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Arctic risks and rewards

GuestBlogger25 June 2016

The panel at 'Development in the Arctic: Risks and Rewards'

The panel at ‘Development in the Arctic: Risks and Rewards’

pencil-iconWritten by Dr Ilan Kelman, Reader for Risk, Resilience and Global Health (UCL Institute for Risk & Disaster Reduction)

The Arctic: The last earthly frontier of adventure, excitement, remoteness, and resources! Or is it? Given that people have lived in the high latitudes for millennia, how remote, isolated, and open-for-business-for-southerners is the Arctic?

The UCL Institute for Risk & Disaster Reduction’s Arctic Research programme convened a panel ‘Development in the Arctic: Risks and Rewards’ at UCL on 8 June to discuss these questions.

To an engaged audience of about sixty, three distinguished panellists explored how climate change and technological advances might or might not be opening up the Arctic for exploitation by the world. They examined what we know and do not know about development risks and rewards in the far north.

What realities of Arctic environmental conditions are rarely described? What Arctic social and political circumstances are frequently circumvented? What about the people who live in the region who have rights and interests? The risks and rewards regarding the so-called ‘Arctic Gold Rush’ for resources and development was examined and critiqued.

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Volunteering and networking at the i-Rec 2015 conference

GuestBlogger22 July 2015

pencil-iconWritten by Jacopo Spatafora, MSc student at the UCL Institute for Risk and Disaster Reduction

i-Rec 2015 conference

i-Rec 2015 conference
(Image courtesy of Jacopo Spatafora)

It’s the beginning of July. While writing my thesis, I receive a forwarded e-mail from my friend, Helen: “Might be of interest – i-Rec 2015, held at UCL from 6 to 8 July. Volunteers needed for organising event.”

Wondering if sacrificing three valuable study days for an event was sensible or insane, I signed up…

i-Rec is an international conference, taking place every two years since 2002. It is a meeting point for practitioners and academics specialising in post-disaster recovery and reconstruction.

A multifaceted event

The UCL Bartlett Development Planning Unit, with global expertise in disaster-related practices, joined i-Rec 2015 to help share its research, comparing ideas based on past findings and future trends.

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