Arctic Science Ministerial

Politicians put the focus on Arctic research

Germany, the European Commission and Finland organise two-day conference
[17. October 2018] 

On 25 and 26 October, the spotlight in Berlin will be on Arctic research. On the first day, the focus will be on the Arctic Science Forum, where experts from 20 nations, representatives of indigenous peoples, and NGOs will meet to discuss international collaboration in the context of Arctic research. On the second day, the 2nd Arctic Science Ministerial will convene, followed by public events that will round out the conference.

How vulnerable or robust are the environment and peoples living in the Arctic? Do we truly understand the regional and global dynamics that are driving the transformation in the Arctic? How will a transforming Arctic affect us? These and other questions are at the heart of the two-day conference, which will be jointly organised by Germany, the European Commission and Finland in Berlin on 25 and 26 October.

An Arctic Science Forum, which will take place at the Federal Ministry of Education and Research in Berlin on 25 October, will kick off the two-day conference. Scientific findings provide the foundation for responsible decision-making at the political level. Accordingly, the outcomes of the Forum will directly inform the Arctic Science Ministerial, an all-day meeting on 26 October, which representatives of indigenous peoples will actively participate in.

Experts from the Alfred Wegener Institute will take part in both the forum and the various events open to the public. The Arctic Science Forum will be broadcast in a live webcast on the website


Events open to the public

Side Event: Perceiving Arctic Change: climate, society and sustainability

Researchers from the AWI and the University of Versailles will discuss the regional and dynamic aspects of the ongoing changes in the Arctic. This will be followed by presentations from two representatives of the Arctic’s indigenous peoples: one from Greenland, and one from Yakutia. In turn, a panel discussion with five experts and the two indigenous representatives will address the important question of how a combination of various forms of expertise can be used to enhance the resilience of the Arctic ecosystem and Arctic communities. In addition, they will discuss the question: To what extent can climate research and the broad range of observations in the Arctic be more effectively combined, so as to facilitate the adaptation of the Arctic’s unique, fragile and at-risk ecosystem?

Where? Landesvertretung Bremen (LVHB), Hiroshimastr. 24, 10785 Berlin

When? Wednesday, 24 October 2018, 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm

Organised by: the REKLIM research consortium, together with the Climate Office for Polar Regions and Sea Level Rise at the Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (AWI) and the University of Versailles, Paris.


Evening event “Tracks in the Arctic”

The German Environment Agency (Umweltbundesamt) invites all interested parties to come and learn about Germany’s efforts to preserve the Arctic, and to discuss how every citizen can do his or her part. Among others, AWI biologist Dr Ilka Peeken will join in the discussion.

Participants have to register in advance; to do so, visit:

Where? Museum für Naturkunde, Invalidenstraße 43, 10115 Berlin

When? Monday, 22 October 2018 from 5:30 pm to 9:00 pm


Conference in the City: Ocean Plastics Lab – a floating exhibit on the Spree

This October, the travelling international exhibit “Ocean Plastics Lab” will drop anchor in Berlin – as a floating laboratory! An interactive tour of four walk-in ship containers highlights the latest scientific findings on the pollution of our oceans through litter, and what we can do to help. In Berlin the containers are – appropriately – located on floating pontoons in the middle of the Spree at the Schiffbauerdamm (near the train station S+U Friedrichstraße).

Where? Pontoons near the Schiffbauerdamm, Bahnbrücke Friedrichstraße, Berlin

When? From 21 to 29 October, daily from 11:00 am to 7:00 pm

There will also be an accompanying talk and discussion: “Danger identified, danger averted?” with AWI biologist Dr Melanie Bergmann, an expert on marine litter.

Where? Der Bogen (at the Holzmarkt), An der Michaelbrücke 1, 10179 Berlin

When? 24 October 2018 | 7:00 pm


Further side events can be found here:


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