An article published in the December 2016 edition of the Journal of Environmental Science and Studies focuses on the key role science diplomacy can play in a changing Arctic, in light of the current geopolitical situation. The article mentions that climate change, the post Cold-War politics between the West and Russia, and the globalisation/power transition that is taking place as a result of the rise of China are key drivers in a current transformation the Arctic is undergoing. Science diplomacy - using scientific research to foster ties between different countries and other Arctic stakeholders - should play a key role in this transformative period the Arctic is facing, the paper argues.
Read the recap of the article on Arctic Portal website. Arctic Portal Director Halldór Jóhannsson is a contributing author to the journal article.
Helsinki remains committed to build a connection through the Gulf of Finland and all the way to the Norwegian Arctic coast. Construction could start in few years, a member of the country’s Parliament says.
In a comment to the Barents Observer, Oddgeir Danielsen, leader of the Northern Dimension Partnership for Transport and Logistics, says the projects address a “missing link between Europe and the Arctic”. «The Helsinki-Tallin tunnel and the Arctic Railroad will unlock the huge Arctic potential and give impetus to a sustainable economic development both in the region and as well for a number of countries both in Europe, Russia and Asia».
Read the full article on Barents Observer webpage.
International Arctic Science Committee (IASC) Medals are awarded in recognition of exceptional and sustained contributions to the understanding of the Arctic. A maximum of one award is made each year, assuming that there is a nominee of appropriate quality. The award of medals is normally by the President of IASC during the Arctic Science Summit Week (or exceptionally at another major international meeting) following the ratification of the award.
Nominations for the IASC Medal 2016 can be submitted to the IASC Secretariat until 31 December 2015. The Medal Awards Committee, composed of Rajan Sivaramakrishnan, Yves Frenot and David Hik, will consider the nominations received and the Medal will be awarded at the Arctic Science Summit Week in Fairbanks (USA) on 12-18 March 2016.
Read more on the IASC website
The clean-up of Andreeva Bay is being financed through grants from the framework of Northern Dimension Environmental Partnership. Partner governments, like Norway, the European Commission and other donors have contributed with large amounts of money.
About 22,000 spent nuclear fuel elements from the operation of Soviet submarines are stored in three dilapidated concrete tanks a few hundred meters from shore on Russia's Barents Sea coast. That is equal to around 100 reactor cores. No other place in the world has such a large amount of highly radioactive uranium fuel stored under such poor conditions. Removing the waste-elements is considered to be the riskiest nuclear-safety operation ever undertaken in the Russian north.
Read the whole story on Arctic Now website
Researchers and representatives from relevant authorities boarded the MS Polarlys to participate in the fifth conference organized by the research network Marpart (Maritime Preparedness and International Partnership in the High North). The network, which is led by the High North Center for Business and Governance at Nord University, is a central initiative under Norway’s Arctic Policy.
Northern Dimension Institute co-coordinator NaRFU is also a partner in Marpart project.
Read more about the MARPART seminar on High North News website.
The Arctic Yearbook is the outcome of the Northern Research Forum and the University of the Arctic Thematic Network (TN) on Geopolitics and Security. The TN also organizes the annual Calotte Academy.
The Arctic Yearbook seeks to be the preeminent repository of critical analysis on the Arctic region, with a mandate to inform observers about the state of Arctic politics, governance and security. It is an international and interdisciplinary double-blind peer-reviewed publication, published online to ensure wide distribution and accessibility to a variety of stakeholders and observers.
Read the 2016 edition of Arctic Yearbook via this link.
Minister for Foreign Affairs Timo Soini will publish the book "Arctic Variety" on October 27th, 2016. The book was commissioned by the Europe Information of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs.
Finland will chair the Arctic Council in 2017 – 2019. The book gives a voice to everyday actors and daily life of the Arctic in various professions and parts of Finland. Finland will be celebrating the 100th anniversary of its independence next year as a happy, proud and understanding Arctic country. The book also tells about the Arctic Council, Finland's role in it, and linkages to the European Union and to other international politics. The themes include climate change, new shipping routes and interest in the north in the world's leading countries.
"Arctic Variety" is published in four languages – Finnish, Swedish, North Saami and English – and it can be ordered free of charge via the website of the Europe Information at eurooppatiedotus.fi. The five videos telling about everyday life in the Arctic can be viewed at youtube.com/eurooppatiedotus.
Read more about the book on Finnish Foreign Ministry website.
