Category Archives: 2019

Dmitry Yagodin gave first lecture of the Studia Generalia

Yesterday Dmitry Yagodin gave first lecture of the Studia Generalia series at the University of Lapland, Rovaniemi.

More information can be found at the University of Lapland website

Nyky-Venäjä asiantuntijoiden silmin

Yesterday Veli-Pekka Tynkkynen gave the first lecture at the lecture series “Nyky-Venäjä asiantuntijoiden silmin” (Modern Russia through experts’ eyes), organised at the University of Tampere. Professor Tynkkynen’s lecture was titled “Venäjän maantiede ja polku hiilivetykulttuurista ekologiseen” (Russian geography and path from hydrocarbon culture to ecology).

Venäjän öljy- ja kaasuvaroja hyödynnetään myös osana sisä- ja ulkopoliittista vallankäyttöä, jossa yhdistyy puhe identiteeteistä energiavirtojen kautta vaikuttamiseen. Tämän vallan kääntöpuolena on, että merkittävien talous- ja ympäristöongelmien takia valittu politiikka ei saa kansan silmissä siunausta. Tästä syystä Putinin hallinto on rakentamassa kansallista identiteettiä fossiilienergian varaan – se on luomassa hiilivetykulttuurin. Se on antiteesi ekologiselle kulttuurille, jonka edistämiseksi Venäjällä on kuitenkin kaikki kortit kädessään.

Read more information on the lecture series at the course description page.

 

Dmitry Yagodin on Russian media and climate change in the Arctic

Dmitry Yagodin, postdoctoral researcher in our team, wrote a  piece for ZOis Spotlight titled “Russian media and climate change in the Arctic”. Dmitry has been studying for some time now Russian journalism on climate-related issues in Yamal-Nenets Autonomous Okrug (YNAO) and in this paper briefly describes some of the results.

The Russian Arctic is facing unprecedented industrial development and an urgent environmental transformation. While the government seeks further exploration of the world’s richest reserves of natural resources, climate change is affecting the Arctic several times faster than the Earth on average. But, as some Russian media would have it, climate change simply makes the country’s cold climate warmer. For people living in the Arctic, such views are too simplistic.

Read the full version online here.

Article in Helsingin Sanomat on natural gas leekage role in climate change

“Maakaasussa on vuoto-ongelma, joka uhkaa tehdä ilmaston­muutoksen torjunnasta entistä vaikeampaa – ”Jos venäläisiltä kysyy, kaikki on kunnossa”” (There is a leakage problem with natural gas that threatens to make the fight against climate change more difficult – “If you ask Russians, everything is fine”) article was published in Helsingin Sanomat in the end of August, and Professor Tynkkynen was interviewed for it. While natural gas helps to combat climate change – “increased natural gas combustion saved some 2.8 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide between 2000 and 2017”, yet the leakage of methane during the gas extraction process increases the greenhouse effect significantly. Professor Tynkkynen commented on the issue and added, that when Europeans are buying Russian natural gas, they do not have a clear understanding of the accompanying gas-leakage during transportation and production. The Russians say that everything is fine and do not report anything about the leakages.

The full article can be read online.

Wollie meeting in Murmansk Oblast

From 26th to 30th of August Wollie project participants had a work meeting in Kirovsk, Murmansk oblast, Russia, where they discussed the current results and plans. From our team Veli-Pekka Tynkkynen and Alla Bolotova participated in the event. Within the framework of Wollie, Dr. Bolotova and Lukas Allemann are conducting their fieldwork in the region and during the researchers’ visit they showed them their fields in Kirovsk and Revda, respectively.

Photo by Tanja Leena Joona

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Aleksanteri Insight – Will the Ice Silk Road be­come the com­pass for the Arc­tic?

Today new Aleksanteri Insight paper by Dr. Sanna Kopra was published, titled “Will the Ice Silk Road be­come the com­pass for the Arc­tic?”.

