherlands

Theme 7. The Arctic: Connecting Arctic researchers and industry: a dialogue for societal benefit

Date: Wednesday, 11th May 2016
Location:  Van Walsum Room

How can an open, productive and respectful dialogue between stakeholders from industry and scientists be established for increasing mutual understanding and identifying new ways of working for ensuring economic and societal benefits? After presentations from EU-PolarNet, Shell and Basecamp Oulanka, a small Arctic company, we will have an open discussion focused on the societal and economic impacts of Arctic change and its effects on the sustainable development of the region. Aim is to improve mutually beneficial engagement and interaction between EU-PolarNet participants and stakeholders from industry, the international research community, as well as the wider society, including young people.

Organised by: Annette Scheepstra, Arctic Centre, University of Groningen (the Netherlands)

Partners: Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz-Zentrum für Polar- und Meeresforschung (Germany); European Polar Board (the Netherlands)

Chair: Annette Scheepstra, University of Groningen, the Netherlands

Rapporteur: Kirsi Latola, University of Oulu, Finland


  • The role of EU-PolarNet in better addressing societal needs in polar research – Nicole Biebow, Alfred Wegener Institute, Germany
  • The impact of climate change on the economic development in the Arctic – Dimtry Yumashev, Ice-Arc project, the Netherlands
  • An interplay between the climate change and eco tourism– Keijo Salenius, Basecamp Oulanka, Finland

ASSW 2016 / EU-PolarNet General Assembly

Dates: 12th - 18th March 2016
Location: Fairbanks, USA

AMAP/EU-PolarNet Stakeholder Workshop on Arctic Health and
Wellness Research Needs

Date: Saturday, 12th March 2016
Time: 9am - 5pm
:  Duckering Building, Room 252

The workshop will convene Arctic researchers, health professionals, representatives of Arctic communities and Indigenous peoples groups, and other interested organizations and persons to discuss research needs to study effects (both physical and mental) arising from the combined impacts of stressors such as climate change, food and water insecurity, changes in availability of traditional wildlife species, increased activities such as tourism and resource exploitation, etc., on the health and wellbeing of Arctic residents. The workshop will also consider research needs in relation to technological equipment that can assist health professionals working in remote Arctic areas.

For a full workshop description and agenda, please download the flyer.

Minutes of workshop

EU-PolarNet General Assembly

Date: Sunday, 13th March 2016
Time: 1.30pm - 5pm open part
Location: Bunnell Building, Schaible Auditorium

The EU-Polarnet General Assembly will take place the full day, with a closed morning session and an open afternoon session.


13:30 - 13:45   Introduction to EU-PolarNet by N. Biebow, AWI

13:45 - 14:15   D2.1: Progress on prioritised objectives in polar research, Deliverable 2.1 by R. Azzolini, CNR

14:15 - 14:45   D3.2: European Polar Infrastructure Catalogue by Y. Frenot, IPEV

Coffee Break

15:15 - 15:45   D4.5: A Stakeholder Map by A. Scheepstra, RUG

15:45 - 17:00   Public Discussion on deliverables and future EU-PolarNet tasks and expectations e.g. How to involve the stakeholders (Chair: K. Latola)

Arctic Frontiers 2016

AMAP Side Event: Adaptation Actions for a Changing Arctic

Date: 27th January 2016, 10 am - 12 pm
Location: Room 1,425, UiT the Arctic University, Tromsø, Norway

The side-event Adaptation Actions for a Changing Arctic was arranged at UiT The Arctic University of Norway during Arctic Frontiers 2016. The event was organised by EU-PolarNet partner AMAP (Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Program), an Arctic Council Working Group.

This side event convened the Arctic business community, local and regional planners in a dialogue on adaptation actions in the extended Barents region.

To enable more informed, timely and responsive decision making in a rapidly changing Arctic, the Arctic Council initiated the flagship project Adaptation Actions for a Changing Arctic (AACA). In this project, experts explore the future life, politics, resources and environmental challenges of three Arctic regions. The aim is to broaden the understanding and knowledge base on key issues relevant to people living in the Arctic, businesses and Arctic ecosystems, as well as identifying critical knowledge gaps and ways forward in bridging the science-policy interface.

This side event presented Barents-specific findings from the project, including a spectrum of possible futures based on driving forces and key questions. Our focus was on engaging businesses, decision-makers and planners in discussions on challenges that may shape future industrial and societal developments, and how managing change can support long-term adaptive capacity. Moderated discussions based on the introductory talks addressed a set of questions, e.g.:

  • How do we plan for the future? Is our knowledge base good enough?
  • What are most challenging in terms of adaptation in the Arctic for activities such as oil and gas, mining, shipping and infrastructure, fisheries, tourism, aquaculture and agriculture?
  • What are the implications for businesses and planners with respect to developing adaptation strategies, tools and options?
  • What strategies exist and what processes are needed for supporting future adaptation action? 


AGU Fall Meeting

Date: 14th until 18th December 2015
Location: San Francisco, USA

The AGU Fall Meeting brings together the entire Earth and space sciences community for discussions of emerging trends and the latest research. The technical program includes presentations on new and cutting-edge science, much of which has not yet been published, meaning you’ll return to work with knowledge you can’t get anywhere else.

