Our Common Future Under Climate Change

International Scientific Conference 7-10 JULY 2015 Paris, France

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  • 100 Impact of climate changes on Arctic indigenous people's health and wellbeing” - a EU-Canada roundtable



Organizers: CNRS on behalf of the ERA-Can+ project
Date:  6 July 2015
Location:  CNRS Headquarters, Paris
Expected number of participants: 40
Nature of participants:  scientific experts, programme managers, policymakers…
Keywords:  Arctic, Health, Wellness, Climate change impacts, Environmental contaminants
Keynote speakers:
  • Denis Didier Rousseau, CNRS, France
  • Arja Rautio, University of Oulu, Finland
  • Janet Pawlak, Arctic Monotoring and Assessment Programme Secretariat, Norway
  • Crispin Halsall, Lancaster University, The United Kingdom
  • Laurie Chan, University of Ottawa, Canada
  • Susan Chatwood, University of Toronto, Canada
  • Ashlee Cunsolo-Willox, Cape Breton University, Canada


The rapid changes occurring in the Arctic Region clearly influence global climate and have large scale consequences. These changes present societal challenges, but also economic opportunities. European and Canadian research communities are amongst the most active and productive in the Arctic region. Therefore, the EU and Canada could strongly benefit from a high degree of coordination and an integrated cooperation with all relevant actors. This notably includes a close and constant dialogue between scientists, policymakers, business and industry leaders, and local communities.

With this in mind, ERA-CAN + through its activities, in particular those aimed at identifying challenges and topics for targeted opportunities in areas of mutual interest, could provide significant inputs to European, Canadian, bilateral and even international bodies for the design of realistic and feasible trans-Atlantic polar research programs.

Synergy and exchanges between actors of various origins and scientific fields being a precious source of new ideas, the ERA-CAN+ consortium organizes a roundtable on the "Impact of climate change on Arctic indigenous people's health and wellness”.


This EU-Canada event will be held at CNRS headquarters (Campus Gérard Mégie, Paris Michel-Ange) on July 6th, 2015 back to back to the "Our common future under climate change” Conference. It will gather about 20 European and Canadian researchers to discuss common challenges and opportunities for collaboration, as well as the next actions to be undertaken in the 3 following topics of mutual interest:
- Impacts of climate change on health
- Environmental contaminants
- Mental wellness / suicide prevention

The program of the roundtable will include:
- Presentation of the state of the art in Canada and the EU in “Arctic, Health and Wellness”
- Break out / brainstorming sessions: sub-group discussions on the 3 identified topics
- Wrap-up session: moderators for each small group will report back to all participants and share the outcomes, followed by a general discussion on what the next steps should be.


It is expected that this event will enable the EU and Canadian research communities to determine new areas of collaboration, as well as outline potential joint endeavours to address the targeted challenges. It will also provide inputs for EU-Canada S&T policy dialogue, and allow these parties to align priorities, and identify opportunities, instruments and funding modalities to be mobilized by the different stakeholders

More information

 Participation in the ERA-Can+ roundtable is open to the "Our common future under climate change” Conference’s attendees. Registration is compulsory - Deadline:  June 26, 2015. Please contact Audrey Gahéry from CNRS (see contact details below) for registration or additional information.

ERA-Can+ (http://www.era-can.net/) is a project co-funded by the European Commission, which supports the policy dialogue on research and innovation between Canada and the EU. ERA-Can+ supports the policy dialogue in Arctic research as follow up to the Galway Statement on transatlantic marine and arctic cooperation signed by Canada and the EU on 24 May 2014.

Link to a website:
More information on the ERA-Can+ project’s website: http://www.era-can.net/

Audrey Gahéry
European Project Manager
CNRS - Europe of Research and International Cooperation Office
3 rue Michel-Ange
75794 Paris Cedex 16
Tél.  +  33 (0)1 44 96 51 53
@ : audrey.gahery@cnrs-dir.fr 

Key outcomes

The roundtable was designed to enable the EU and Canadian research communities to determine newareas of collaboration, as well as to outline potential joint endeavours to address the following issues: Impacts of climate change on health – Environmental contaminants – Mental wellness / suicide prevention. It also provided inputs for the EU-Canada S&T policy dialogue.

The discussions and debates led to a series of recommendations, the main ones being to:
- Carry-out and develop time-sensitive suicide research focusing on quantitative and qualitative assessment of suicide to allow for a broader cultural understanding of suicide risk factors, ideation, perception and normalization within the indigenous Arctic populations.
- Support local action-oriented and community-led participatory interventions to respond to suicide in high-risk Arctic communities with involvement of local elders and leaders as well as the youth impacted both at an early prevention level as well direct targeting of high risk groups.
- Create an Arctic research chair for Mental Wellness and Suicide Prevention, thus providing the leadership to foster a coordinated and collaborative evaluation approach.
- Better harmonize, in study design, bio-banking and data archiving protocols, the on-going biomonitoring programmes and health assessments in Canada and Europe/Scandinavia.
- Carry-out a comprehensive risk-benefit assessment of diet shifts of indigenous peoples, as well as studies on seasonal changes in diet with regards to nutrient and contaminant exposure.
- Study exposure and uptake of contaminants from foodstuffs and the indoor environment within Arctic settlements.
- Share successful and innovative approaches between Arctic scientists in the EU and Canada to optimize outreach and regional/national comparisons.
- Maintain and reinforce the monitoring initiative of air quality and deposition in the Arctic.
- Consider new environmental matrices for inclusion in long-term monitoring efforts across the Arctic, including surface seawater, given the rise in ‘water-transported’ contaminants in the Arctic, as well as the exploitation of snow and ice cores.
- Better characterize contaminants arising within Arctic settlements or through local infrastructure (dump sites, waste water disposal)
- Foster research on untreated wastewater disposal associated with larger Arctic settlements or shipping (tourist vessels), which are likely to be significant sources of contaminants to coastal waters.
- Evaluate the health impacts of exposure on indigenous people, particularly infants and pregnant women, to multiple contaminants (‘cocktail effect’)
- Determine the transport, fate and impact of combustion derived pollution and the effects of black carbon (and associated contaminants) in the Arctic need to be studied.
- Study the exposure of contaminants to sentinel organisms as well as to the base of food webs, in a warming Arctic and in both terrestrial and marine environments.
- Study climate change consequences for food and water security in the Arctic and carry out international comparisons across countries, jurisdictions, and boundaries.
- Understand the changing patterns, distribution, frequencies, and risk levels of a variety of diseases, including infectious, vectorborne, and zoonotic, in the Arctic.


Please find hereunder a photo and the report of the side event.