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UAF to host Eighth Conference of Arctic Parliamentarians

Submitted by Cherie Solie
Phone: 907-474-6264

08/06/08

The University of Alaska Fairbanks campus will be home to the Eighth Conference of Arctic Parliamentarians Aug. 12-14, 2008.

The biennial conference is organized in cooperation with the Standing Committee of Parliamentarians of the Arctic Region and brings together international participants to address issues of importance to Arctic nations. The U.S. is host to the 2008 conference.

More than 150 guests are expected to attend at the invitation of U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski. Participants will include members of national parliaments of all eight Arctic Council member states--Canada, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Russia, Sweden and the U.S.--the European Parliament, indigenous people's organizations, parliaments of observer states and other governments and interparliamentary organizations. Observers from relevant international organizations are also invited.

As the representative of the host country, Murkowski has adopted three major themes to be addressed by the conference: human health in the Arctic, adaptation to climate change and development of rural energy resources. These themes capture the three predominant challenges that Alaska faces.

"We are delighted and honored to receive the Parliamentarians on our campus, especially during the fourth International Polar Year celebration," said UAF Chancellor Brian Rogers.

UAF is the only U.S. university situated in a near-polar region and is home to numerous faculty and researchers who are active participants in the Fourth International Polar Year, a major theme of the 2006 conference. Many of the IPY projects underway at UAF are investigating the complex questions raised by the themes of the conference.

"This conference will provide a forum to develop and foster international networks that will share information on arctic issues of common concern to the participants," said Buck Sharpton, UAF vice chancellor for research. "These kinds of activities provide long-term benefits to UAF and Alaska residents."

CONTACT: Cherie Solie, event coordinator, 907-474-6264 or via e-mail at arctic.parl@alaska.edu.

NOTE TO EDITORS: Press may register at www.uaf.edu/research/about/eventsarcticparl/index.xml.

CJB/8-6-09/015-09