NORTHERN SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT FORUM

Yakutsk, Republic of Sakha (Yakutia), Russia

September 24-28, 2019

INFORMATION LETTER No 1

Sustainable development is a fundamental problem of our timeThe 1992 Summit in Rio de Janeiro, following the Brundtland Commission, recognized the so-called sustainable development “that meets the needs of the present, without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” Then, in 2015, the United Nations identified the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of 2030 Agenda. Implementation of the SDGs should involve not only governments, but also transnational companies, charitable foundations, society, non-governmental organizations, scientists around the world. The essence of sustainable development is in a balance between economic, environmental and social spheres of human activity.

The Northern Forum (NF) was founded in 1991 as an international non-governmental organization of governors of the northern regions. The organization was born at the initiative of Alaska Governor Walter Hikkel. The Northern Forum`s mission is to improve the quality of life of the northern residents and support the sustainable development of cold-climate regions. The Northern Forum remains the unique international organization for the northern regions and the Arctic. It`s work is aimed at supporting interregional cooperation throughout the Circumpolar North with the practice of the North-South dialogue, primarily with the Asia-Pacific countries.

Over the nearly 30-year history, the Northern Forum has carried out many projects that have had a tangible effect in the socio-economic development of the northern regions and hosted hundreds of events. The NF`s General Assembly is held every two years, in which issues of interaction between northern regions and business partners are discussed. The Summit of the Governors has been put into practice of the Northern Forum to determine priority areas for the future cooperation. There are 10 working groups aimed to establish project activities of the organization.

The Northern Forum is an active participant in large international Arctic events hosted in Iceland, Norway, Finland, and North-West Russia. Unfortunately, issues of the separate northern cold-climate regions within the Arctic states are not in focus of this global cooperation. Also, issues of the Northeast sector of the Arctic are not sufficiently discussed, which makes it impossible to fully appreciate the significance and contribution of this vast territory to the sustainable development of the North and the Arctic in a global context. While most of the permafrost is located right here, and all the climate changes taking place in this part of the Arctic affect global warming.

In this regard, and also taking into account the 17 Sustainable Development Goals of 2030 Agenda, the autonomous non-profit organization “University of the Arctic in Russia” and the Northern Forum Working Group on regional adaptation to climate change, initiated the creation under support of the international organization Northern Forum of a permanent international expert platform named “Northern Forum on Sustainable Development” which will hosted by the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia).

Why Yakutia?

Yakutia is the largest region of the Arctic and Asia, which territory is completely located on permafrost. And as a republic geographically related to both regions, Yakutia can be as a bridge connecting the Arctic and Asia. It is also necessary to take into account the Asian countries interest in participation in Arctic projects. There is a mutual interest of the Arctic states in attracting Asian potential in research projects, the development of maritime infrastructure, and the conservation of Arctic biodiversity. It is also necessary to take into account the heightened interest in participation in Arctic projects from Asian countries and mutual interest in attracting their potential in research projects, improving maritime infrastructure, and preserving Arctic biodiversity from the Arctic states.

There are significant global changes in Yakutia, which require an integrated interdisciplinary research involving the international experts for the achievement of the sustainable development. It is necessary to conduct a comprehensive study of permafrost degradation, issue of reducing the area of tundra ecosystems, tendency anomalous weather phenomena, floods, wildfires, the appearance of new species of flora and fauna.

 Objective

Organize and conduct an international expert forum “Northern Sustainable Development Forum.” This Forum will be held annually and claims to become one of the world’s leading platforms for discussing the problems and prospects for the sustainable development of the North and the Arctic and the implementation of practically significant projects in the framework of the Northern Forum Working Groups.

Event plan

1st day. Plenary session: Environmental issues in the Arctic; Arctic population; Socio-economic development of the regions of the North and the Arctic.

2nd day. Work in sections. Accepted proposals for the organization of a section.

3rd day. Events within the framework of the Northern Forum Working Groups (events can be from 1 to 3 days). Event organizers – Northern Forum Working Groups: regional adaptation to climate change; assessment of quality of life of the Arctic regions; environment and conservation of biodiversity.

Initiators

• “University of the Arctic in Russia”;

• Northern Forum Working Group on Regional Adaptation to Climate Change

Co-organizers

• Government of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia);

• The Northern Forum Working Group on Environment and Conservation of Biodiversity;

• The Northern Forum Working Group on Assessment of Quality of Life of the Arctic regions;

• North-Eastern Federal University in Yakutsk: Department of International Studies, Institute of Moderns Languages and International Studies; International UNESCO Chair at M.K. Ammosov North-Eastern Federal University “Social and Human Adaptation of the Arctic Regions to Climate Change”; International Relations Office.

Contacts

Daryana Maximova, Executive Director, “University of the Arctic in Russia”

Tel: +7 924 5683290, email: daryana.maximova@gmail.com

Vladimir Vasiliev, First Deputy Minister for External Relations of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia), Chairman of the Working Group of the Northern Forum on Regional Adaptation to Climate Change Tel .: +7 914 2209789, email: vladimir.vasiliev@rambler.ru

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