Programme

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Human Capital

The Arctic: Territory of History, Culture, and Tourism

The indigenous peoples and population of Russia’s North are the bearers of a distinctive material and spiritual culture, which also has significant potential in terms of cultural tourism. The Arctic is a territory of astounding accomplishments on the part of those who have discovered and developed it. Pioneers of Arctic exploration, seafarers, and missionaries have all left their mark on the history of opening up these northern lands, and Russia has played a leading role.
The Arctic attracts scientists, researchers, and travellers from all over the world. It is essential that this heritage is preserved and protected. The region offers enormous opportunity for active recreation, extreme tourism, and educational travel. With the right approach, these sectors could lay the groundwork for a successful tourism industry in Russia’s northern regions.

Issues for discussion:
• Preservation of the North’s cultural and historical heritage
• Viable cultural projects in the Arctic
• Orientations and tools for developing the Arctic’s tourism industry

Sustainable Development of the Arctic

The Arctic: Territory of Ecology

One of the priorities of international cooperation in the Arctic is ensuring the protection of the environment. Major objectives with respect to environmental protection include preserving and safeguarding the Arctic’s natural environment and reversing the environmental impact of economic activity in the challenging circumstances of a growing economy and global climate change. Russia adopts a responsible approach to its activities in the Arctic, and to the preservation of the Arctic’s unique natural ecosystems, natural landscapes, and flora and fauna.
In recent years, several projects have been conducted on Russia’s Arctic territory with the objective of reversing the impact of pollution and other negative effects on the surrounding environment caused by economic and other activity. These efforts have resulted in the elimination of a significant quantity of material which had posed a genuine threat to the environment.

Issues for discussion:
• Preserving biodiversity in the Arctic – the international environmental obligations of Arctic states
• Methods for predicting potential environmental damage
caused by economic activity and mechanisms for preventing it
• Measures for ensuring corporate environmental responsibility in the Arctic

Science and Technology

The Arctic: Territory of Modern Energy

The rise in global living standards and industrial output, the fight against energy poverty, and the increasing need for diversified energy sources are the key factors contributing to global demand for hydrocarbons. Its enormous fossil fuel reserves, in combination with the development of contemporary technologies in the fields of energy, transport, and environmental protection, enable the Arctic to be viewed as a key centre for hydrocarbon extraction.

Issues for discussion:
• What overall share of the Russian and global markets could Arctic hydrocarbons represent?
• What challenges does the development of the Arctic pose for the global community?
• How much investment is required in the economy of the Arctic regions of the Russian Federation?
• In what fields must international scientific
and technological collaboration be intensified to provide fresh, strong impetus to Arctic development?
• Addressing the present issues of energy supply to the Arctic regions through resolving hydrocarbon extraction challenges in the same regions

Sustainable Development of the Arctic

The Arctic: Territory of Transport Opportunities

Transport is a key factor in ensuring the competitiveness of enterprises in the Arctic zone; furthermore, it fulfils a social function in helping to ensure a good standard of living for the population. The direction of the macroregion’s development and the Arctic’s contribution to the creation of a new model for stimulating economic growth in Russia are both dependent on the extent to which its transport infrastructure can be developed and new technologies introduced. Transport is not only a sector which serves industry, but is also one of the major consumers of innovation in Arctic zone.
The Northern Sea Route and the waters of the Arctic seas and of Russia’s navigable rivers that flow into them, together with interconnecting railways, provide cargo owners with reliable delivery routes thanks to the development of intermodal hubs. The Russian Government works to ensure a high rate of transport availability. In the Arctic region, priority is given to transport projects which operate on the basis of public–private partnership.

Issues for discussion:
• Strategic orientations for developing transport infrastructure
and logistics in the Arctic
• Ensuring transport availability in Arctic regions, serving both passengers and freight
• International collaboration to ensure navigation safety in the Arctic

Sustainable Development of the Arctic

The Arctic: Integrating Efforts to Achieve Strategic Growth

The Arctic regions possess a wealth of experience in creating strategies for socioeconomic development. To carry out major projects, including those featuring international participation, requires both cooperation and collaboration. The formulation and implementation of such projects should take into consideration both regional strategies and shared strategies for the development of the Arctic as a whole. The sharing of accumulated experience in the practical implementation of these strategies takes on still greater importance when integrating efforts to achieve sustainable development.
Russia is formulating its own socioeconomic development strategy in the Arctic using the mechanism of ‘support zones’. The development of industry is likewise being facilitated by the establishment of industrial clusters, which are being created in the Arctic with the support of the government.

Issues for discussion:
• Socioeconomic development tools for the Arctic; the creation of ‘support zones’ for development and ensuring they function properly
• Measures for supporting and attracting investment in industrial projects
in the Arctic
• The potential for diverse forms of cooperative participation in developing the Arctic, including international collaboration

The ‘Environmental Security in the Arctic’ national public standard – are we ready to voluntarily assume responsibility for preserving the Arctic environment?

