AMATII Workshop, Reykjavik, December 2012





During the 3 – 6 of December, Institute of the North, Anchorage, will host a  workshop that will address transportation challenges in an increasingly busy Arctic.

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.

As part of this project, the Institute of the North is hosting an Arctic transportation infrastructure workshop 3-6 December at the Icelandair Hotel Natura in Reykjavik, Iceland. The theme is “Response Capacity and Sustainable Development in the Arctic.” Invited participants include policy makers and government officials; aviation and marine subject matter experts from the private, public, independent and academic sectors; as well as community leaders and Permanent Participants.

More information about this can be found here:

Magnus Gudmundsson and Martin Skedsmo will participate in this workshop, and there will also be a brief presentation of the Arctic SDI project.

Second Board meeting, Moscow September 2012

On the 14th of September, the Arctic SDI Board had its second meeting, this time to be held in Moscow. A fruitful meeting where the main purpose of the meeting was  the “Status of the project with focus mainly on the progress of the Arctic SDI, Project Plan, MoU and the SDI prototype.”

Picture by Rosreestr

Arctic SDI team in Montreal

Project Management and Chairman of the Advisory Group

Trond Johannessen and Fredrik Persäter, TWGDuring week 27 (23 – 27 of April), the Arctic SDI team attended the International Polar Year conference in Montreal, Canada, a conference called “From knowledge to action”. And as it says on the website for the conference “Occurring at a pivotal time for the environment of our planet, the International Polar Year (IPY) 2012 Conference draws international attention to the Polar Regions, global change, and related environmental, social and economic issues. From Knowledge to Action will bring together over 2,000 Arctic and Antarctic researchers, policy- and decision-makers, and a broad range of interested parties from academia, industry, non-government, education and circumpolar communities including indigenous peoples. The IPY 2012 Conference will contribute to the translation of new polar scientific findings into an evidence-based agenda for action that will influence global decisions, policies and outcomes over the coming years.”

We experienced a conference with over 3000 attendees, with many parallel sessions covering lots of interesting and important presentations. We did also give a presentation of our project, being an important contribution to science in the Arctic. There was a big interest for the Arctic SDI, and we had several interesting meetings with potential user groups and contributors to the Arctic SDI.

Our Arctic SDI team this time consisted of Owe Palmer (PMG) and Fredrik Persäter (TWG-Chair) from Sweden, Martin Skedsmo (PMG) and Trond Johannessen (TWG) from Norway, Inge Thaulow from Greenland, and our Chairman of the Advisory Group, Fraser Taylor, together with Robert Corell, also the Advisory Group.

Successful meetings in Reston VA

The workshop and meetings in at USGS, Reston was a successfull happening. We had the pleasure of having technical representatives from the Arctic Mapping Authorities, working together for three days.  A lot of input, good discussions, and a joint understanding on how to move further on.

During these meetings, our Chairman of the Advisory Group, Dr Fraser Taylor and the Project Management Group had meetings and presented the strategy for the Arctic SDI for the Directors Office. We now have a fully functional organisation structure, and are looking forward to the Steering Committee meeting in Copenhagen in February, where the results of this workshop will be presented.