“Talouspolitiikalla ilmastonmuutosta vastaan?”, Tiedekulma, Helsinki, Finland
On 27th of September Finnish Ministry for Foreign Affairs organised a discussion panel on climate change titled “Talouspolitiikalla ilmastonmuutosta vastaan?” (With economic policy against climate change?”)
The central focus of the Finnish EU Presidency is the EU’s global climate leadership, but what does it mean in practice? There is still time for the COP25 climate conference in Spain in December. What are the economic policy instruments for combating climate change? What is the joint initiative of the Finnish and Chilean finance ministries to combat climate change?
The discussion was moderated by Sitra’s Director Mari Pantsar and included Pekka Morén, Ministry of Finance, our PhD student Karoliina Hurri and young environmental activist Atte Ahokas.
More information on the event.
On 21-22 of November “The global life of mines: Mining and post-mining between extractivism and heritage-making” workshop was organised at the University of Cagliari in Italy. The aim of the workshop was to bring together anthropological perspectives and ethnographic studies on mining and post-mining across a broad range of geographical contexts. The contributions explored links, interconnections and scales of articulations between the current booming of extractive industries, projects, and operations worldwide – along with the new rhetorics of
sustainability, ‘green’ and ‘blue’ economy etc.. – and the diversified consequences of
mine closures, ranging from abandonment and dereliction to new extractive processes
(heritage-making, ‘green’ economies etc).
Dr. Alla Bolotova took part in the workshop and presented there her paper “Living or Leaving? Youth and place marginalization in mining towns in the Russian Arctic” at the ‘Im/mobilities’ session.
Many young people finishing schools in mining towns in the Russian Arctic express their dreams to escape from their hometowns. Among main complaints are a lack of recreational opportunities, boredom, and soviet appearance of urban space in their localities. In this paper, I analyse lived experiences of young adults dwelling in the soviet-style urban space of Arctic mining towns and dealing with place marginalization. The new towns were built by the soviet state next to mineral deposits and were populated by incomers, stimulated to resettle up north by material benefits. Arctic mining towns became prosperous communities where town-forming enterprises were responsible for place maintenance. During the post-soviet period, international mining companies became owners of town-forming enterprises. Despite of successful internationalisation of mining enterprises, towns are still rooted in the soviet past, which continues to shape lives of contemporary youth. The territory around mining towns often looks devastated, due to industrial ruins, abandoned mines, destroyed buildings. Infrastructure of single-industry towns does not fulfill needs of modern young people that contributes to large-scale outmigration of youth. Drawing on long-term ethnographic fieldwork in Murmansk region, I analyse experiences and strategies of young adults coping with place marginalization and numerous problems in northern declining towns.
Wokrshop’s programme can be found here.
Our team is participating in the 51st Annual ASEEES Convention, held on 23-26 of November in San Francisco, USA.
On 23 November Dmitry Yagodin chaired a panel “Emergent Energies and their Intersection with State, Society and Culture in the Russian Arctic”. Stephanie Hitztaler presented there a paper “A Sustainable Yamal? A Critical Look at Corporate Social Responsibility and its Contribution to Short- and Long-Term Urban Vitality in Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrug” and Sohvi Kangasluoma talked about “Masculine Industry, Feminine Environment? A Gender-Based Look at Media Representations of Arctic Hydrocarbon Companies”.
Later that day Stephanie Hitztaler was chairing a panel “The Politics and Perception of Climate Change and Renewable Energy Discourse from the Russian Far North to Central Asia”. Dmitry Yagodin gave a talk about “Convenient Truth: The Roots of Climate Denial in the Official Discourse in Russia” and Hilma Salonen presented her paper “Is there Life after Fossil Fuels?”.
On 12-13 of November the Arctic Spirit conference was organised in Rovaniemi. The Conference is an official side event of Finland’s Presidency of the Council of the European Union. Thus, the Conference also enhances Arctic discussion during the Presidency.
This year the conference focused on climate change, especially from the viewpoint of young people and future generations living in the Arctic. The first conference day consisted of invited keynote speeches and panel discussions focusing on the voice of Arctic youth and the different levels of climate-related decision-making. From our research group, Sanna Kopra participated in the panel discussion “Climate Decision-Making – Why Is It So Difficult?”.
On the second day, the parallel thematic sessions looked at the main theme from various angles. Alla Bolotova and Elena Gorbacheva participated in the “Live, Work Or Leave? Youth-Well-Being And The Viability Of Arctic Towns And Cities” session and gave a presentation “Recycling initiatives of youth in industrial cities in the Russian Arctic: environmentally responsible behaviour in the absence of structural opportunities”. The session was arranged by the Wollie project, and many of the project’s participants from Russia and Finland shared their current results. The session lasted all day and culminated with a fruitful discussion on what is special about the Arctic youth in different states – or is there anything special about it at all?
More information about the Arctic Spirit can be found on the conference website.
