An International Forum Arctic: Today and the Future was held on December 5, 2012 in St. Petersburg under the aegis of the Association of Polar Explorers. Representatives of federal authorities, major state and private companies, public and scientific organizations of the Arctic Council countries, leading industry scientists, well-known public figures, representatives of culture and sport have been among the participants. More than 400 delegates from 20 regions of Russia and CIS countries have participated in the Forum
The business program of the Forum included the issues of strategic development of the Arctic zone, international and interregional cooperation in the Arctic, development of economic activities in the polar zone, modernization of transport system and environmental safety, organization and conduct of scientific research and polar expeditions, and social and economic problems of the North. On December 6 a congress of the Association of polar explorers of Russia, headed by Artur Chilingarov has been held as a part of the Forum.
An initiative to establish on 21st of May a professional holiday - Polar Explorer Day was announced at the plenary session of the event.