News Release

REF NO.: 19

SUBJECT: Ocean Innovation conference seeks sustainability in the North

DATE: September 22, 2011

             From Oct 18-21, representatives of Northern communities, scientists, policy makers and business people will meet at Ocean Innovation 2011 in Iqaluit, Nunavut, to discuss the challenges and opportunities pertaining to development of ocean resources, sovereignty, climate change and maritime infrastructure in the North.
            The Marine Institute, in partnership with the Nunavut Research Institute, will bring Canada’s premiere oceans conference and exhibition to the Arctic this year to explore how the latest innovations in maritime safety, efficiency of operations and sustainable ocean management can be applied to the region.
            Delegates from across Canada and throughout the circumpolar region will explore synergies between traditional knowledge and modern technology to assist Northern peoples as they struggle to deal with the challenges of sustainable development and use of ocean resources in the face of massive environmental and socio-economic change. Likewise, traditional knowledge and Northern innovation systems can positively influence the design and utilization of new technologies. 
            The highlight of the conference will be a keynote address on Oct. 19 by Arctic climate change advocate and Nobel Peace Prize nominee Sheila Watt-Cloutier. Her talk will focus on the environment, economy, foreign policy, health, human rights and leadership, how these issues are interconnected and what it means for the future of our planet. Because her Inuit culture faces extreme challenges of globalization, Ms. Watt-Cloutier speaks from firsthand experience and couples that with her extensive experiences as a global leader.
            The gala dinner will feature the Honourable Eva Aariak, premier, Government of Nunavut, who will address how Nunavut can unlock its potential.                 
            On Oct. 21 a workshop hosted by LookNorth will give participants a better understanding of applications of satellite remote sensing technology to mining, fisheries and oil and gas development in the North. Workshop participants will also learn about programs that support natural resource development and a panel discussion will focus on the needs of operators and permitting bodies.
            This year’s conference chair is Peter Kilabuk. Born and raised on Baffin Island, Mr. Kilabuk served as president of the Cumberland Sound Fisheries and chairman of the Pangnirtung Fisheries Board from 1995-99. From 1999-2008, he sat as a member of the Legislative Assembly for the riding of Pangnirtung, served as a cabinet member in a number of different portfolios including sustainable development, community government, transportation and education,  and later as Speaker of the Legislative Assembly. He currently operates as an expeditor and outfitter in Pangnirtung.
            Now in its ninth year, the Ocean Innovation conference and exhibition strives to introduce relevant and often provocative topics centered on the latest innovations for the marine industry. In recent years, the conference has explored such topics as ocean observation systems, underwater vehicles and green ship technology.

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