On 31.10-02.11 Veli-Pekka Tynkkynen participated in Aurora Forum in Edinburgh, The United Kingdom. Professor Tynkkynen took part the panel “The Arctic – climate, defence, infrastructure, energy; the challenges faced. How might the future look? What can the UK learn from the Nordic and Baltic Region?”
Today our PhD students Sohvi Kangasluoma and Hilma Salonen gave a lecture “Arktiset luonnonvarat – Fossiilitaloutta vai jotain muuta” (Arctic natural resources – Fossil economy or something else). The lecture was a part of Arktinen ulottuvuus integraatiokurssi (Arctic dimension integration course), organised at the Eira High School for Adults. The doctoral candidates say that the audience was genuinely interested and engaged in active discussion with them.
Tomorrow starts 3-day Aleksanteri Conference 2019 “Technology, Culture, and Society in the Eurasian Space”, and this year again several researchers from our team are participating in it.
Here are the panels where you can see the members of our team:
23.10, 17:15-18:45 2F: Cultural Technologies of the Production of ‘Nature’ panel, Alla Bolotova will present a paper “Zoned Perception of the Environment in Industrialized Russian Arctic: ‘Nature’ vs. ‘Natural Recources'”.
24.10, 11:00-12:30 Alla Bolotova and Elena Gorbacheva talk about “Recycling Initiatives of Youth in Industrial Cities in the Russian Arctic: Environmentally Responsible Behaviour in the Absence of Structural Opportunities” at the “4C: Prospects for Green Growth in Russia” panel.
Dmitry Yagodin at the same time will be discussant at the “4A: Russian Information Influence and Democracy in Europe” panel.
25.10, 14:00-15:30, Dmitry Yagodin will chair and be discussant at the “7F: Online Activism” panel and Francesco Durante will chair the “7C: New Social Policy and Governance in Russia: Research and Practice” panel.
More information can be found on the conference website.
Our postdoctoral researcher Sanna Kopra participated in the “Nordic Countries and International Relations” workshop, organised at the Institute of Political Science Academia Sinica in Taiwan on 17-18 of October.
The Nordic Countries and International Relations Workshop is a bilateral meeting between the Institute of Politics and the Finnish Institute of International Studies (FIIA). This conference will invite five experts and scholars from the Finnish Institute of International Studies and three domestic scholars to share their research results. It is divided into three parts to discuss “Arctic Foreign Policy and the Eurasian Region”, “China, East Asia and Arctic Diplomacy”, “Permanent Development and Arctic Diplomacy”.
Dmitry Yagodin participated in the Arctic Youth Media School that took place in Murmansk, Russia (October 14-18, 2019). During one week, journalism students, media professionals and experts discussed the future meanings of the Arctic media agenda. About half of the participants came from Russia and the rest represented Belarus, Estonia, Germany, Finland and Norway. Why is the arctic region so attractive for media agenda in Russia and elsewhere? What will and can Russia or indeed other circumpolar nations do in the Arctic in terms of media coverage, topics and images? The school participants discussed these questions in relation to traditional media reporting and other forms of content production, including videoblogging, place branding, PR and public diplomacy.
Photo by Dmitry Yagodin
Photo by Dmitry Yagodin
The venue spoke on its own. Murmansk is an important hub for sea shipping in the Arctic and a home base to Russia’s unique nuclear icebreaker fleet (Atomflot). General director of Atomflot Mustafa Kashka welcomed the participants on board of the first nuclear icebreaker Lenin, currently a museum. The program also included a visit to Vaygach, a nuclear icebreaker that is still operational.
Contrary to the scientific consensus regarding climate crisis and melting of the Arctic sea ice, Mustafa Kashka believes nuclear icebreakers will be always in demand. Summary of his opinion informally translated to English goes as follows:
“Often when people talk about the Arctic development and shipment they say it is warming and there is less and less ice. I am very skeptical about that, because the Arctic region and climate have circles and secondly they forget that we came with new technologies. When Cheluskin got stuck in the ice [in 1934], it had 3000 horse powers, Margerie [a modern LNG tanker Christophe de Margerie] has 60 000 horse powers.”
Read more about the School in Russian here.
From 23 to 25.09.2019 2nd International Conference “Our Climate – Our Future: Regional Perspectives on a Global Challenge was organised in Berlin, Germany.
Professor Tynkkynen participated in Open Panel Discussion ‘On the importance of Science Diplomacy in the Arctic realm’ on 24th of September, Tuesday.
By hosting this public event, our goal is to open the conference to a broader audience, and to highlight how science can serve as a bridge-builder for political processes when other channels fail. The Arctic was selected as the panel’s focus region. We will discuss how academic exchanges can foster constructive dialogues between countries and cultures, because they are based on the values and methodological standards of science – and science and research know no borders.
Science diplomacy draws on the reputation, networking and neutrality of science in order to improve international relations, and can be a powerful tool for developing joint strategies to face global challenges. Given the ongoing changes in the Arctic, all countries – Arctic and non-Arctic alike – now urgently need to make major decisions, because the changes affect us all. The following guest speakers from Norway, Finland, Iceland and Germany will speak at the conference.
More information on the event can be found online here.