The overarching question imparting urgency to this exploration is: Can U.S.-Russian contention in cyberspace cause the two nuclear superpowers to stumble into war? In considering this question we were constantly reminded of recent comments by a prominent U.S. arms control expert: At least as dangerous as the risk of an actual cyberattack, he observed, is cyber operations’ “blurring of the line between peace and war.” Or, as Nye wrote, “in the cyber realm, the difference between a weapon and a non-weapon may come down to a single line of code, or simply the intent of a computer program’s user.”
The buildup of plastic in the Arctic Ocean is a growing challenge in the region. Over the last decade, the amount of plastic debris in the Arctic has increased considerably as the shrinking ice coverage caused by climate change has allowed plastic debris to flow into the Arctic Ocean as never before.
Iceland has chosen to highlight the issue of plastic debris in the Arctic Ocean as one of the focus areas during its Chairmanship of the Arctic Council from 2019–2021. In support of that initiative, Harvard Kennedy School and the Woodrow Wilson Center will co-host a workshop, Policy and Action on Plastic in the Arctic Ocean, gathering global thought leaders, diverse stakeholders, and subject matter experts. The goal is to identify key questions that need to be addressed in order to effectively implement solutions to the serious plastic pollution problem that is already affecting the Arctic region.
This workshop will serve as a precursor to—and provide input to—the Symposium on Plastics in the Arctic and Sub-Arctic Region, organized by the Icelandic Chairmanship of the Arctic Council, which will take place in April 2020.
Attendance by invitation only. Stay-tuned for updates on speakers and topics in the coming months. Please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org with questions.
Workshop Key Objectives:
- Convene a diverse group of experts who are working to tackle the problem of plastic pollution globally and bring them together in conversation around the challenges facing the Arctic Ocean.
- Explore the current status of plastic pollution in the Arctic and identify any knowledge/monitoring gaps that may hamper developing, implementing, and evaluating plastic pollution mitigation efforts.
- Highlight promising practices and policy interventions that are being deployed globally and within the Arctic region which have begun to address the plastic pollution problem. Discuss strategies for scaling effective interventions.
- Identify what policy tools may be most effective in an Arctic Regional Plan to combat plastic pollution, and develop a path forward to advance the discussion at the Symposium on Plastics in the Arctic and Sub-Arctic Region, organized by the Icelandic Chairmanship of the Arctic Council, which will take place in April 2020.
October 30, 2019:
- 9:00–9:15am: Opening remarks from HKS Arctic Initiative & Wilson Center
- 9:15–9:45am: Presentation of Iceland's Arctic Council Chairmanship
- 9:45–10:30am: Issue Overview — What is the status of plastic pollution in the Arctic
- 10:30–11:00am: Coffee break
- 11:00–12:15pm: Thematic Session 1 — Strategies in Monitoring
- 12:15–1:15pm: Lunch
- 1:15–2:45pm: Thematic Session 2 — Mitigation Efforts at the Global Level
- 2:45–3:00pm: Coffee Break
- 3:00–4:45pm: Thematic Session 3 — Efforts in the Arctic which can be Scaled
- 6:00–8:00pm: Dinner
October 31, 2019:
- 8:30–9:00am: Breakfast
- 9:00–9:15am: Summary of Day 1
- 9:15–11:00am: Thematic Session 4 — Innovations and a path forward to Reykjavik
- 11:00–11:15am: Coffee Break
- 11:15–12:15pm: Conclusion — What have we Learned?
- 12:15–12:30pm: Closing of the workshop