Canada's Territories support Canada at the Arctic Council: Circumpolar Relations, Adaptation, Sustainable Communities



    TROMSO, NORWAY, April 29 /CNW/ - Canada's three territories participated
today as members of the Canadian delegation to the Sixth Ministerial Meeting
of the Arctic Council in Tromso, Norway at the invitation of Foreign Affairs
Minister, Lawrence Cannon. Nunavut's Premier Eva Aariak, Northwest
Territories' Premier Floyd Roland and Yukon's Deputy Premier Elaine Taylor
joined the federal minister to discuss Arctic issues, including those emerging
as the result of the impact of climate change.
    Northern Premiers recognized the importance of circumpolar relations for
Canada and the need for Northern issues to be addressed by Northern voices in
their 2007 statement, A Northern Vision: A Stronger North and a Better Canada.
That statement also stressed the need for building sustainable communities
across the North and focusing on adaptation to the impacts of climate change.
    "Never before has there been this much world-wide interest in the
environment and economic potential of the Arctic," said Premier Roland. "The
Arctic is our home and it is important for our circumpolar neighbours and the
world community at large to listen to the voices of Northerners. We appreciate
Minister Cannon's invitation to Canada's territories to take part in this
ministerial meeting of the Arctic Council."
    Premier Aariak added that the working groups of the Arctic Council
continue to focus on the key issues created by a more accessible Arctic. "We
had a very good discussion today on the challenges and opportunities that are
resulting from an Arctic that is opening up as a result of climate change and
melting ice. We share a common interest within the circumpolar region to
balance sustainable development with environmental protection. We support
Canada's leadership in the research and preparation of recommendations related
to many of these emerging issues."
    Climate change was a prominent theme of the ministerial meeting - and the
Melting Ice Conference in Tromso on April 28. "The issue of climate change is
very important to people living in Canada's territories," Deputy Premier
Taylor noted. "We have stressed for years that the North is feeling the impact
of climate change. Our participation as members of the Canadian delegation is
providing us with information that will assist us in our preparation for COP
15."
    Ministers representing the eight Arctic States and the representatives of
the six international indigenous peoples' organizations that are Permanent
Participants at the Arctic Council, issued the Tromso Declaration at the
conclusion of today's meeting.
    Premier Aariak suggested that the territorial participation at the Arctic
Council meeting supported the frameworks of both the territorial Northern
Vision and the federal Northern Strategy. "I believe that this is an excellent
example of our moving forward in partnership with Canada."
    Premier Roland added: "Building sustainable communities through
investment in Arctic economic opportunities, adapting to climate change and
ensuring that Northern voices are heard in Canada's circumpolar discussions -
can be all advanced through the work of the Arctic Council."
    Deputy Premier Taylor concluded: "We support more emphasis on communities
in the sub-Arctic region as part of the Arctic Council agenda. Canada's
territories look forward to working with the federal government to support the
Arctic Council when Denmark chairs in 2009-2011."





For further information:

For further information: Media contacts: Karen Kabloona, Press
Secretary, Office of the Premier, Government of Nunavut, (867) 975-5059,
kkabloona@gov.nu.ca; Drew Williams, A/Communications Co-ordinator, Office of
the Premier and Cabinet, Government of the Northwest Territories, (867)
669-2304, drew_williams@gov.nt.ca; Emily Younker, Cabinet Communications,
Government of Yukon, (867) 633-7961, emily.younker@gov.yk.ca

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