2022 Polar Symposium


22 September 2022




Museum of Natural Sciences in Brussels, Rue Vautier 29, 1000 Brussels

Type of Event



The Belgian Science Policy Office (BELSPO), the Egmont Royal Institute for International Relations, the Association of Polar Early Career Scientists (APECS) and the Belgian National Committee of (Ant)Arctic Research (BNCAR)

Polar regions are some of the most vulnerable areas on Earth. While anthropogenic warming impacts the whole planet, the Arctic region has been warming almost four times as fast in recent decades. Changes at the poles have local and global implications and are intertwined with biodiversity, the cornerstone of healthy and resilient ecosystems. Science is crucial for building a foundation to understand how our lives are impacted by climate change and what we can do to slow or reverse changes.

Belgian polar research plays an active and leading role on the international scene. The Polar Symposium highlights Belgian polar research and the scientific and policy fora associated with it. Presentations will cover climate, ice, geology, space, terrestrial biology, anthropology and health, ocean, marine biology and Belgian research facilities, complemented by contributions from leading polar organisations and prominent political speakers.



8:30 – 9:10: Registration

9:10 – 9:20:  Welcome and opening

Minister Zakia Khattabi (Climate, Environment, Sustainable Development and the Green Deal)

9:20 – 9:30: Scientific opening

Renuka Badhe (Executive Secretary of the EU Polar Board) – read her intervention

View her intervention

9:30 – 9:55: Climate

Nicole Van Lipzig, Alexander Mangold – read their intervention here

9:55 – 10:20: Ice

François Massonnet, Xavier Fettweis

10:20 – 10:40: SCAR (Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research)

Frank Pattyn – read his intervention

10:40 – 11:00: Coffee break

11:05 – 11:30: Geology

Steven Goderis (read his intervention), Nicolas Bergeot

11:30 – 11:55: Space

Simona Toscano, Hervé Lamy – read the intervention

11:55 – 12:15: ATCM (Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting)

Stéphanie Langerock (read her intervention), Annick Wilmotte

12:15 – 13:15: Lunch

13:15 – 13:25 Association for Polar Early Career Scientists (APECS)

Valentina Savaglia – read her intervention

13:25 – 13:50 Terrestrial Biology

Elie Verleyen, Anne Willems

13:50 – 14:15 Anthropology and Health

Nathalie Pattyn (read her intervention), Frédéric Laugrand

14:15-14:35 International Arctic Science Committee (IASC)

Philippe Huybrechts – read his intervention

14:35 – 15:00 Ocean

François Fripiat (read his intervention), Bruno Delille

15:00 – 15:20 Coffee break

15:20 – 15:45 Marine Biology

Ann Vanreusel (read her presentation) , Anton Van de Putte

15:45 – 16:10 Belgian research facilities: Research Vessel Belgica & Princess Elisabeth Antarctica Research Station.

Lieven Naudts (read her presentation),  Henri Robert (read his presentation)

16:10 – 16:30 Keynote speech European Commission DG for Research and Innovation

Szilvia Nemeth

16:30 – 16:40 Closing

State Secretary Thomas Dermine

(Economic Recovery and Strategic Investments, in charge of Science Policy) (watch his intervention)

16:40 – 16:55 Closing remarks

Jean-Louis De Brouwer

(Director of the European Affairs Programme at the Egmont Royal Institute for International Relations)