Online Conference 2021

Fanad Lighthouse, Co. Donegal, Ireland

Online Conference 2021

Cape Spear Lighthouse, Newfoundland and Labroador, Canada.

Online Conference 2021

Fanad Lighthouse, Donegal, Ireland

Online Conference 2021

Point Amour Lighthouse, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada.

Online Conference 2021

Inishtrahull lighthouse, Inishtrahull, Co Donegal

Online Conference 2021

Bay Bulls Lighthouse, East Coast trail, Avalon, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada

Online Conference 2021

Arranmore Island, Co. Donegal

Online Conference 2021

Bona Vista Eastern Lighthouse, Newfoundland and Larador, Canada.

Online Conference 2021

Cape Race Lighthouse, Avalon, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada

Online Conference 2021

Greencastle Lighthouse, County Donegal

Online Conference 2021

Rose Banche Lighthouse, Newfoundand and Labrador, Canada

Online Conference 2021

Baard-Loeken, Norway

Online Conference 2021

Tranøy lighthouse, Norway

Online Conference 2021

Terje-Rakke, Norway


The 13th Annual Laurentic Forum (2021) will once again be hosted in a virtual setting for all of our international followers to enjoy! The online conference takes place on the 2nd, 3rd & 4th of November 2021.

The Forum supports an overarching theme that is focused on Sustaining Coastal Communities by exploring the challenges & opportunities that lay before them.

This year’s conference will address thematic key aspects of Sustainable Tourism and The Value of the Blue Economy in the North Atlantic.

The event will include themed collaborative sessions from regional & national stakeholders who represent the consortium’s four partner regions across the North Atlantic. These include:

  • The Canadian Provence of Newfoundland and Labrador;
  • Northwest of Ireland
  • Iceland
  • North Norway

Each session will present informative insights into the various facets of sustainable tourism and Blue Economy in the North Atlantic area. This includes relevant case studies, followed by an engaging panel discussion comparing the four North Atlantic Regions.

We have chosen the icon of a lighthouse as a key feature of our logo because of the message it represents around the world — a beacon of hope to coastal communities. For centuries these guiding lights have withstood the elements in order to ensure safe passage, pointing the way to a secure future. It symbolises the mission of the Laurentic Forum and our hope to do the same.

 This conference is free to attend with compliments of the Laurentic Forum and sponsors.

Conference Agenda

(Click on dates below for further information)

Online Conference Begins








Day 1- November 2nd- Sustainable Tourism: Looking Forward- 10:30am NST- 1:00pm Ireland and Iceland- 2:00pm Norway

The tourism industry is a mainstay for many regions across the globe. It boosts the economy, creates thousands of jobs, develops infrastructure, and supports and strengthens communities around the world. As one of the most affected industry sectors by the COVID-19 pandemic, tourism has had to adapt and change to offset lost markets, attract new markets and deliver a people-based service within restrictions. This session will explore the myriad of challenges and opportunities faced by the tourism industry by sharing knowledge from both sides of the Atlantic in an effort to support, enable and inspire tourism in the Atlantic area.

This year’s theme is ‘Sustaining Coastal Communities’, and through discussions with sectoral experts in Newfoundland and Labrador, Donegal, Ireland, Northern Norway and Iceland, we will explore topics such as:

· Cultural Sustainability

· The Impact of Seasonality in Tourism on its Ecological and Economic Success

· Financial Sustainability


  • 1:00 pm Welcome and Opening Address Meadbh Seoighe – Moderator NL Political Rep (TBD) Mayor of Donegal, Councilor Jack Murray
  • 1:20 pm Sigrid Engen Environmental Sustainability– emphasizing the interaction between human society, natural resources, and biodiversity. From the Norwegian Institute for Nature Research (NINA) is Norway’s leading institution for applied ecological research. Sigrid will discuss within sustainable environment / tourism discussing projects which Nina are currently involved with.
  • 1:35 pm Q&A

  • 1:40 pm Dale Jarvis Executive Director of Heritage Newfoundland & Labrador Cultural sustainability – Safeguarding Traditional Skills At one point, makers of birch brooms, woven baskets, or tea dolls were commonplace in Newfoundland and Labrador. The knowledge of how to make the tools, objects, and crafts of yesteryear is being lost. Heritage NL is working to document crafts at risk and to develop ways to encourage the sharing of heritage skills. Dale Jarvis, folklorist and Heritage NL Executive Director, will present on identifying skills at risk in the province and planning for the future.
  • 1:55 pm Q&A

  • 2:00 pm Johann Vidar Ivarsson Project Manager at the Icelandic Tourist Board in Reykjavik. Social sustainability – The impact of seasonality in tourism on its social and economic success In Iceland, a main focus in government strategic planning for tourism in the past couple of decades has been to decrease its unusually high seasonality. In the beginning, the main aim was to increase the industry’s profitability and stabilize employment. However, in recent years, with ever increasing emphasis on the ecological sustainability of every kind of business, public and private planners alike have realized that minimizing seasonality is a key factor in minimizing the carbon footprint of tourism in addition to maximizing medium-term economic returns. Johann Vidar Ivarsson, project manager at the Icelandic Tourist Board in Reykjavik, will give attendees an insight into the Icelandic experience and the important inverse relationship between tourism seasonality on one hand and social and economic sustainability on the other.
  • 2:15 pm Q&A