The Finnish Border Guard has launched the SARC Project to enhance and develop cooperation and competence of the maritime security authorities in the Artic countries with a practical approach. Increasing activity in the Artic demands also the authorities to evaluate and develop their competence and ways of cooperation in the challenging conditions. The SARC project invites the authorities to act together but the project also aims to work closely with the stakeholders within representing Arctic industry and research. The project promotes actively Finnish Arctic knowhow and best practices.
Read more about the project on Finnish Border Guard website.
Russian International Affair Council's report examines non-regional actors’ interests in the Arctic, their policy frameworks in the region and principal areas of Arctic studies. Authors also explore the Asian states’ positions on the international status of the Arctic. Specific attention is given to the prospects of cooperation between Russia and India, China, Republic of Korea, Japan, Singapore in developing the region.
Download the report on RIAC website
High North Dialogue is pleased to invite you to nominate candidates that have contributed to highlighting the importance of the High North.
In connection with the 2017 High North Dialogue conference, a prize of 50 000 NOK (equivalent to approximately USD 6 000) is awarded to honour a person, organization or company who has contributed to highlighting or developing the High North during the past year.
Read more on High North Dialogue website.
The High North Hero 2016 was Paavo Lipponen, the former Prime Minister of Finland and an active promotor of the Northern Dimension and Arctic opportunities. Read the news of his award on this link.
A High Level Seminar will take place on the 10-15 January, 2017, in Ivalo, Finland. The event is arranged by NDPTL and a group of Arctic companies.
Road transport is facing its most profound change since the introduction of cars in the 19th century.
Driven by technological advancements and the necessities of climate change, the established transport systems, vehicles, tyres and fuels are being reinvented. The innovations currently under development will reshape cities and daily life in the Arctic countries as well as the rest of the world. Following global trends, all Arctic region countries are speeding towards making transport smarter, safer and greener. At the same time, the European Union is forming its own vision on how to reduce emissions and pollution in Europe. For Arctic businesses the change offers a possibility to sell new products and services worldwide. Yet it is the responsibility of national governments to ensure road safety for their citizens and enable the greatest possible mobility for businesses. This is why the Northern Dimension Partnership for Transport and Logistics (NDPTL) and a group of Arctic companies working in the transport sector are organizing a high-level seminar: Safer, Smarter and Greener Arctic Road Transport.
Presentations for Arctic Boost, the NPA Annual Event 2016, are now online. The event aimed to contribute to the discussion on how cooperation programmes can contribute to economic development in the Arctic. It took into account the ongoing developments and opportunities in the Arctic and neighbouring regions, and the perspective of the people living there. Projects illustrated concrete examples of Arctic development.
Read more and see the material on NPA website.
The University of Alaska Fairbanks and the University of the Arctic are pleased to announce The Arctic Broadband Forum 2017 to be held in Fairbanks, Alaska, USA, May 8-9, 2017. Proposal deadline: November 15, 2016 - Final program will be ready in February 2017.
Read more on the UArctic website.
The pilot analysis is the result of an exploratory collaboration between the UArctic Science & Research Analytics Task Force and Digital Science's international research teams. The aim was to assess the global funding landscape around Arctic-related research for the decade spanning 2006 to 2015 using the funding data from the Dimensions dataset, which includes information from over 200 funders on more than 2,500,000 projects with funding totalling $1 trillion+ (in US Dollars).
Download the report on this link.
UArctic recently collaborated with ÜberResearch to produce a report entitled “International Arctic Research: Analyzing Global Funding Trends - A Pilot Report”.The nature of the Dimensions database means that that analysis was based upon project funding data.
This working paper undertakes a preliminary analysis of how a similar approach could be used with a publications database, utilising the Russian Index of Scientific Citations (RISC) data.
Download the paper on this link.
There exist a significant number of information sources, apart from the scientific literature, with which to assess the social impact of the findings produced by Arctic researchers and institutions. Various policy documents, online news and media publications, white papers, tweets, and Facebook posts provide additional data points to help assess the reach and potential impact of publicly funded research, including Arctic research.
In this working paper, the writers provide some alternative perspectives of the way one could view the impact being made by Arctic-related science.
Download the paper on this link.
Arctic Expertise in Nordic Cooperation -seminar was organised by the Finnish Prime Minister's Office on September 5th, 2016. The seminar's main purpose was to deepen cooperation between and among actors in the arctic region. Former Prime Minister Paavo Lipponen and Risto E. J. Penttilä, CEO, Finland Chamber of Commerce talked in the second part of the seminar. Please see the webcast on Finnish Government website.
