On 23 June, the region of Nordland (NO) invites you to a keynote discussion on “Development in the high North: the Arctic” in the framework of the AER General Assembly and Spring Bureau.
The timing of the debate coincides with the European Commission’s joint Communication to the European Parliament and the Council on “An integrated European Union policy for the Arctic”, published on 27 April 2016, which reflects on the strategic importance of the region for its 4 million inhabitants but also for Europe and the rest of the world; the Arctic is rich in providing fish, minerals, oil and gas to other parts of the world and is a key regulator of climate change.
The region is recognised as an example of constructive international cooperation and is also a strategic component of the EU’s foreign policy playing a key role in terms of regional and global security.
Increased human development in the Arctic will inevitably impact global weather patterns, oceans, ecosystems and local biodiversity. The Arctic’s role in climate change has been recognised as pivotal and the EU has a duty to protect the region, to strengthen the ecosystems resilience as a means to implement the global agreements of the COP21. Further development should be managed sustainably, respecting the regions, its resources, its inhabitants and livelihood and protecting the fragile environment.
The Communication outlines proposals for the EU’s enhanced action and engagement in three priority areas:
- climate change and safeguarding the Arctic environment: research, adaptation and mitigation strategies and protecting the environment are key answers to this point.
- sustainable development: innovative technologies, the European Arctic stakeholder forum, investment, space technologies, safe and secure maritime activities are identified in the communication to answer this point.
- international cooperation: international organisations and fora, dialogue with Arctic indigenous peoples, fisheries management and scientific cooperation are required to guarantee this point.
The key note discussions in Bodø will concentrate on different themes, seen both from a more central European Perspective, from a Nordic and from an Indigenous People’s Perspective. The following themes will be addressed:
- Economic development and community building
- Blue growth –seafood industry and more
- Green Tourism
- Technology, infrastructure and better logistic
- Safety and Emergency Preparedness
- Climate and Energy questions
The speakers represent EU, the Norwegian Government, the University sector, the Regional political level and the Indigenous peoples.