Egill Thor Nielsson
The Arctic is undergoing rapid changes and has in the last century moved from being a largely unknown part of the world to a global hotspot. In recent times the Arctic region has started to carry more weight in geo-economic terms than before, due to its promises of vast amounts of attainable mineral resources and feasible Arctic shipping routes. These discourses have mainly emphasised the larger and more powerful Arctic players, while sparsely populated places such as Iceland, Faroe Islands and to some extent Greenland are seldom in the foreground. This briefing note seeks to explain how West Nordic cooperation has grown in the past 30 years, both internally and externally, and how the West Nordic council members can influence Arctic developments in a stronger manner, by identifying common Arctic interests and goals, which can then be implemented through a joint West Nordic Arctic strategy.
This opportunity will be looked at through the following questions:
- What is the West Nordic Council and how does West Nordic cooperation work?
- How can the West Nordic countries increase their Arctic cooperation and the influence they hold in a gradually more global Arctic?
Natural Resources and Energy Security in the Arctic: Geopolitics and Dialogue In, Across and Beyond the North Calotte
Calotte Academy 2013
Hanna Lempinen and Joël Plouffe
The Calotte Academy (CA), an annual international roaming symposium traveling across borders and communities of the North Calotte (Euro-Arctic/Russia), was organized this year for the twenty-first time, as part of the Northern Research Forum's (NRF) main academic activity. The CA aims to foster dialogue among members of the research community, PhD and graduate students and other northern experts as well as local stakeholders. By bringing together researchers from different backgrounds and countries, as well as regional actors, policymakers and representatives, the Academy aims to initiate, produce and disseminate ideas, debates and outcomes into local and regional planning and policy-making on issues in relation to the North(s).
This year's CA took place in mid-May (16-23) with a thematic focus on Resource Geopolitics – Energy Security. The Academy, with participants from the North Calotte as well as from elsewhere in Europe, Russia and Canada, consisted of altogether 12 sessions/workshops held in Rovaniemi and Inari (Finland); in Tromsø (Norway); and in Abisko and Kiruna (Sweden).
Susan Carruth & Julia Martin
"Climate Change in Northern Territories"
Every second year the Northern Research Forum (NRF) holds an Open Assembly aiming to bring together researchers, politicians, educators, business leaders and other stakeholders. These assemblies provide a space and time for discussion and networking across disciplinary and institutional borders. The most recent NRF Open Assembly was held from 22nd – 23th August 2013 in Akureyri, Iceland. The central themes of the conference focused upon territorial challenges arising from the effects of climate change in the Arctic. They invited contributions addressing the territorial socio-economic impacts of climate change, new methodologies for assessing socio-economic impacts, and examples for adaptation strategies responding to climate change in regions and local communities.