How to make a person's life in the North better? What projects can favorably affect the socio-economic development of the region? What will allow to establish communication between the expert community, business and government? During the Northern Sustainable Development Forum on September 27-30, 2020 experts should provide answers to these questions.
The largest international
II Northern Sustainable Development Forum is a new permanent international expert platform. Today the international organization “Northern Forum”, has united the Northern regions of the Russian Federation (Yakutia, Krasnoyarsk Krai, Chukotka Autonomous Okrug, Khanty-Mansiysk Autonomous Okrug, Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrug, Nenets Autonomous Okrug, Magadan Oblast, Primorsky Krai, Kamchatka Krai, Khabarovsk Krai), as well as countries - Iceland (Akureyri), USA (Alaska), Republic of Korea (Gangwon province), Finland (Lapland).
Until 2013, the Secretariat of the Northern Forum was located in Alaska, after it was moved to Yakutsk.
Such international projects in the northeast Asia didn’t exist before, so we have a serious reason to be proud: before the forum was organized in Yakutsk, the problems of the North and the Arctic were discussed at forums, mainly in European countries and in cities of the European part of Russia.
“The Northern Forum has always ensured the participation of their regions in these major events,” says Vladimir Vasiliev, acting executive director of the Northern Forum.
“Also, the Northern Forum holds a General Assembly every two years on the territory of the Chair region, to discuss strategic development issues”
Last year, the Northern Sustainable Development Forum was held at the end of September. This year the tradition has been preserved: experts will discuss the problems of the North on September 27-30, 2020. The date of the event was not chosen by chance: September 27 is the day of statehood of the Sakha Republic (Yakutia), so a major international event will be timed to coincide with this holiday.
Despite the current epidemiological situation, the Northern Forum decided not to postpone the event, but to continue working in an online format. The technical equipment is being actively tested.
The program of the four days of the event is fully scheduled with topics relevant to the northern regions.
The main theme of this year’s Forum is “Transport infrastructure in the North and the Arctic”. This problem is planned to be considered at three levels: regional, national and global. Special attention will be paid to promising routes and modes of communication - the Northern Sea Route and air communications.
Additionally, the issues “Human in the Arctic”, “Global partnership between for the sustainable development of the North” and “Governance of the Arctic territories” will be considered, which will be on the agenda again from year to year.
The forum pays special attention to the interests of a particular region. What’s important is a request, then organizers can gather working groups for implementation and give impetus for independent work, says the leadership of the Northern Forum. Vivid examples of joint activities are projects on telemedicine (cooperation between the National Center of Medicine and state of Alaska), the control of infectious diseases (Scientific and Practical Center "Phthisiatry"), education (International Arctic School), cooperation of Northern Zoos.
“One of the main goals of the Northern Sustainable Development Forum is to create communication between the government, business and the expert community,” explains Vladimir Vasiliev. “So, on the basis of the Forum, it is planned to launch specific projects that can affect the socio-economic development of the regions. Therefore, we launched a competition for project activities for organizations registered in one of the regions - members of the Northern Forum. The winners will be able to receive up to ten thousand dollars for their project, and the distinguished ones will get into the bank of projects and receive assistance in further promotion.”
This year, the deadline for accepting applications for participation in the Project Call aimed at improving life in the North and the Arctic has been extended.
“It was planned to complete the acceptance of applications on September 15, but the organizers of the competition are receiving messages from the participating regions with a request to give additional time and postpone the deadline in connection with the recently begun academic year. We decided to meet halfway and extended the deadline for accepting applications until October 31” said Vladimir Vasiliev.
This year, projects are being accepted on the following thematic areas:
- Education and science;
- Business cooperation in the North;
- Protection of the environment and conservation of biological diversity;
- Regional adaptation to climate change;
- Development of Energy in the North;
- Assessment of the quality of life of the population in the Arctic regions;
- Development of transport in the North;
- Health in the North and social issues;
- Housing in the Arctic;
- Development of ecological tourism in the northern regions;
- Development of the Northern Sea Route.
Each participant can submit no more than three applications. Participation in the Project Call is free. More information can be found on the official website of the Northern Forum northernforum.org/en
One of the innovations of this year is the youth platform "Youth Northern Forum".
Young people on the basis of the forum will independently promote their ideas. For example, now they have invented the action "Siberian Crane - a symbol of unification", where, using the example of one rare species, attention is focused on the problems of the entire population. In the format of an online video relay, a representative of each region and country will tell you interesting facts about the bird regarding its place of residence. A flash mob on various topics is planned to be held annually.
“It is important to create a good platform for young people in order to enter the international space of the Arctic later,” tells Vladimir Vasiliev.
At the moment, the program has already announced about 50 events. The working languages of the forum are Russian and English. Following the results of the international event, it is planned to adopt a final document.