August 14th-16th 2019, I went to the North Pacific Arctic Conference (NPAC), co-organized by the East-West Center and the Korea Maritime Institute, helt at the international Conference Center in Honolulu – to present on the BBNJ treaty negotiations, as part of my GoJelly project. What a place to hold a conference. Granted – its on the other side of the world – so I am still tired from this trip actually (Hawaii is 12 hours behind us in Norway). I got there a day before it started so that I could adjust – but alas – it was tough since I had only gotten back to Norway from Houston two weeks before that.
This conference is advertised as a venue for an off-the-record engagement between policymakers, scientists and industry – with a focus on Arctic issues that have an interest both to leading North Pacific Arctic states (Canada, Russia, and the United States) as well as non-Arctic (China, Japan, and South Korea) ones. The NPAC aim is to provide early identification of key policy issues and how to address these, in the context of the Arctic Council and elsewhere.
The theme of this years NPAC conference was Global-Arctic Interactions: The Arctic Moves from Periphery to Center. I presented an article where I looked at how Arctic Ocean is discussed in global ocean governance forums, such as the BBNJ treaty. The conference, however, was broader though, and included great talks on marine plastics, Greenland governance, indigenous peoples in Russia, the Polar Code and more.
A book, with proceedings from this conference, will be published later this year and I will of course talk about that too when it is published 🙂