Category Archives: Event

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.


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








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.

“We need the reaction like there was a fire in the kitchen”

In June Karoliina Hurri attended UN Climate Change Conference in Bonn, Germany as part of the University of Helsinki delegation. She wrote a blog entry for Voices for Sustainability platform about her experience.

The Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Ms. Patricia Espinosa presented this quote in the intersessional meeting, which took place in Bonn, Germany from 17-27 June in 2019. I attended the meeting in Bonn as a non-governmental observer as part of the delegation for University of Helsinki. Ms. Espinosa’s idea summarizes the atmosphere of the conference: we are in a hurry and we need to do more. We have a crisis called climate change that is influencing our own life, yet our response is not fast enough. If there would be a fire in the kitchen, how many of us would wait and watch our house burn? I have to believe that many would step up and take action.

Read full version of Hurri’s piece online.

UN Climate Change Conference in Bonn, Germany

Our doctoral student Karoliina Hurri is participating in the UN Climate Change conference in Bonn, Germany, on the 1st week (17-22nd June) of it. She will be part of the University of Helsinki delegation as an Observer-NGO and will be observing the conference and collecting data for her first article about climate leadership.

After the Paris rulebook came out in COP24 in Katowice, Poland, SB50 meeting is more technical conference for building up the ambition and the action. It is an important step before the Climate Summit meeting in New York in September 2019  and before the COP25 conference in Chile in December 2019. One important theme is enhancing the nationally determined contributions (NDCs) by 2020 in a way that they would be in line with reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 45 per cent over the next decade and to net zero emissions by 2050. The ambition of climate action and NDCs is the key to ensure that Paris Agreement is not meaningless.

It is possible to follow the conference online and through social media, more information is available here.

ASEEES Summer Convention

Today starts ASEEES Summer Convention, organised at the University of Zagreb
in Croatia and our postdoctoral researcher Alla Bolotova takes part in it. First, Alla will be participating in the “Social Anthropology of Siberia and the North” roundtable.

The long-respected culture of Russian (and post-SU in general) traditional Siberian ethnography is today in some sense at war with the no-less respected culture of current social anthropology of Siberia. The purpose of the proposed Round Table is to discuss the issue. For this, we plan to present several recent projects in Siberian (“Northern”, Arctic) anthropology in order to show the potential of the region as an anthropological field, and the potential of social anthropology as a key to contemporary life in the region. Participants of the round table will present several case studies based on their current and completed projects in order to stimulate discussion of theoretical and practical relations between the two disciplines.

After that, Alla Bolotova will be a discussant at the “Informal Economics and Social Relations in Siberia” panel, where the researchers from the European University of St. Petersburg will be discussing the following issue:

The transition currently under way in Russia in general and in Siberia/Far North in particular can be described as a slow and difficult transition from a society based on discipline, guilt, and punishment to one based on initiative, law, and responsibility (Alain Ehrenberg). Informal aspects of human relations become extremely important: from ‘informal economics’, including poaching and other semi-legal and illegal activities that helps to compensate for inadequacies of the legal system, to personal relations that play a very important role in compensating for the inadequacies of foods and goods supplies. The panel will explore and discuss the issue on the basis of three social anthropological case studies from different regions of Siberia/Far North.

More information on the conference can be found online.

“Build­ing Green States? En­vir­on­mental Ca­pa­city in the Former So­viet Union” seminar with Dr. El­lie Martus

Today from 14:15 to 15:45 Dr. Ellie Martus will present her work at the Aleksanteri Institute Visiting Fellows Research Seminar  in the Aleksanteri Institute 2nd floor meeting room, Unioninkatu 33, Helsinki). The event is chaired by Professor Veli-Pekka Tynkkynen. The seminar is titled “Build­ing Green States? En­vir­on­mental Ca­pa­city in the Former So­viet Union” and will be of interest to researchers of Environmental and Post-Soviet studies.

Since the collapse of the Soviet Union,  all newly independent states have had to address a legacy of serious environmental degradation and undertake significant reforms, including designing and building new environmental institutions, or re-building existing ones. This research examines the concept of a state’s environmental capacity in the context of the former Soviet Union and the ability of states in the region to design, implement, and enforce effective environmental policy. Drawing on a series of interviews with NGOs, policymakers, experts, and industry representatives from across the region, and analysis of a range of original policy materials, my research focuses on four case studies: Russia, Ukraine, Georgia, and Armenia. It investigates the obstacles that undermine a state’s ability to protect its environment and evaluates the opportunities for reform. More broadly, this research seeks to identify the variation and synergies that exist in environmental capacity across the post-Soviet space.

Trip to Novy Urengoy

From 20 to 26 of May four researchers of our group, Sohvi Kangasluoma, Elena Gorbacheva, Francesco Durante, and Stephanie Hitztaler, were in Novy Urengoy, Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrug of Russia. Novy Urengoy is an industrial city located in the Russian Far North with one of the largest gas fields in the world, and is one of the towns included to the study of Wollie project. Together with the researchers of our group, Professor Florian Stammler, Principal Investigator of the project from Finnish side, and Associate Professor Aytalina Ivanova, Principal Investigator from Russian side, also traveled to Novy Urengoy to study youth welfare in the city.

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