The second day of the UArctic Congress Student Forum was held at the Icebreaker Krasin and welcomed renowned scientists and political figures from Russia, Norway, and Switzerland.
During the official meeting, students were free to ask any questions they like. Vladimir V. Barbin, Ambassador-at-Large of the Arctic Council in the Russian Federation, told about Russia’s policy towards the Arctic. Of particular interest among the students were research priority areas in the Arctic exploration: “Russia, as all the member-states of the Arctic Council, is particularly concerned with the environmental projects, mostly those with a focus on global warming”, — said Vladimir Barbin.
Michel Faillettaz, Consul General of Switzerland in St Petersburg, gave his opinion as to why non-Arctic states, with the natural environment similar to the Arctic region, should be engaged in joint projects. “Permafrost degradation and increased melting are the challenges to both northern polar regions and highland regions in Switzerland, as both the Alps and Arctic is equally bearing the brunt of global warming”, — said Mr. Faillettaz.
Also, he talked about the Swiss Polar Institute, which initiated the Antarctic Circumpolar Expedition, an ambitious project with a particular focus on extreme environments and study of the Earth’s poles. Importantly, it comprises a Russian representative Dmitry Yu. Bolshiyanov, Professor of the Department of Geomorphology at SPbU.
The last, but not the least, speaker was Mr. Geir O. Kløver, Director of the Fram Museum in Oslo, Norway, who provided an in-depth account of how the Inuit, a group of culturally similar indigenous peoples inhabiting the Arctic regions of Greenland, helped Roald Amundsen reach the South polar.