Arctic Researchers’ Dialogue
Arctic exploration requires a comprehensive scientific approach
“Today we need a well-reasoned position by scientists on the concerns regarding climate change in the Arctic that exist in the society and among authorities,” Vladimir Pavlenko, Vice President, International Arctic Science Committee (IASC).
“Climatologists, geologists, biologists and scientists from other fields are involved in exploration of the Arctic. <…> The Arctic is an area of interest for many countries, that is why a dialogue between them is taking place,” Alexander Sergeev, President, Russian Academy of Sciences.
“We need an interdisciplinary approach to the research so that disciplines would complement each other and help each other develop efficient policies. We need to provide access to the knowledge to all countries,” Katarina Gardfeldt, Director General, Swedish Polar Research Secretariat.
“Interdisciplinary work is the only way to understand complex socio-environmental systems of the Arctic. The Arctic is not just an important and interesting region for research and science, it is a region with a significant wealth of knowledge that is of interest for the world science,” Andrey Petrov, President, International Arctic Social Sciences Association (IASSA); Professor, University of Northern Iowa).
Arctic is an important field for international scientific cooperation
“The Arctic region stores around 10% of world’s active nickel reserves, platinum group metals. However, a substantial part of the Arctic remains underexplored. In this regard, joint research efforts for deposit development offer a broad scope for interaction,” Vladislav Petrov, Director, Institute of Geology of Ore Deposits, Petrography, Mineralogy and Geochemistry of the Russian Academy of Sciences; Corresponding Member, Russian Academy of Sciences
“We have a pretty efficient international cooperation in geology, biochemistry, mineral resources, because the Kola Peninsula is unique – the largest number of minerals was discovered there. Our ongoing international cooperation programme is jointly financed by the EU, Finland, Norway, Russia and Sweden. Its total budget for 2014–2020 is around 63 million Euros, and Russia’s share is worth 12.5 million,” Sergey Krivovichev, Chairman, Federal Research Center Kola Science Center of the Russian Academy of Sciences.
Lack of objective data on the Arctic
“The Arctic ocean is important for the global climate. And we need a regular supply of information on the region. We do not receive enough data from the most northern parts of the Arctic; it is necessary to monitor the highest latitudes to provide more precise forecasts,” Katarina Gardfeldt, Director General, Swedish Polar Research Secretariat.
“We are facing the same challenges as in 1991. <…> Some Arctic nations are not willing to share their data, because they are protected by national security, for example, on oil and gas deposits etc.,” Lars-Otto Reiersen, Senior Advisor to the Rector at the University of Tromsо, UiT The Arctic University of Norway.
Imperfection of legal regulation in the Arctic
“Along with the Arctic exploration, another important aspect is compliance with basic rules of international law. Russia has been talking about this on the global stage for many years. Eight Arctic nations established territorial sovereignty over both continental and partially marine Arctic areas. On these territories, along with the rules of international law, national regulation is in place that sets requirements, sometimes very strong. One problem that we need to solve in the Arctic Council is ensuring equal approaches to different activities, including scientific research in the Arctic,” Aleksandr Savenkov, Director, Institute of State and Law, Russian Academy of Sciences.
Use of modern technologies for research
“Smart technologies give us huge research opportunities. Scientists and investors should think about implementation of these new smart technologies,” Paula Kankaanpaa, Vice President, International Arctic Science Committee (IASC); Director, Marine Research Centre, Finnish Environment Institute.
Development of international cooperation for Arctic research
“The Arctic is the least explored region in the world, and exploration of its remote parts is still difficult. International research would open opportunities for a more efficient use of natural resources. Scientists are now searching for an efficient application of the agreement on research in the Arctic aimed at greater access to remote regions,” Paula Kankaanpaa, Vice President, International Arctic Science Committee (IASC); Director, Marine Research Centre, Finnish Environment Institute.
Creation of special educational programmes
“It is crucial for us to actively involve young scientists and students in research. <…> Our most important task is to educate the young generation. Since 2001, there is a Russian-German master’s programme with the participation of St. Petersburg and Hamburg universities,” Heidemarie Kassens, Vice Chairman of the Marine Working Group, International Arctic Science Committee (IASC).