Arctic Portal logo

The Arctic Gateway

Arctic Circle 2022 - United Arab Emirates

Press Release from the Arctic Circle - At the heart of climate change in Asia and the Himalaya region is the threat of melting glaciers and water insecurity. As outlined in the most recent IPCC Report, the gravity of the challenge is nowhere as dramatic as in and around the Third Pole, a term which is increasingly being used to denote the geographic vicinity of the Himalaya.

The Third Pole / Himalaya includes densely populated countries and two of the most populated nations on earth: India and China as well as Pakistan, Afghanistan, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Myanmar, and several countries in Central Asia. Unprecedented melting of glaciers will have serious, and in some cases, devastating consequences for hundreds of millions of people. In the face of an unprecedented challenge the region stands in need of a multifaceted and strengthened collaboration.

Collaboration among the eight Arctic states, Canada, United States, Russia, Norway, Denmark, Iceland, Sweden, and Finland has for decades been widely recognized for its success, despite the recent pause. Initiated and defined by a focus on environmental challenges facing the Arctic, it has been sustained by science-based collaboration to enable constructive policymaking.

Arctic Circle and the United Arab Emirates Ministry of Climate Change and Environment are pleased to announce the launch of the Third Pole Process. The Process will introduce the Arctic model of collaboration to the Third Pole / Himalaya region. It constitutes an effort to comprehensively present the challenges posed by climate change in the mountain regions of Asia and serves the purpose of encouraging collaboration. It will be designed to become an instrumental contribution to the preparations for COP28 in the UAE towards the end of 2023.

The Third Pole Process will engage scientists, experts, policy makers and members of the political establishments into a sustained dialogue. Parties involved in Arctic collaboration through the years will share their experience via articles and interviews. Experts and policy makers in the Third Pole region and from the Arctic will contribute to the dialogue by sharing current information from the respective regions. They will offer insights and analysis on the challenges to collaboration and ways in which to facilitate future partnerships. The Third Pole Process will be marked by milestone moments through a series of forthcoming Arctic Circle Assemblies in Iceland and Arctic Circle Forums in other countries.

The Process builds on past efforts – partly within the domain of the Arctic Circle network – to help promote collaboration. This has been achieved over the past decade by collaboration with the Third Pole Environment Program, ICIMOD the regional organization headquartered in Kathmandu, and workshops and forums in Iceland, India, Nepal, and Bhutan.

On the Arctic Circle website (www.ArcticCircle.org) a new section has been introduced devoted to the Third Pole Process. The section will serve as a center for information on the initiative. It will collect in one place various materials – reports, news, articles, interviews, video recordings and podcasts – that can contribute to an improved understanding which in turn will strengthen foundations for the endeavor. People of experience who have played an important role in Arctic collaboration will submit articles and papers offering insights and analysis, as will officials, scientists, and people of experience from the Third Pole region. The purpose is to collect and present information of importance but also to analyze the potential for collaboration. The section will be updated regularly with information about the evolution and development of the Process.

Lessons learned from collaboration in the Arctic present many useful examples for other parts of the world and can serve as an inspiration for and find application in the Third Pole and Himalaya region. The Arctic Circle – United Arab Emirates: Third Pole Process will be a sustained effort to make that possible.

Her Excellency Mariam bint Mohammed Almheiri, UAE Minister of Climate Change and Environment, said: “The UAE is committed to supporting global efforts to protect the natural world. If left unchecked, glacier melting will trigger higher biodiversity loss, impede economic growth, and lead to more acute food and water shortages. To avoid this bleak future,we are joining forces with Arctic Circle to roll out the Third Pole Process that will go a long way in forging meaningful partnerships and sharing experience to mitigate the impacts of climate change on the Third Pole region.”

Source: Arctic Circle