FPA2 co-hosts indigenous leadership event at Arctic Circle Assembly

arctic circle

The unique insights, experiences and expertise of Arctic peoples, as well as the challenges they face in the modern world, were highlighted at a special ‘Indigenous Leadership’ event co-hosted by the Fondation Prince Albert II de Monaco at the recent Arctic Circle Assembly in Reykjavík.  

With the polar regions increasingly under pressure from global warming, the importance of involving the people who live and work in these areas has never been more critical.

Indigenous peoples’ lives are culturally entwined with their lands, and a growing number of leaders from these communities are speaking out, saying that their very survival depends on fast action.  

The Fondation Prince Albert II de Monaco (FPA2), in collaboration with the International Arctic Science Committee, has recognised the need to address the situation and took time to host a side event during the Arctic Circle Assembly that look place in Reykjavík, Iceland earlier this month entitled ‘Arctic Stewards: Indigenous Leadership in Integrated Biodiversity Conservation’.  


The talks drew a list of prominent experts and scientists, including Victoria Qutuuq Buschman from the Inuit Circumpolar Council, Harmony Jade Wayner from the University of Alaska Fairbanks, Olav Orheim from the FRAM Museum, Martin Sommerkorn from the WWF Global Arctic Programme and representatives from the FPA2. 

The meeting offered a platform for exchanges, with the focus being on the vital role of local communities in relation to conservation efforts in the Arctic region, as well as taking note of the challenges they face in holding their way of life together in difficult times.  

“The event facilitated the sharing of insights, experiences and expertise among speakers, fostering a deeper understanding of the challenges and needs of Indigenous communities in preserving their lands,” organisers said after the event.  


The FPA2 also co-organised a session called ‘Beyond Polar Bears and Penguins: Why the ice crisis matters to all of us’ alongside Global Choices, Mission Blue, Re-Earth Initiative, and Columbia University Earth Institute. 

Speakers for this event were noted US marine biologist and oceanographer Sylvia Earle, as well as Sally Ranney and Inge Relph from Global Choices, and Shreya K.C., an Arctic Angel. Each brought personal stories and insights to the table, highlighting the importance of championing the Arctic conservation cause.  

Through its own Polar Initiative, the FPA2 remains committed to fostering collaboration, improving knowledge, raising awareness and driving meaningful action to address the pressing environmental challenges facing the polar regions. 


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Photo credit: Arctic Circle Official