Sheila Watt-Cloutier, an Inuk climate change advocate and Nobel Peace Prize Nominee, will be giving a public lecture at Mount Allison University on the human dimensions of climate change. It will be held on November 29th at 7 PM (Atlantic Time) in Convocation Hall. Entitled "Not the Time to COP Out", the lecture will mark the second day of the international UN COP-17 climate change negotiations in Durban, South Africa.

As a former international Chair of the Inuit Circumpolar Council (ICC), Watt-Cloutier has worked extensively at the UN level to advocate on behalf of Inuit, who are disproportionately affected by climate change. She was amongst the first to link climate change within a human rights framework and as a result was co-nominated with Al Gore for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007. As a Visiting Scholar at Mount Allison, this is Watt-Cloutier's first and only public lecture in New Brunswick, and offers Maritime communities an unparalleled opportunity to learn more about global climate change and what it means for local communities. About the event, Watt-Cloutier states:

"As Northerners, we see the dramatic impacts climate change is having on our environment and communities, indeed, it is changing the very nature of our lives. The changes we see in the Arctic are now starting to impact others globally and, in this context, it's important for the world to come together at COP-17 to find solutions. It's not the time to COP out."

The lecture will have global resonance as it comes at the beginning of COP-17 (November 28th - December 9th, 2011), the seventeenth meeting of the Conference of Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. This is the final opportunity for global governments to agree on a binding international framework to address climate change that will replace the Kyoto Protocol, which is set to expire in 2012. The event is organized by the Department of Geography and Environment's Arctic Environmental Change course, facilitated by Watt-Cloutier and Ian Mauro, Canada Research Chair in Human Dimensions of Environmental Change. Mauro notes:

"Sheila's perspective - as an environmental, cultural, and human rights advocate - will help us all to better understand climate change, its impacts, and what's at stake if the world fails to mitigate climate change. The students in our class are working tirelessly to help organize this event and ensure that Sheila's voice reaches local and global audiences at this critical time."

In addition to the local event, Watt-Cloutier's lecture will be broadcast live> over the internet on IsumaTV, an indigenous-focused multimedia website.

Communities across Canada and the world are encouraged to organize screenings. These satellite events can tune into and Skype (address: isumatvwebcaster) in live to Mount Allison University to ask questions. A map to Mount Allison's Convocation Hall can be found here

For more information please contact: Patrick Forestell and +1-506-227-3632