Indian and Northern Affairs Canada

Indian and Northern Affairs Canada

December 09, 2009 10:45 ET

International Polar Year "From Knowledge to Action" Conference to Be Held in Montreal, April 22-27, 2012

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Dec. 9, 2009) - The Government of Canada is pleased to announce that the International Polar Year (IPY) "From Knowledge to Action" Conference will be hosted in Montreal, Quebec, April 22-27, 2012.

"What happens at the Poles affects us all. International Polar Year has provided the opportunity to undertake an intensive study of current issues facing the polar regions. From Canada's perspective, this international conference will focus on how knowledge gained through IPY will pave the way for our nation to continue to take a strong position in shaping the stewardship, sustainable development and environmental protection of this strategic and prized region," said Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Member of Parliament for Pontiac, Quebec, on behalf of Chuck Strahl, Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor for Metis and Non-Status Indians. "We are also pleased to announce that Dr. Peter Harrison, Stauffer-Dunning Chair and Director of the School of Policy Studies at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario has accepted the nomination as Chair to lead this international initiative and that Dr. Karl Erb, Director of the United States National Science Foundation, Office of Polar Programs, has agreed to Co-Chair the IPY Global Conference in 2012."

The IPY 2012 Conference will be the final event to wrap-up International Polar Year. It is expected that the Conference will attract as many as 3,000 science, policy and political delegates from around the world to present scientific research findings and to consider the policy implications of their work.

"The research carried out during International Polar Year will benefit Northerners and all Canadians in advancing our scientific knowledge of what is happening in the North," said the Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of Health and Regional Minister responsible for the North. "We look forward to the continued collaboration between Northerners, Aboriginal communities, Governments and scientists as we look at how these results can be used to move from knowledge to action."

"Canada has played a lead role in the International Polar Year by providing significant funding for research in all disciplines. More importantly, Canada has been at the forefront in ensuring the focus on the human dimension and on traditional knowledge developed by Arctic indigenous people over millennia. The IPY 2012 Conference is a major opportunity for Canada and our international colleagues to continue to build on this important work," said Dr. Peter Harrison, Chair of the IPY 2012 Conference.

"The International Polar Year is already delivering impressive advances in scientific understanding. It has also created the international partnerships that made these advances possible. I believe that over the long term these partnerships will be at least as important as the discoveries that are being made through IPY," said Dr. Karl Erb, Co-Chair of the IPY 2012 Conference. "International cooperation on scientific research will be critical to addressing the challenges facing everyone on the globe."

"Canada is proud to host the international science community and policy experts at this important conference in Montreal. The results will be invaluable in assisting policy and decision makers concerned about the future of the polar regions," said the Honourable Christian Paradis, Minister of Public Works and Government Services, Minister Responsible for Montreal, and Member of Parliament for Megantic-L'Erable.

International Polar Year is the largest-ever program of multi-disciplinary research focussed on the Arctic and Antarctic regions. Thousands of researchers from more than 60 nations have been contributing to IPY research to provide a greater understanding of issues such as the impacts of climate change and the process of adaptation, and to focus attention on the many other important policy questions relating to polar regions.

The Canadian IPY Program Office ( is leading the planning and coordination of the IPY 2012 Conference, in partnership with the National Research Council and the International IPY Joint Committee.

This release is also available on the Internet at

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