The Spanish Geographical Society, with the collaboration of the Ramón Areces Foundation, has organized for the tenth consecutive time the cycle of conferences dedicated, on this occasion, to the Arctic territory, which has gone from pure exploration, unknown and immobile, to become a geostrategic space in which important “battles” for the future of the planet are fought.

Under the name “The Arctic, the last frontier”, the cycle of conferences will be attended by researchers, travelers, experts in geopolitics and explorers of the so-called North Pole, which will review the future of a key territory of the planet from different perspectives. In spite of everything, it is still a great scenario of adventures and scientific challenges. On October 24 the explorer and creator of the WindSled, Ramón Larramendi will moderate a table with two other great explorers: Miguel Gutiérrez Garitano and Javier Argüello. Larramendi is also the director and founder of the travel agency Tierras Polares. Next Tuesday, October 3, 2017, the cycle commences with the writer and traveler Javier Reverte.

Climate change, the progressive melting of its ice masses and the consequent access to new resources, or the new geostrategic Great Game among the powers present in the area, are hot topics that have made politicians, scientists and even artists and media characters have come together to raise awareness of the vital importance of good management of the Arctic.

The talks will take place on Tuesdays 3, 10, 17 and 24 of October at 7:20 p.m. in the assembly hall of the Ramón Areces Foundation, on 5, Vitruvio Street, in Madrid.


Tuesday, October 3, 7:30 p.m.

Explorers of the impossible. The conquest of the Arctic

Javier Reverte

Journalist, traveler and writer

The North Pole was the last of the exploratory conquests. It was always an unknown and mysterious place and to reach it became an obsession. Until 1948, no one was able to reach this geographical milestone, although Amundsen had flown over it in 1926. The story of its conquest over 400 years, is the fascinating story of a maddened and infernal race, which caused shipwrecks, frauds, murders, suicides and even episodes of cannibalism.

Javier Reverte will talk about the history of the exploration and discovery of the North Pole, its protagonists and their failures and triumphs in their race to achieve glory and their own experience as the Arctic explorers.

Tuesday, October 10, 7:30 p.m.

Arctic fever. The geopolitics of the North Pole

Ignacio García Sánchez

Deputy Director of the Spanish Institute of Strategic Studies (IEEE) – CESEDEN

The resources that the Arctic hides have become the last great treasure of the planet, something that all the countries of its environment wish to control. Its particular geography has turned this space into an area of ​​enormous geopolitical importance and into the scenario of the new “Game” of the great powers.

Ignacio García Sánchez will approach the Arctic as the great geopolitical challenge of the 21st century. What are the keys to the growing international interest in the Arctic? What new interests, resources and human uses are at stake? What is the framework of management and cooperation in this area? Does Spain have interests in the Arctic?

Tuesday, October 17, 7:30 p.m.

The Arctic, climate change thermometer

Julian Dowdeswell

Director of the Scott Polar Research Institute (Cambridge)

The melting of the Arctic concerns researchers: this area of ​​the world is the real thermometer with which scientists measure the changes that will occur on the planet and that will affect our future. The Arctic Ocean has been melting for 30 years and new historical milestones of loss of the ice sheet have been recorded every summer, making all alarms jump start. The director of the Scott Polar Research Institute discusses an overview of climate change, environmental fragility and the future of the Arctic.

Tuesday, October 24, 7:30 p.m.

Exploring the Arctic today: the irresistible attraction of the North Pole

Round table with Miguel Gutiérrez Garitano and Javier Argüello. Moderator: Ramón Larramendi, explorer of the Arctic, creator of the WindSled and founder and manager of Tierras Polares and Greenland Net.

Two current travelers, protagonists of recent exploration trips to the Arctic, will portray their experience and discuss with the polar explorer Ramón Larramendi about the adventure of traveling to the North Pole today. Why is the area more attractive than ever to the seekers of hard emotions? Does it make sense exploring this territory in the 21st century? Can exploration, research and tourism coexist in a framework as fragile as the polar regions are?

About the SGE

The Spanish Geographical Society (SGE) is a non-profit association, declared of Public Utility. The SGE is the direct heir of a long tradition of exploration in Spain. Its objective since it was founded in 1997 was to revitalize geography and travel, the exploration of the planet, the dissemination of scientific knowledge and ecological awareness. Throughout almost two decades of work, the Society has consolidated as a cultural project which has the virtue of uniting people from everywhere in the common interest to recover the memory of the great Spanish explorers and discoverers as well as to make known to the world the current contributions of geographers and Spanish travelers. Today, more than 1,500 people participate around this project in an active manner. Expeditions, meetings with great travelers, conferences, seminars, trips with experts, specialized cycles and workshops, travel gatherings, publications, an active website for members, a quarterly magazine, research and exploration projects and courses of different disciplines related to geography and travel (botany, astronomy, cartography, orientation, travel photography, survival), are all the activities developed by the SGE.



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