Adam Stępień is a political scientist based at the Arctic Centre of the University of Lapland. His article Other futures for Arctic economies? Searching for alternatives to resource extraction can be downloaded on Arctic Centre website.
The debate on Arctic economies has been dominated by large-scale resource extraction and trans-Arctic shipping. High resource prices and climate change impacts were expected to trigger Arctic economic boom. Hopes for regional development and concerns over environmental impacts were raised. By the mid-2010s, these notions are replaced by a more modest outlook, as the pace of developments – largely due to low resource prices – is slower than projected and various technical, economic and social constraints for extraction and shipping are better understood.
However, Arctic regions continue to face major developmental, social and demographic challenges. In order to address pertaining problems, many regional policy-makers and economic actors are increasingly turning to a broader range of economic activities. They search for alternative pathways to economic resilience and growth. The aim is to facilitate job creation within the northern regions and to emphasize the role of the local small and medium enterprises. Moreover, many of these new pathways are thought to be more environmentally and socially sustainable than resource-focused economies.
Information and communication technologies, circular economy transition, bioeconomy, and utilizing Arctic natural conditions have become a part of the current discourse on Arctic development. This is visible for instance in regional development strategies of Nordic northernmost regions, including Lapland, Norrbotten and Troms. The more comprehensive way of thinking about the development of the Arctic is also visible in Finland’s 2013 Arctic strategy.
The full-length paper discusses chosen activities representative for this broader set of development ideas. That includes: data centres, cold climate testing, high value agricultural production, bioenergy, small-scale local circular solutions and Arctic creative industries.
Arctic testing ecosystem for intelligent transport and automated driving is being built in Finnish Lapland. The improvement of highway E8 is underway to meet the requirements of the public test area.
Advantages of the Aurora test ecosystem include:
•Precise mobile positioning
•Extensive telecommunications network
•Intelligent highway E8 with ITS-equipped test sections
•Network of more than 20 private and public sector members
•Project management services
Read more about the Aurora project on the website.
Clean water and healthy food are basic elements of good health and quality of life for circumpolar populations. Nevertheless, recent studies indicate elevated rates of household food insecurity in many places in the Arctic.
Northern Dimension Institute Steering group member, Research professor Arja Rautio is also lead of the UArctic Thematic Network on Health and Well-being in the Arctic. Together with Professor Rautio and David Natcher, Professor, Department of Agriculture and Resource Economics, University of Saskatchewan, they have studied the issue of food and water security projects in the Arctic.
Read the full article the UArctic Shared Voicesmagazine.
Northern Dimension Institute co-coordinator Northern (Arctic) Federal University (NArFU) is participating the MARPART project. The project emphasizes maritime partnerships on emergency preparedness and includes around fifteen universities and research institutions in all the Arctic countries. Read the full article on the project on the UArctic Shared Voices magazine.
The 2017 Conference will be held on April 24-27.
• The Arctic Cryosphere – Past, Present and Future Climate Change and related Impacts
• Pollution in the Arctic – Sources, Pathways and Effects
• Human Health Aspects of Pollution and Climate Change
• Arctic Ocean Acidification – Current and Future Processes and Consequences
• Global and Arctic Systems Feedback Mechanisms – Science and Consequences
• Resilience Within Arctic Ecosystems
• Science and Policy-Making – Successful Deployment of Multilateral Adaptation,
Mitigation and Climate Intervention Science Policy
• Socio-Economic Drivers and Impacts of Arctic Change
Read more from AMAP website.
In an interview with High North News, Russia’s Senior Arctic Official Vladimir Barbin reflects on the future of the AC and lays emphasis on a particular area of cooperation that needs to be strengthened and promoted: the economic angle.
Read the full article from this link.
University of Oulu, a member of Northern Dimension Institute network, is coordinating a Master's program in Health and Wellbeing in the Circumpolar Area.
Aaltje Bos was admitted to the master’s in health sciences degree in circumpolar health in 2013 to explore how mobile people experience and deal with loneliness, or the absence of a close emotional connection, in an environment that is culturally, geographically and socially different from their home countries. Moving to a sub-arctic environment, lacking support and not speaking the local language can cause social exclusion and have serious health consequences. Read more about her experiences on uarctic.org