The EU in the Arctic, the Arctic in the EU

EUAIC seminar in Brussels. Photo: Kamil Jagodzinski, Arctic Centre

Strategic Environmental Impact Assessment of development of the Arctic project held its final seminar – The EU in the Arctic, the Arctic in the EU – in September 11, 2014 in Brussels. This project is implemented by the European Union Arctic Information Centre (EUAIC) initiative – the international network of 19 leading Arctic research and outreach institutions from the various European Union Members States, and the EEA countries.

Understanding the EU’s impact on the Arctic starts with an efficient use of scientific and fact-based information. Combining this scientific understanding with Arctic stakeholders’ in-depth knowledge and experience is crucial in properly addressing the challenges the Arctic will face. Only by effectively applying this information and engaging stakeholders from all backgrounds and levels (local, regional and global) can one fully comprehend the complexity of the changes happening in the Arctic and create a roadmap for the sustainable development of the region.

In the opening policy session of the seminar (see the photo above) keynote speakers Luis Felipe Fernández de la Peña (Managing Director for Europe and Central Asia, European External Action Service), Erkki Tuomioja (Minister for Foreign Affairs of Finland), Alan Bowman (Deputy Head of Mission at the Mission of Canada to the European Union) and Lars Anders Baer (Senior member of the Working Group of Indigenous Peoples on the Barents Euro-Arctic Council) presented their unique perspectives of the Arctic, after which, a number of experts led engaging discussions on the ongoing developments in the region.

In the afternoon, members of the EUAIC consortium presented the results of the project’s insightful assessments, and examined information and communication gaps about the Arctic.

Kirsi Latola, Thule Institute. Photo:Kamil Jagodzinski, Arctic Centre

UArctic Thematic Networks and Thule Institute of the University of Oulu, represented by research coordinator Kirsi Latola, is one of the project partners and lead author in chapter “Land-use Pressures in the European Arctic”, which was presented by Latola at the seminar. Researcher Simo Sarkki from the Thule Institute is one of the authors of the report.

The consortium also presented a compendium that outlines current Arctic initiatives and projects going on in European countries.

All documents can be found and freely downloaded at:  http://www.arcticinfo.eu/en/new

Finnish foreign minister Erkki Tuomioja’s speech in the seminar at:

http://formin.finland.fi/public/default.aspx?contentid=312410&contentlan=2&culture=en-US

More information:  www.arcticinfo.eu

Last updated: 19.9.2014