  • 2:20 10 Minute Break

  • 2.30 Maurice Bergin Financial Sustainability (Ireland) Managing Director, (Ireland) Resource Efficiency leads to reduced costs across Energy, Water and Waste within a business. GHP has expertise in these areas. Company owner Maurice Bergin will outline the many ways in which the tourism sector can benefit financially and, at the same time reduce negative impacts on the environment.
  • 2:50 Q&A

  • 3:00 Margaret Story, TIDE Project Officer Our Marine Heritage – developing niche tourism packages (Ireland) TIDE, or ‘Atlantic Network for Developing Historical Maritime Tourism’ project, will aid tourism organisations in Coastal areas to identify niche tourism packages. TIDE will use Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) in archaeology and submarine exploration fields to enrich visitor experiences and introduce an exciting new dimension to tourism and cultural heritage of the Atlantic regions in the UK, Ireland, Spain, France and Portugal. The Donegal based Project Officer Margret Storey will outline progress to date & plans.
  • 3:20 Q&A

  • 3.30 Closing Remarks

Day 2- November 3rd -The Value of the Blue Economy: Sustainability Growth and Opportunity- 10:30am NST- 1:00pm Ireland and Iceland- 2:00pm Norway

1:00 pm Welcome and Opening Address Shauna McClenaghan, Joint CEO of Inishowen Development Partnership Charlie McConalogue, Irish Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine

Topic 1: The Future is Blue

This session will explore the value of the Blue Economy and the social and economic impact on the sustainability of our peripheral coastal communities.

  • 1:10 pm Introductions Charlotte Teresa Weber, Moderator and Researcher at Akvaplan-niva AS in Tromsø, Norway
  • 1:15 pm The Blue Fairy Tale in the North Sunniva Løviknes, Troms and Finnmark County Bente Olsen Husby, West – Finnmark Council
  • 1:25 pm Iris Petten President, Port de Grave Historical Society, NL
  • 1:35 pm Karl Bonar, Manager, Donegal Blue Economy Marine Cluster -Patricia Lee, Research Officer, Inishowen Development Partnership. Joint Presentation comparing the Social and Economic Impact of the Blue Economy of the two main fishing ports in Co Donegal, Ireland Killybegs and Greencaslte.
  • 1:45 pm Sveinn Agnarsson

Topic 2: The Engine That Does Not Stop: Changing Course Through Innovation & Technology

This session looks at the role Innovation and Technology is playing in developing the Blue Economy.

  • 2:15 Introduction Keith Hutchings, Moderator and Executive Director of the Canadian Centre for Fisheries Innovation.
  • 2:25 Dr. Paul Winger Director, Centre for Sustainable Aquatic Resources, Fisheries and Marine Institute of Memorial University
  • 2:35 Þór Sigfusson-OC 
  • 2:45 Joanne Gaffney Aquaculture Technical Manager, BIM
  • 2:55 Pål Arne Bjørn, IMR and Jo Inge Hesjevik Fisherman and Regional Political Representative
  • 3:05 Panel Discussion / Q&A
  • 3:25 Closing Remarks by Chair


Day3- November 4th- The Value of the Blue Economy: Healthy Oceans for Future Generations- 10:30am NST- 1:00pm Ireland and Iceland- 2:00pm Norway

1:00 pm Welcome and Opening Address Nils Kristian Sorkem Nilsen, Chair Address by Norwegian political representative – TBD Áslaug Eir Hólmgeirsdóttir – Ministry of Industries and Innovation (Permanent secretary at the Ministry of Fisheries), Iceland

Topic 1: The New Frontier: Sustainable Wealth & Health Through Blue Bio-Nutraceuticals

This session looks at the wealth of our oceans in Blue Bio industry creating employment in the Health, wellbeing and pharmacal industry’s and how this value creation equates to sustainable employment for coastal communities

  • 1:10 pm Introductions Majbritt Bolton-Warberg

  • Moderator and Blue Bioeconomy Programme Manager at the Marine Institute in Ireland
  • 1:15 pm Jón Garðar Steingrímsson Genís Title
  • 1:30 pm From Science to Commercialization of Marine Health Products Line Kjelstrup Cluster Manager, BIOTEC NORTH
  • 1:40 pm Jason Whooley Chief Executive Officer, Bio-Marine Ingredients Ireland Ltd.
  • 1:50 pm Heather Burke Director, Centre for Aquaculture and Seafood Development, Fisheries and Marine Institute of Memorial University.
  • 2:00 pm Panel Discussion / Q&A

Topic 2: The Whale in the Room: Climate Change

This session explores how climate change is affecting our oceans, the migration of fish species and its impact on the future for our Coastal Regions and the livelihood of its inhabitants.

  • 2:20 pm Introductions Birna S. Hallsdóttir Moderator, Environice
  • 2:25 pm Dr. Glen Nolan Head of Oceanographic and Climate Services at the Marine Institute, Galway
  • 2:35 pm Darrell Mullowney Shellfish Research Scientist, Fisheries & Oceans, Canada.
  • 2:45 pm Ragnhildur Friðriksdóttir Matís
  • 2:55 pm Turning Climate Commitments into Action Stein Arne Rånes Senior Policy Advisor for Troms and Finnmark County Council

  • 3:05 pm Panel Discussion / Q&A

  • 3:30 pm Conference Closing Remarks

Contact Us

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This event has been made possible by funding from:


Along with additional support and sponsorship from our following partners: