Announcing the 8th Circumpolar Agriculture Conference and the University of the Arctic Inaugural Northern Food Summit
Conference and Summit Theme: Advancing food security and sustainable agriculture in the circumpolar north; Building an integrated vision, creating a process for sustainable food security in northern communities.
Please join us at the 8th Circumpolar Agricultural Conference and UArctic Inaugural Food Summit at the Alyeska Hotel and Resort in Girdwood, Alaska, Sept. 29 through Oct. 3, 2013. The Circumpolar Agricultural Association and the University of the Arctic (UArctic), along with the University of Alaska Fairbanks have partnered to bring together world leaders who will discuss northern agricultural issues and challenges.
Much attention has been focused on food supplies in deep Africa and underdeveloped nations. It is time to draw attention to the fragility of the food supply in the nations of the circumpolar north. We must broaden the agriculturally productive areas of the world and the circumpolar north is certainly one of them. It can become a leading production area for the world's feed and food grains and horticultural crops because of its productive soils and long solar days. The potential, particularly where geothermal is available, for energy efficient, controlled environments is here as are diversified livestock opportunities in reindeer, yak, elk, and bison; species adapted to the north as efficient converters of feed stocks into food stocks that are high in protein and low in fat. The message must reach the world about our potential here and we hope this conference is a leader in making that happen.
This is an international conference and will involve participants from the circumpolar northern nations, (the U.S. through Alaska as one of the 50 states) and Japan. The combination of the Circumpolar Agricultural Conference which in the past has primarily focused on production, with the UArctic Food Summit and its emphasis on economic development, marketing systems, and indigenous food systems, will be a powerful venue to convey our message of the need to understand the fragile physical and biological as well as political and economic climates of the northern circumpolar world.
The conference and summit theme is advancing food security and sustainable agriculture in the circumpolar north, building an integrated vision, and creating a process for sustainable food security in northern communities. The four objectives will lead us to a balanced approach between traditional subsistence natural resource access and agricultural production:
1. Educate world leaders on the critical nature of food supplies in the circumpolar north,
2. Encourage the exchange of information, material and technology of agriculture and rural development in circumpolar areas.
3. Establish and maintain relations with organizations that relate to the Circumpolar Agricultural Association and the thematic network on northern food security, University of the Arctic.
4. Discuss and define the barriers/challenges/opportunities of expanding regional food economies.
Our conference and summit adopt the perspective that food security is a driver in community development and sustainability. Thus, rather than a commodity-specific conference, we will bridge diverse but common key areas to support, strengthen, and expand the food resources and northern community development. Very important long-term impacts will come from meeting objectives 1 and 3 above. If the conference and summit can do that, we have implanted a base from which food security and food supply in the circumpolar north and beyond can grow.