Ottawa, Ontario (November 4, 2010) – The Honourable Gail Shea, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, on behalf of the Honourable John Duncan, Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians, today congratulated the Canadian National Committee for International Polar Year (IPY) on being awarded the Royal Canadian Geographical Society’s gold medal.
"Receiving the gold medal award is a significant honour for everyone who contributed to International Polar Year in Canada," said Minister Shea. "I would like to congratulate the Canadian National Committee on their hard work. Not only has this initiative contributed to our knowledge of the Arctic, it has also supported the development of new Arctic researchers, including an emerging group of researchers from the North. Through international collaboration and the development of extensive networks, IPY has enabled the world to come together to achieve more than any one country could accomplish on its own."
Accepting on behalf of the Canadian National Committee for International Polar Year was Mr. Ian Church, Chair, and Dr. David Hik, Vice Chair.
"This award is a tribute to the efforts of dedicated individuals and organizations that contributed to the IPY in Canada," said Mr. Church. "From the work of international scientists to the participation of local Northern communities, we confirm that with citizenship comes the responsibility of stewardship. IPY underscored that we are all citizens of the Poles, and that collectively we made this initiative a great success."
International Polar Year was the largest international program of scientific research focused on the Arctic and Antarctic regions ever undertaken. Internationally, 30,000 scientists and researchers from more than 60 nations participated and conducted over 200 IPY projects examining some of the most pressing issues facing the polar regions and our planet. In Canada, 52 research projects were supported by the Government of Canada and studies were conducted at over 100 study sites across Canada’s North, as well as onboard five Canadian Coast Guard icebreakers.
Thanks to International Polar Year, more is known about Canada’s Arctic environment, its people and communities than ever before. New scientific baseline information has been established, data gaps have been filled and new results have been collected to help evaluate how the Arctic is changing.
Canada will host the final IPY international science-to-policy conference, From Knowledge to Action , in Montreal in April 2012. The conference will focus on applying and integrating the global knowledge gained through IPY research.
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