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?”.
Climate decision-making – why is it so difficult?
– no universal understanding what it means to be responsible
– contemporary notions of climate responsibility are based on short-term economic growth- and state-centric approach
– lack of leadership
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.