On 29 June 2020 began the first International Conference of Polar Environmental Change and Protection (ICPECP). Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the three-day conference is being live-streamed online via ZOOM.
The theme of the conference is “The importance of polar environmental protection and international cooperation”. 21 international experts from China, France, UK, Switzerland, Portugal, Norway and Sweden are presenting their latest research findings relating to polar climate change, international management, environmental protection, industrial development, and the dissemination of scientific findings.
The Conference is organized by the International Polar Protection Association (IPPA) and is to be held alternately in China and Europe in late June. The IPPA is a Norwegian based international non-profit organization dedicated to promoting ecological and environmental protection and sustainable development in the Polar Regions.
The “three poles of the world” – the North Pole, the South Pole and the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, are key components of the earth’s climate system and the interconnections of global atmosphere, ocean, land, snow, ice and biology. The Qinghai-Tibet plateau in the heart of Eurasia, provides water to a vast land area upon which live 45% of the earth’s population. Polar land and sea ice have a profound influence on global climate and environments through processes such albedo, oceanic circulation, the absorption of greenhouse gases and sea-level rise. In addition, the Polar Regions are closely related to the strategic ‘One Belt One Road’ initiative, which is taking advantage of retreating sea ice to establish new shipping routes across the Arctic Ocean.
Over the past century, the continuous increase of greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere has caused the melting of sea ice and permafrost, as well as of glaciers in Antarctica, the Arctic and the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. The fifth assessment report of the United Nations intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has shown that the melting of the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets has greatly accelerated in the past 30 years.
To slow these trends and mitigate global warming requires the joint efforts of all nations and mankind. This is why international cooperation on polar environmental change and protection has never been more important.
ICPECP 2020 is focused on the protection of polar and Tibetan plateau environments. It also aims to build a dedicated platform to help communication and exchanges between organizations, scientists, technology developers, industrialists and educational communities internationally.
The Conference will:
1. Introduce the latest findings in international polar science research.
2. Introduce the latest scientific and technological developments in sustainable polar development, transportation, energy production and other fields.
3. Share experience and information on polar business development and environmental protection.
4. Promote exchanges and cooperation among the scientific and technology communities, industrialists, government and other international organizations with interest in the Polar Regions.
5. Promote polar related education and outreach.
The honorary President of the first International Conference of Polar Environmental Change and Protection (ICPECP) is Professor Dahe QIN, academician of The Chinese Academy of Sciences, Academician of the Third World Academy of Sciences and Vice President of China Association for Science and Technology. The Chair of the Conference is Mr. Ding Chen, President of IPPA. The Co-Chair is Dr Jean de Pomereu, Associate at the Scott Polar Research Centre, University of Cambridge.
European-based speakers will include Professor Peter Wadhams, a renowned Marine physicist from Cambridge University; Professor Jean Jouzel, and paleoclimatologist and former chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC); Prof. Jose Xavier, from the British Antarctic Survey and Institute of Marine Research of the University of Coimbra, Portugal; Dr Margareta Johansson, and expert in permafrost from the Department of Physical Geography at Lund University in Sweden; Professor Martin Siegert, a renowned glaciologist and Director of the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change at Imperial College, London; Professor Konrad Steffen, another renowned glaciologist and Director of the Swiss Federal Institute of Forest, Snow and Landscape Research and Professor at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology; Dr Renuka Badhea, Executive Secretary of the European Polar Board; Professor Klaus Dodds, an expert in Polar Geopolitics at Royal Holloway, University of London. Notable China-based speakers will include Professor Cunde XIAO, Director of the State Key Lab of Surface Science and Resources, Beijing Normal University; Professor Xiao CHENG, Dean of the School of Surveying and Mapping science, Sun Yat-sen University; Professor Xiaoping PANG, Deputy Director of The Centre of Antarctic Surveying and Mapping, Wuhan University; Professor Qinghua ZHANG, Researcher at the Research Centre for Eco-Environmental Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences; Mr Linsheng YANG, Researcher at the Institute of geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS.
The conference organisers have also invited representatives of the polar industry, including the International Association of Antarctic Tour Operators (IAATO); Polar Educators International; Hurtiguten Expeditions; Caissa Tourism; TOREAD and others. They have also invited international cooperation organizations and industrial enterprises, such as the Norwegian-Chinese Friendship Association; Macao Science and Technology Development Foundation; Lenovo; Yueling Group; Hangzhou Keyun Environment Technology Co.LTD; Laishan Science and Technology; Tiannuo Family Estate and China Mineral Logistics. These and other organisations have sent congratulatory messages to the organisers to express their concerns about polar environments and the importance of protecting them.
International Polar Protection Association (IPPA)
The International Polar Protection Association (IPPA) is a worldwide non-profit organization established in Oslo, Norway.
The significance of the Polar Regions within the contexts of global climate change and human sustainable development has been rising rapidly in recent decades. Polar environments and ecology are facing increasingly severe threats as a result of global warming, the overexploitation of polar resources, and a large number of tourists flooding into the Polar Regions. Around the world, governments, research institutions, the media and environmental organizations have made varying efforts to address this. But there is still a long way to go due to differences in development, governing systems, cultural values, and geopolitical ambitions among different countries. This is why civil society and a growing number of governments are seeking more effective ways to protect polar environments.
Driven by this trend, the IPPA is building a communication platform for all those who are committed to polar affairs worldwide.
By breaking down national barriers, the IPPA aims to advocate polar environmental protection, to mitigate the threats posed by global warming, to increase public awareness about the Polar Regions and polar science, to boost cultural exchange, and to standardize the development of polar tourism in order to protect the Polar Regions.