The ‘Environmental Security in the Arctic’ national public standard is the first large-scale public initiative aimed at focusing attention on the problems of preserving the Arctic environment. Are businesses in the Russian Arctic ready to voluntarily accept responsibility for observing public regulations on environmental behaviour? Could the standard prompt the establishment of a new self-regulatory institution for environmental norms in the Russian Arctic?

Science and Technology

The Arctic: Territory of Cutting-Edge Technology

The Arctic is a place for researching, testing, and implementing innovative new technologies and developments. Today, the Arctic is becoming a region of partnership in advanced technology. Here, joint international efforts will solve challenges such as how to adapt existing technical solutions to Arctic conditions, and develop new technologies to increase the efficiency and safety of economic activity in low-temperature conditions, improve the competitiveness of manufactured products, reduce energy and resource costs, and reduce the risk and minimize the impact of man-made accidents.

Issues for discussion:
• Essential innovations for the Arctic; setting up centres to consolidate
and transfer projects: successful models and case studies
• Experience of implementing innovative social technologies to improve the living standards of Arctic populations
• Cooperation in developing and testing Arctic technologies; experience of international cooperation

Sustainable Development of the Arctic

New Mechanisms to Develop and Enhance the Investment Appeal of the Russian Arctic in the Far East

The Arctic is a strategically important vector of Russia’s development which will help to accelerate the country’s economic growth and raise the living standards and prosperity of Russian citizens. The creation of favourable conditions for the inhabitants of the macroregion, including for the North’s small indigenous populations, is a key objective of government policy in the Russian Arctic.
The complex nature of the projects being implemented in the Arctic areas of Russia’s Far East is encouraging a search for new mechanisms and tools to increase the investment attractiveness of these Arctic regions. An essential condition for achieving forward-looking development in the Arctic is effective public administration at all levels of government.

Issues for discussion:
• Innovative approaches to ensuring forward-looking development of the Arctic; international experience and best practices in implementing Arctic development initiatives
• Mechanisms for effective collaboration between federal bodies and development institutes
• Major breakthrough projects being implemented in the Arctic regions of Russia’s Far East; conditions for investors and government support measures

Plenary Session

People and the Arctic

Address by the President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin

Human Capital

The Arctic: Territory of Professionals

In recent decades, the Arctic has unquestionably become one of the world’s most significant regions. The attention devoted to the Arctic today is the result both of geopolitics and of global changes that have taken place in this region of the planet.
The Arctic is distinct from other regions by virtue of its enormous resource potential and political stability.
Global climate change and, simultaneously, the intensification of industrial development in the Arctic region are creating both opportunities for the economies of the Arctic states and significant challenges and risks for the surrounding environment, for society, and for mankind.
The key issues at the present time, which include minimizing the environmental risks of industrial activity in the context of climate change, developing mechanisms for helping the people and societies of the Arctic to adapt to changing circumstances, preserving ecosystems and developing ‘green’ technologies for the industrial development of the region, necessitate a consolidation of intellectual, technological, and human resources, both at the national level and in the organization of multilateral international cooperation aimed at expanding science and education in the region and utilizing their potential, to ensure that the Arctic becomes a region of sustainable development.

Issues for discussion:
• Human capital in the Arctic as a factor in shaping and developing the Arctic region and a knowledge-based economy
• Using human resources to ensure sustainable development of the Arctic: successful models
and case studies
• Creating the infrastructure and systems necessary for a sustained presence of intellectual capital in the Arctic region
• International collaboration in science and education in the Arctic region: regional policy, research and educational priorities, education for indigenous peoples
• Arctic communities: challenges for adaptation and development

Human Capital

The Arctic: Territory of Health

How can the major indicator of health – the life expectancy of the population – be improved in Russia’s Arctic regions from the current 71 to 74 years? Although there is little we can do to alter the region’s harsh environment, it is within our power to improve working and living conditions, to motivate the population to lead a healthy lifestyle and to provide them with timely access to high-quality medical care. In order to achieve these objectives, a coordinated healthcare strategy must be developed for the sub-polar region’s population. Such a strategy can only be developed and implemented with the coordinated efforts of all parties involved – governments (federal, regional, and municipal), businesses, and scientific, educational and civil society organizations. The International Arctic Forum is a good platform to launch and come up with proposals for improving the health of those who live in Russia’s northern territories.

Issues for discussion:
• How can the population of the Arctic regions be motivated to pursue a healthy lifestyle, and who should be assigned the responsibility of doing so?
• What is business doing to look after the health of its workers?
• What are the priorities for healthcare development in Russia’s Arctic regions in the coming years?
• How can medical staff be attracted to work in sub-polar regions?
• How can the work of public, military and corporate medical services be coordinated?
• What factors could help initiate an information revolution for healthcare in remote districts?

