UArctic meeting puts polar issues front and centre

More than a hundred people gathered at the recent UArctic Rector’s Meeting, including Prince Albert II, who emphasised the important role of universities in solving the climactic challenges facing polar region.  

UArctic is a network of universities, colleges, research institutes and other organisations concerned with education and research in and about the North Pole, who are all working to promote viable communities and sustainable economies, as well as forging global partnerships in the region.  

On 13th January, representatives from 29 UArctic-affiliated schools met at the Oceanographic Museum of Monaco along with other interested parties and were greeted with a welcome address given by Prince Albert II.   

“To protect the Arctic, as with everything related to the environment, nothing would be possible without science and without the work of scientists,” said the Prince. “Nothing would be possible without such painstaking – sometimes unrewarding – efforts, which alone enable us to see beyond appearances, to understand the complex mechanisms at work, to anticipate their effects, and more importantly to find ways of mitigating and adapting to them. This is why we need to encourage research without respite, to nurture it, protect it, and to disseminate the knowledge it offers us as widely as possible.” 

The Prince Albert II Foundation (FPA2) has been a long-time supporter of UArctic and, as such, recognises the active roles universities as seats of learning can provide to the bigger picture. 

Along these lines, the Prince declared, “The specific role of universities is also due to their being not only places where knowledge is produced, but also where it is transmitted. This is also an essential quality for responding to the challenges that we face today.” 

The day unfolded by holding keynote discussions on “some of the most critical and debated issues” facing the region today. A summary will be available to read later this year.  

The meeting was also an opportunity to introduce The Polar Initiative, launched in 2022 by the FPA2 as a tool to take a proactive role in polar preservation and conservation. 


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Photo source: Daiwei Lu for Unsplash