Doctoral defence in Environment and Natural Resources -Tom Barry
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Ph.D. student: Tom Barry
Dissertation title: The Arctic Council An Agent of Change?
Dr. Timo Koivurova, Research Professor at the University of Lapland, Finland
Dr. Guðmundur S. Alfreðsson, Professor Emeritus at Akureyri University, Iceland
Advisor: Dr. Brynhildur Davíðsdóttir, Professor in Environment and Natural Resources at the University of Iceland
Dr. Oran Young, Professor Emeritus at Bren School of Environmental Science and Management at University of California, Santa Barbara, USA
Dr. Níels Einarsson, Director of the Stefansson Arctic Institute, Akureyri, Iceland
Chair of Ceremony: Dr. Arnar Pálsson, Professor and the Vice Head of the Faculty of Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Iceland
The geo-political importance of the Arctic is growing while at the same time the onset of climate change has resulted in increasing environmental and social pressures both on Arctic states and the governance architecture through which Arctic issues are addressed. The Arctic Council is the primary intergovernmental forum promoting cooperation, coordination and interaction among Arctic States, Indigenous communities and peoples. This thesis looks at how this body is evolving in response to these pressures. It explores the drivers and barriers to its institutional effectiveness; and through the lens of biodiversity considers how these may hinder or be conducive to its ability to have an impact upon the issues it was formed to address i.e. environmental protection and sustainable development. It does so through considering Actions needed to ensure the sustainable conservation and management of the Arctic’s biodiversity; identifying barriers to the effectiveness of the Council in achieving its goals; and identifying mechanisms through which it seeks to achieve its objectives.
About the doctoral candidate
Tom is a geographer with a B.A. in Geography and Archaeology; and a Masters in Geography from the University College Cork, Ireland. Tom is the Executive Secretary for the Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna (CAFF), the biodiversity working group of the Arctic Council, based in Akureyri. Tom has a broad range of experience at national and international levels dealing with strategic planning and organizational development. Tom works with a diverse range of stakeholders from across the Arctic to ensure that biodiversity conservation remains a priority for audiences working in Arctic policy and in multilateral global environmental agreement settings.