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ACCESS Kick-Off Meeting

The ACCESS Kick-Off meeting was held on 8-10 March 2011 in Paris, France.

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Press release

Arctic ocean under close surveillance at UPMC.

ACCESS kick-off meeting. Paris, March 8 -10, 2011.

The ACCESS (Arctic Climate Change, Economy and Society) kick-off meeting is being held at UPMC. This European project is financed in response to the first call “Ocean for Tomorrow” of the 7th Framework Programme Research and Development. It started on March 1st, 2011 and will end on March 1st, 2015. Under UPMC leadership and involving 27 partners from 10 European countries including Russia, ACCESS main objective is to assess climatic impacts
on marine transportation (including tourism), fisheries, marine mammals and the extraction of oil and gas in the Arctic Ocean. ACCESS is also highly concerned with Arctic governance and policy-makers options.

Context and Objectives

Arctic climate change is going to have strong impacts on both marine ecosystems and human activities in the Arctic, which in turn has important socio-economic implications for Europe. ACCESS will propose Arctic climate change scenarios and evaluate their impacts on marine transportation (including tourism), fisheries, marine mammals and the extraction of hydrocarbons in the Arctic for the next decades with particular attention to environmental sensitivities and sustainability. ACCESS is engaged in integrating Arctic climate change and socioeconomic impacts and identifying Arctic governance options. ACCESS will also engage in close cooperation with indigenous people and other stakeholders.

ACCESS is composed of 5 working groups:

  •  A first group will focus on monitoring and modeling Arctic climate change involving ocean, atmosphere and sea-ice.
  •  A second group will study the opening to marine transportation of the northern passages, north of Europe and Siberia (North-East passage) and through the Canadian Archipelago (North-West passage) as well as the impact of these transportation activities on marine ecosystems and society.
  •  A third group will examine how climate change impacts on Arctic fisheries, aquaculture and livelihood, mainly in the sub-Arctic sectors such as the Barents Sea.
  •  A fourth group will determine how the extraction of offshore oil and gas might be influenced and affected by climatic change, taking into account associated risks
  •  A fifth group will examine Arctic governance options emerging from the findings of the other groups.

An open forum will be created for stakeholders interested in the ACCESS consortium activities and crosscutting research. Leading experts working in the ACCESS field of study will sit on the ACCESS advisory board.

To ensure international dissemination of ACCESS activities, specific links will be set up with internationally renowned organizations such as the Arctic Information Center from the University of Lapland in Rovaniemi (Finland). ACCESS has close links with international organizations overseeing international research in the Arctic and specifically with IASC (Arctic Council) via ISAC (International Study of Arctic Change).

Communication within ACCESS is led by UPMC and involves collaboration with all ACCESS partners, the steering committee, the coordinator, the manager of ACCESS and the European Commission. The project results will be disseminated by various means such as quarterly newsletters and will be distributed electronically via a website.