EU-PolarNet Townhall Meeting was held on Monday 14 December, 18:15-19:15.

COP21 Paris Side Events

‘Climate Change in the Arctic – Local, Regional and Global Impacts’

Date: 5th December 2015, 14.30 – 16.00
Location: Room Brussels (European Union Pavilion, Hall 2B in the Blue Zone of Le Bourget - accreditation needed)

Joint Side Event hosted by ICE-ARC, EU-POLARNET and the EUROPEAN POLAR BOARD

This 90-minute Briefing Session provided high-level decision-makers and other interested parties with a holistic overview of Arctic change and its multi-sector impacts (climatic, societal, and economic) at local, regional and global levels. A flow of up-to-date information from leaders in their field was given followed by an open discussion. This Side Event provided an excellent opportunity to discuss with the experts, advanced knowledge that is needed for effective and evidence-based decision-making.


  • Peter Horvath, Directorate General for Research and Innovation, European Commission (BELGIUM)
  • Sir David King, FCO Special Representative for Climate Change (UK) – The Physical Basis of Arctic Change
  • Professor Jean-Claude Gascard, Senior Scientist, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (FRANCE) – Scenarios for Arctic change and Global Consequences
  • Anthony Hobley, Chief Executive, The Carbon Tracker (UK) – Economic Impact of Arctic change; regional and global contexts
  • Sheila Watt-Cloutier, Former Chair of the Inuit Circumpolar Conference and this year’s winner of the Right Livelihood Award (CANADA) – Societal Consequences of Arctic change; regional and global contexts
  • Thorben Hoffmeister, Executive Officer Geopolitics, Bundeswehr Geoinformation Center (ZGeoBw) – Geopolitical and Security Consequences of Arctic Change

Arctic Circle

Date: 16th until 18th October 2015
EUPolarNet and EPB session: 17th October, 5pm - 6:30pm
Location: Reykjavik, Iceland

EU-PolarNet and the European Polar Board hosted a session at the Arctic Circle 2015: "What Can Arctic Stakeholders and Researchers Learn from Each Other?"


  • Andrea Tilche (Head of Climate Action and Earth Observation Unit, European Commission): EC statement on its role in Arctic research for society.
  • Nicole Biebow (Head of International CooperationUnit, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (Alfred Wegener Institute); Project Manager, EU-PolarNet): EU-PolarNet aimsand planned activities.

  • Adam Stepien (PhD Candidate, EU European Arctic Information Centre and Northern Institute for Environmental and Minority Law, Arctic Centre, University of Lapland): Challenging, rewarding, disappointing and risky -consultations for assessments and policy-making: EUAIC experience.

  • Wiesław Ziaja (Vice President, Polish Polar Consortium): Polish Polar Consortium Aims and Activities


  • Karin Lochte, Director, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research Alfred Wegener Institute.
  • Jeremy Wilkinson, Coordinator of ICE-ARC, British Antarctic Survey
  • Yves Frenot, Director of the French Polar Institute, IPEV
  • Kirsi Latola, Director, UArctic Thematic Networks
  • Volker Rachold, Executive Secretary, International Arctic Science Committee

COMNAP Antarctic Roadmap Challenges

Date: 23rd until 25th August 2015
Location: Tromsø, Norway

Any COMNAP member national Antarctic program delegate that is registered for the COMNAP AGM may attend the workshop along with ARC-SC members. Nicole Biebow (AWI) was invited to present EU-PolarNet.

Our Common Future Under Climate Change

Date: 7th until 10th July 2015
Location: Paris, France

Two EU-PolarNet sessions were held:

  • 7th July – Session 1112: The Arctic Climate System
    Denis-Didier Rousseau (CNRS) and Julienne Stroeve (University of Colorado)

  • 8th July – Session 3327: Adapting to Arctic Climate Change
    Kirsi Latola (University of Oulu), Key Note: Nicole Biebow (Alfred Wegener Institute)

What next for EU Arctic policy?

Date: 1-2 June 2015
Venue: Silken Hotel Berlaymont, Brussels (Belgium)

A stakeholder consultation conference with the aim to gather views and recommendations of Arctic stakeholders, such as private sector representatives, scientists, academics, NGOs, Arctic States, EU Member States and indigenous peoples on the further development of EU Arctic Policy. The event will consist of 3 thematic sessions to explore the EU's role in environment, climate change action and knowledge; socio-economic development; and international cooperation. Ample time during each session will be reserved for participants to actively share their recommendations.

Watch the webstream.

1st General Assembly of EU-PolarNet Plenary Meeting

Date: 9th-11th March 2015
Where: Bremerhaven, Germany

The First General Assembly of EU-PolarNet was held in Bremerhaven, Germany, and was hosted by the Alfred Wegener Institute, the co-orindators of the project. 

The meeting was the first time all project partners in the consortium had gathered together. It provided an opportunity both to meet new collaborators, and to discuss and decide on strategy for achieving EU-PolarNet's ambitious goals, during work package discussion sessions.