Welcome message from the Convenor at the Opening of 13th PLS

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Please watch the video message from Professor Akiho Shibata, the Convenor of the 13th Polar Law Symposium, at the occasion of its opening on 9 November 2020.

The updated message in texts is below:

Welcome, dear polar law scholars, indigenous representatives, polar policy-makers, polar stakeholders, and participants.

My name is Akiho Shibata, professor of international law, and Director, Kobe University Polar Cooperation Research Centre. I am the Convenor of the 13th Polar Law Symposium. On behalf of the three Co-Hosts of the Symposium, I would like to warmly welcome all of you to the 13th Polar Law Symposium Special Online Session. This is the first virtual Polar Law Symposium in its 13-years of history. I appreciate very much the guidance the Advisory Committee members provided for this epoch-making event to succeed.

Despite the continuing difficulties around the world caused by COVID-19, it is my great pleasure to inform you that the 13th Polar Law Symposium has successfully opened entirely online, with a total of 326 registered participants. This is the largest registration number ever achieved in the history of the Symposium. As of 18 November, we have 33 uploaded individual presentations either by slideshows or by video viewing, five (5) seminars for on-demand video viewing, and 13 live events planned with 28 oral interactive presentations and lectures. In this context, I would like to thank the members of the Planning Committee in organizing six (6) interesting Discussion Panels and the early-career and indigenous scholars as fellows assisting those Panels. Please note that for the live events, all participants will need to separately pre-register for the particular event they want to attend, 5 days before the event, from the Symposium website.

A virtual symposium definitely contributes to the reduction of our carbon footprint of international travels; at the same time, there has been a long and arduous preparatory work on the technicalities of the online systems and website, with not so much reduced financial costs. I would like to thank the members of Kobe PCRC team for logistically supporting all the things we are doing online, behind the scene. I would also like to thank the generous financial and other supports from our Co-Sponsors: National Institute of Polar Research (NIPR), Japan Society for Promotion of Science (JSPS) for KAKENHI, Kobe University Rokkodai Foundation, The Mitsui & Co. Environment Fund, Arctic Challenge for Sustainability II (ArCS II), and Kobe University Center for Social System Innovation (KUSSI).

It is my sincere wish that this Symposium gives you a little bit of extra energy to keep you going with your academic work in these difficult times.

Please enjoy all the presentations and live events during the Symposium, until 30th November. Thank you, and welcome again.

Updated 18 November 2020

Secretariat of the 13th Polar Law Symposium
Kobe University Polar Cooperation Research Centre (PCRC)