Photo by Kimmo Brandt

China’s rise to great power status has raised concerns globally, and the operations of Chinese companies in Africa have been criticised for neglecting human rights and environmental issues, so the actions of the country in the Arctic are being closely monitored. Therefore it’s now a showcase for the participants of the Chinese Ice Silk Road project. By following an ambitious environmental policy – and requiring the same from local partners – China’s Ice Silk Road project has an opportunity to define the tides of the development of the Arctic region.

Aleksanteri Insight is a series of expert opinions, published by the Aleksanteri Institute quarterly. The latest issue can be read online.

Dr. Sanna Kopra selected to visit European Commission’s Joint Research Centre site in Ispra

Dr. Sanna Kopra was invited to visit European Commission’s Joint Research Centre site in Ispra, Italy in November 2019 as one of the top young scientists in her field.

The Joint Research Centre site in Ispra is the third biggest site of the European Commission. Although established originally as a nuclear research site, the staff of the Ispra site work today both on non-nuclear (Sustainable Resources and Transport, Space, Security, Migration, Health and Consumer Protection, Energy, Efficiency and Climate Change, Growth & Innovation) as well as nuclear (Nuclear safeguards, Nonproliferation and Nuclear security) research.

The short visit includes lectures, a shadowing programme where the visiting young scientists are hosted individually by a scientific unit close to their field of expertise, visiting tour through some of JRC’s main laboratories.

Congratulations, Sanna, on this recognition of your talent!

Summer School on Arctic Studies 2019

On 26.07-07.08.2019 Summer School on Arctic Studies was held at Hokkaido University in Sapporo, Japan. The summer school was aimed for the advanced level undergraduate and graduate students currently enrolled at the University of Lapland, the University of Oulu and the University of Helsinki. The school was a part of the Finnish-Japanese Arctic Studies Program – a project led by the Northern Institute for Environmental and Minority Law at the Arctic Centre of the University of Lapland in collaboration with the Universities of Helsinki, Hokkaido and Oulu.

photo: Arctic Centre

The Research Group on the Russian Environment was represented by Professor Veli-Pekka Tynkkynen and Dr. Sanna Kopra, who gave 3 lectures each on different issues related to the Arctic.

 

Read more about the school on Arctic Centre website.

“Climate Change and Arctic Security: Searching for a Paradigm Shift” book has been published online

“Climate Change and Arctic Security: Searching for a Paradigm Shift” book, edited by L. Heininen & H. Exner-Pirot,  has been published online. Sanna Kopra wrote a chapter for the volume, titled “China, Great Power Responsibility and Arctic Security”.

This book assesses the construction of security in the context of climate change, with a focus on the Arctic region. It examines and discusses changes in the security premises of the Arctic states, from traditional security to environmental and human security. In particular, the book explores how climate change impacts security discourses and premises as well as theoretically discussing the possibility for another change, from circumpolar stability into peaceful change. Chapters cover topics such as the ethics of climate change in the arctic, China’s emerging power and influence on arctic climate security, the discursive transformation of the definition of security and the intersection between urban, climate and Arctic studies. The book concludes with the question of whether a paradigm shift in our understanding of traditional security is possible, and whether it is already occurring in the Arctic.

More information on the book can be found on publisher’s website.

The Dragon looks to the North: China’s growing role in the Arctic

Dr. Sanna Kopra wrote an article for the “Atlantic Community” titled “The Dragon looks to the North: China’s growing role in the Arctic”.

Due to new economic opportunities offered by the Arctic, many non-Arctic states have become interested in the region. Notably, China has begun to describe itself as a ‘near-Arctic state’ and renamed the series of planned Arctic shipping routes ‘the Polar Silk Road’. In June 2017, the Polar Silk Road was officially added to China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), and in January 2018, the Chinese government published its first, long-awaited Arctic strategy. This article reviews China’s Arctic engagement and briefly discusses the future of China’s regional role.

The article can be read online here.