2nd Northern Forum Governors’ Meeting
The Northern Forum promotes Arctic regions’ development and economic development in general
“The Forum is of utmost strategic importance for the whole global community. Russia’s northern Arctic territories have a significant historical, political and economic impact on the country’s development. Their potential can and should be efficiently used a foundation for stabilizing economic processes in the country,” Nikolay Kharitonov, Chairman of the Committee for Regional Policy and Issues of the North and Far East, State Duma of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation.
“The Northern Forum gives a strong impetus to developing northern regions’ initiatives and serves as a platform for their cooperation,” Roman Kopin Governor of Chukotka Autonomous Area.
“It is only when traditional and modern organizations find a way to coexist, we will be able to declare sustainable development, which is the purpose of such a non-governmental organization as the Northern Forum,” Sergey Kharuchi Council President, Association of World Reindeer Herders.
Need for comprehensive strategy of northern regions development
“Starting from 2015, we have been actively developing a strategy for the Northern Forum. We still exist without on, despite the crucial role our alliance plays in developing northern regions and the Arctic zone,” Alexander Tsybulskiy, Governor of Nenets Autonomous Region.
“New points of political instability are another challenge for the world’s Arctic and northern regions; they aggravate the need for effective international and interregional communication platforms,” Natalya Komarova, Governor of Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Area–Yugra.
“We are going through the times of turbulence, times of uncertainty in politics, but the Arctic states are committed to cooperation,” Lassi Heininen, Professor of Arctic Politics at the Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Lapland.
Advanced role of public organizations and Arctic zones’residents
“Today, the global trend and the reverse side of globalization is regionalization. Performance of Barents and Arctic councils would be a good example, as their main driver is the regions,” Nikolay Korchunov, Ambassador-at-Large of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation.
“We are fairly successful in the Arctic. As opposed to patriarchal policy of global leadership, we have a chance to pursue the interests of sustainable development and improve living conditions for local residents. That would be impossible without active support for residents of those regions,” Lassi Heininen, Professor of Arctic Politics at the Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Lapland.
“Global warming sets new challenges; all of it is discussed on the global level, at big forums <…> There are people who see those changes every day, that is why it is important to introduce those changes on local level, in our own regions. Besides, you can find knowledge for solving those problems,” Asa Larsson-Blind, President, Saami Council.
“We have approved the Lapland project and have treated it with care. I would emphasize three ideas that are the cornerstone of this document: traditions as the backbone <…>, reasonable ambition <…> and becoming a ‘smart organization’,” Alexander Pilyasov General Director, Regional Consulting Institute; Director, North and Arctic Economics Centre for the Study of Productive Forces.
Closer attention to environmental problems
“Waste management is an important topic, one of top priority ones for the Russian Government. I hope Russia will continue developing effective solutions in this area,” Hannele Pokka, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Environment of the Republic of Finland; Chair of the Northern Forum (2001–2005).
“The North and the Arctic need an absolutely different approach: they require a new method that would involve cutting-edge resource efficient technology. This is our main message, and this is where we are ready to cooperate,” Aleksandr Akimov, Chairman of the Council for the Arctic and Antarctic at the Council of Federation of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation; Deputy Chair, Federation Council Committee on Federal Structure, Regional Policy, Local Government, and Affairs of the North.
“When we talk about the impact of global negative factors – primarily climate ones – that our country’s President Vladimir Putin addressed yesterday, new objectives get special urgency and become today’s necessity in the face of infrastructure problems in the Arctic,” Aysen Nikolaev, Head of Sakha Republic (Yakutia).
Government’s attention towards the region’s problems
“Today, we need the government to define the approach to using the rich resources of the Arctic and the North, as well as to creating congenial conditions for people who live and work on territories with extreme, harsh climate,” Nikolay Kharitonov, Chairman of the Committee for Regional Policy and Issues of the North and Far East, State Duma of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation.
“Since 1990s, here in Russia it is the regional authorities – primarily in the Arctic regions, in the Far East, and namely the governors and the legislative bodies – that bear the burden of work, help and cooperation,” Grigory Ledkov President, Russian Association of Indigenous Peoples of the North, Siberia, and the Far East (RAIPON).
“Several draft laws were prepared deep in the Federation Council. They mainly tackle advanced development of Russia’s Arctic zone. This is a comprehensive backbone law that has been prepared , and we are ready to review it,” Aleksandr Akimov, Chairman of the Council for the Arctic and Antarctic at the Council of Federation of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation; Deputy Chair, Federation Council Committee on Federal Structure, Regional Policy, Local Government, and Affairs of the North.
“Under national goals and strategic development objectives, the Government committed to developing the Northern Sea Route by 2024 and take the cargo traffic up to 80 million tons involving Russia’s regional authorities, mainly in the northern regions,” Alexander Mazharov, Deputy Governor of the Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Area.
Ensuring a decent standard of living for local residents
“Russia has approximately 2.4 million people residing in the Arctic, and just like everyone they have their constitutional rights, and their standard of living should be no worse than the average one for Russia. It’s a certain challenge, because capabilities of certain municipalities are behind those indicators,” Alexander Kozlov, Minister for the Development of the Russian Far East and Arctic
“The problem is that an opportunity should be an opportunity for everyone. We heard about reindeer herders, and they should have their own opportunities. The Arctic has 24 various ethnicities that are interested in promoting their produce,” Svein Mathiesen, Head of Institute of Circumpolar Reindeer Husbandry, University of the Arctic.
Developing international cooperation
“Finland wants the Arctic to be a viable and sustainable territory. We are glad that Russia also treats development of its Arctic territories as a priority,” Anne Lammila, Consul General of the Republic of Finland in Saint Petersburg.
Training personnel for the Arctic development
“Our events brought in many students from Russia, because it is important to pay attention to education in order to bring up future leaders,” Kjell Stokvik, Managing Director, Centre for High North Logistics, Nord University Business School.