ACIA International Scientific Symposium on Climate Change in the Arctic
Reykjavik, Iceland, 9-12 November 2004
Identification of knowledge gaps and priorities for new research and monitoring will be an important issue at the symposium.
The ACIA scientific assessment report will be the primary document under consideration at the symposium. The scientific results and their background, including indigenous peoples’ perspectives and observations, will be presented and discussed in an integrated circumpolar context. The ACIA assessment will also be discussed within the context of global, regional and sub-regional environmental management and policy development. Presentations of significant national, bilateral and multilateral activities that have contributed to ACIA, and presentations of topics of relevance to climate change in the Arctic that are not directly dealt with by ACIA are all welcome.
The symposium also forms an important part of the process by which ACIA will communicate its results and conclusions to Arctic stakeholders and to politicians. A brief summary report from the discussions and presentations at the symposium will be delivered to the Ministers at their meeting the week following the symposium.
Climate variability and change, and more recently, notable increases in UV radiation, have become important issues in the Arctic region over the past few decades. These issues have also prevailed in the international scientific and political scene for over a decade through major programmes of scientific research (e.g., WCRP), through intergovernmental assessments (e.g., AMAP, IPCC, and WMO), and through international treaties, protocols and conventions.
The results of scientific research and indigenous peoples’ traditional knowledge have increasingly documented climatic changes in the Arctic. Models indicate that these changes will be more pronounced in the Arctic region than in other regions of the world and will be critical to our understanding of global-scale climatic processes.
The Arctic Climate Impact Assessment (ACIA) was formally adopted at the Ministerial Conference of the Arctic Council at Point Barrow, Alaska, in 2000. Two of the Arctic Council’s working groups, the Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme (AMAP) and Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna (CAFF), in association with the International Arctic Science Committee (IASC), were given the task by the ministers to conduct the ACIA. As specified in the Barrow Declaration, the goal of the ACIA is to “evaluate and synthesize knowledge on climate variability and change and increased ultraviolet radiation, and support policy-making processes and the work of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.” The assessment is to address “environmental, human health, social, cultural and economic impacts and consequences, including policy recommendations.”
More than 250 scientists and six circumpolar indigenous peoples’ organisations have participated in the ACIA. Two documents will be delivered to Ministers at the Arctic Council Ministerial Conference in Reykjavik, Iceland, in November 2004:
the Arctic Climate Impact Assessment (ACIA) under the auspices of the Arctic Council working groups: