Rapid political, social and environmental change presents challenges for the management of Arctic and Antarctic regions. Climate change is already affecting national security and has implications for defence planning in Australia and the Antarctic region.
Focusing on cross-cutting themes in relation to southern circumpolar policymaking, CASPR’s Geostrategic Futures project has promoted a whole-of-government coordination approach to national and military mobilisation, and is particularly concerned with Defence’s role in building whole-of-nation resilience.
As part of this project, CASPR held a two-day symposium and professional development short course in Canberra in December 2019. The event brought together local and international defence experts, scientists, academics, policymakers and decisionmakers to consider the strategic, political, scientific, economic and environmental challenges for managing Antarctic territories. The two days of dialogue harnessed learning from international research and policy, including comparative lessons from the Arctic, to address strategic challenges in Antarctica and the Southern Ocean and inform strategic policy.
A number of papers from the symposium will soon be available in a peer-reviewed open-access book. CASPR has also produced a series of videos highlighting the insights of polar policy experts. They are freely available below, and on CASPR’s YouTube channel.
The symposium showcased the academic and applied research of 23 experts from six countries and incorporated formal presentations, interactive workshops and informal networking opportunities. The event was highly rated by the 50 attendees, including Australian and US Defence personnel; government advisers; embassy officials; think tank representatives; and academic experts from universities around Australia and from Canada, the US, the UK, Finland and Sweden.
The Geostrategic Futures project was supported by the Australian Government Department of Defence through their Strategic Policy Grants Program. The Polar Research and Policy Initiative was pleased to sponsor and participate in this event, along with Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung, Centre for Marine Socioecology and The Australian National Centre for Ocean Resources and Security at the University of Wollongong.
Video presentations from polar policy experts
Major General (ret.) Randy ‘Church’ Kee, University of Alaska
Professor Christian Leuprecht, Royal Military College, Canada, and Charles Sturt University
Alice Rogoff, Arctic Today
Professor Craig Johnson, University of Tasmania
Dr Dwayne Menezes, Polar Research and Policy Initiative
Dr Joanna Vince, University of Tasmania
Professor Heather Nicol, Trent University
Professor Timo Koivurova, University of Lapland
Dr Elizabeth Buchanan, Australian National University
Professor Roger Bradbury, Australian National University
Professor Sascha Dov Bachmann, Canberra Law School