Socioeconomic Development Mechanisms in the Arctic Macroregion

Various development agencies and corporations have been set up to promote development and attract investment to the regions of the Russian Federation. These organizations help to facilitate regional development, implement regional development strategies, and establish regions’ investment appeal. They also launch and support investment projects.
Coordinated efforts and close interaction between the agencies encourage the development of the Arctic macroregion.

• The investment attractiveness of regions in the Arctic zone
• The conditions for attracting investment. The existence of investment projects
• The practice of supporting investment projects, including on a macroregional level
• Efforts to attract small and medium-sized business to the Arctic zone

The Barents and European Arctic Region: Building Cooperation

The expansion of international cooperation is currently gaining in significance for the territories of Russia’s Arctic region. Participants are invited to discuss relations between the EU and Russia’s northwestern regions on the basis of the territorial integrity of the Northern Dimension region and the Barents Euro-Arctic Council (BEAC) with these organization’s pioneers: Paavo Lipponen, the visionary behind the Northern Dimension and recipient of the Arctic Hero award, and Thorvald Stoltenberg, founder of the Barents Cooperation framework.

• International cooperation in Russia’s Arctic zone. The European vector of development
• The Russia–EU Kolarctic Cross-Border Cooperation programmes for 2007–2013 and 2014–2020 as examples of mutually beneficial cooperation between Russia and Europe in the Arctic
• The Northern Dimension. A shared policy on northern Europe
• The Barents and European Arctic region. Priorities and results of the Russian Federation’s chairmanship of the BEAC
• The role and place of the Arctic in the development strategies of the Northern Dimension and BEAC macroregions

Special Events on the Sidelines of the Forum

‘The Arctic. Made in Russia’ International Youth Educational Forum

Working in the harsh conditions of the Arctic is extremely difficult, and requires not only truly unique technological solutions, but also the availability of a professional workforce. The platform of ‘The Arctic. Made in Russia’ International Youth Educational Forum will bring together young professionals from diverse scientific backgrounds involved in research in the Arctic and in the North as a whole.
Over the course of the Forum, teams of young specialists will work together to create the most effective strategies for developing the ‘support zones’ of the Arctic region. This work will lay the foundations for the establishment of a young workforce to implement Russia’s most significant projects in the Arctic.
A major objective of the Forum is therefore to encourage young specialists to consolidate and create communities of scientists and other experts which aim to come up with solutions to the most significant challenges facing the development of Russia’s Arctic zone, and also to increase and develop the human resource potential necessary to provide a qualified workforce for Arctic projects.

Special Events on the Sidelines of the Forum

The Arctic Municipalities Forum

During this event, Arctic municipalities will formulate an agenda to address issues of socioeconomic development in the Arctic regions, the availability of resources in municipalities, intermunicipal and interregional cooperation, support for small and medium-sized businesses, increasing standards of living for the population, and creating the necessary conditions to encourage young people to stay. The event will serve as a platform for dialogue between municipal, regional, federal, and international authorities, and for managing issues of development in the Arctic regions, improving coordination between urban and rural municipalities and the national and regional policies of Arctic states, and sharing positive experiences and best practices in these areas.

Special Events on the Sidelines of the Forum

Northern Forum Governors’ Summit

Partnership in the Arctic is built not only at the intergovernmental, but also at the interregional level. The largest international nongovernmental organization bringing together the governors of the northern regions is the Northern Forum, which additionally holds observer status to the Arctic Council and the UN. The Northern Forum functions as an instrument for strengthening and extending non-political dialogue between various representatives of the Arctic and northern regions of countries, municipalities, and organizations and thematic working groups.
Members of the organization presently include regions of the Russian Federation (Chukotka Autonomous Area, Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Area – Yugra, Murmansk Region, Sakha Republic (Yakutia), Krasnoyarsk Territory, and Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Area), Iceland (Akureyri), the USA (Alaska), Japan (Hokkaido Prefecture), South Korea (Gangwon Province), Finland (Lapland), and Canada (Yukon). The Secretariat of the Northern Forum is located in Yakutsk (Sakha Republic (Yakutia)). The organization is expanding; there are presently plans for new members to join.

Special Events on the Sidelines of the Forum

Arctic Business Forum

The Arctic is an attractive region for investment, not only for large, but also for small and medium-sized businesses. Although a large number of support measures have been introduced by the government, businesses are not sufficiently aware of what is available. There is a pressing need to integrate strategies, programmes, and proposals for developing the Arctic, specific regions, industries, small and medium-sized businesses in the Arctic, and regional authorities. There is also a need to establish infrastructure and an improved energy network for use by participating and new commercial ventures. In addition, there is a need to increase the volume of non-commodity exports, and to attract small and medium-sized enterprises to the Arctic.