The first Inter Polar Conference

The Arctic Centre of the University of Lapland and ICIMOD are jointly organising the first Inter-Polar Conference in collaboration with the UArctic Chairs in Arctic Legal Research and Education, and the Law Thematic Network.

The Arctic and the Third Pole – the Hindu Kush Himalaya (HKH) region, both contain important elements of the cryosphere, the near-permanent presence of water in a frozen state. However, as temperatures in both regions are currently increasing, these areas are rapidly thawing, and several elements of the cryosphere are possibly at tipping points.

Changes in the cryosphere will have major impacts on local communities and ecosystems, and also lead to larger-scale changes: the rapid melting of the Himalayan glaciers and changes in snowpack will have significant regional effects related to the provision of water to a quarter of humanity, and the melting of cryosphere in the Arctic will contribute significantly to global sea level rise , affecting the 10% of humanity living within 10 m of sea level, as well as global trade as docks and other infrastructure at sea level are affected.

The interlinked aspect of the cryosphere thaw and climate change has been evidenced as crucial in promoting polar science. However, the Arctic and Third Pole are almost always considered separately, demonstrating very little knowledge about the commonalities, links, and differences between both regions, especially concerning geo-political, socio-cultural, environmental, and legal dynamics of effects of and responses to these changes.


  • Discuss inter-polar perspectives from both Arctic and the Hindu Kush Himalaya region, and scope out the possibilities of creating an inter-polar knowledge network bringing experts from both regions
  • Better understand climate change-driven impacts on the regions and help prepare scholars and stakeholders to develop an in-depth understanding of sustainability in both regions

Call for Abstracts

We invite abstract submissions, not exceeding 300-word, by scholars from the Arctic and the Third Pole regions that look at the following or closely related topics, either from a focused, but preferably through a comparative or connecting lens. Abstract topics could include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Climate change and environmental governance
  • Cryosphere
  • Institutions and regional and global cooperation
  • Science diplomacy and science communications
  • Livelihood, culture and identity
  • Climate actions and sustainable development
  • Food and water security
  • Risk and disaster management

Learn more about the conference and abstract submission process.

The deadline for submission is 7 July 2023.



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