Seward was represented at the Arctic Council Ministerial meeting in Fairbanks last week. Seven dignitaries at the Arctic Council Ministerial Meeting received a gift of Dot Bardarson’s giclee print,”Back from a Paddle”. Dot is one of our local artists in Seward. The art was presented by Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson. The prints show a 12 man canoe returning from a jaunt to Pederson Glacier in the Kenai Fjords. (It won the 1st place painting award in the Alaska Watercolor Juried Show.)
The art was selected as appropriate to the Arctic Council meeting because of its interest in Alaska’s melting glaciers. Pederson Glacier is an example of one that is showing dramatic recession, especially during this past year, according to the National Park Service.
Climate warming is of great concern to the eight nation Arctic Council. The Russian delegations and the United States focused on mutual interest and fellowship. How refreshing!
Besides Rex Tillerson, the roster of high profile dignitaries included the Russian foreign minister, Sergey Lavrov and foreign ministers of six other Arctic nations. It is hoped that the meeting helped Arctic scientists work across borders, share information, and cut red tape and costs.
At this time of great controversy about global warming, there were spirited discussions.
The Arctic Council Chairmanship rotates every two years. At this meeting, Rex Tillerson passed the gavel of Arctic leadership from the outgoing United States to the new chair: Finland.