Federal Minister Guido Westerwelle will open the Second International Arctic Conference in Berlin on Thursday, 17 March. The conference will focus on the topic “climate change, international law, and Arctic research – legal aspects of marine research in the Arctic Ocean”. The conference is being organized together with the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland. Respected research institutes from Germany, Finland, the Russian Federation, and the United States are supporting the event. Another keynote speaker on the first day of the conference will be EU Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Maria Damanaki.
Around 150 participants from more than 20 countries have registered for the event. In five forums, 30 leading experts in science and international law will talk on the conditions under which Arctic research can be conducted today and in the future. This second conference continues the work of the first conference of 2009 “New Chances and New Responsibilities in the Arctic Region”, which was the first event of its kind in Germany to deal with the changes in the Arctic Ocean.
Since 1996 Germany has been an observer in the Arctic Council. It is a party to the Treaty of Spitzbergen of 1921 and consultative party to the Antarctic Treaty of 1959. In the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research and its research stations, Germany has one of the leading Polar research institutions in the world.