arctic sea ice nasaThe Arctic Circle Assembly 2016 - the 4th edition of the annual conference - started off with a great deal of fanfare in Reykjavik, Iceland on Thursday, October 6th.

The Assembly began with an annual ambassadorial panel which included Foreign Ministers and Ambassadors delivering opening keynote speeches. This was followed by Advisory Board Meeting and a sustainable development simulation - "Arctic choices" - which was organized by the WWF Arctic Programme.

Discussion on Friday October 7th feature disucssions on how to better communicate about climate science and the Arctic.  It is crucial that the general public understand what's happening in order to facilitate global action on addressing the issue. This plenary session, organized by HArvard Kennedy School, features a lively dialogue between Harvard University climate scientist Daniel Schrag and New York Times science writer Andrew Revkin on how to improve public discourse in a changing media climate. HKS senior fellow Cristine Russell is moderating.

Saturday October 8th features discussion on Arctic shipping, maritime safety, and natural resource exploitation. On the last day of the Assembly, Sunday, October 9th, the plenary focuses on the Arctic Economic Council and its role in the development of the Arcitc.

The program for the conference can be found on the Arctic Circle website.

The annual Arctic Circle Assembly is the largest annual international gathering on the Arctic, attended by more than 2000 participants from 50 countries. The Assembly is held every October at the Harpa Conference Center and Concert Hall in Reykjavík, Iceland. The 2016 Assembly features mores than 400 speakers.