Stories of the Finnish Arctic Expertise
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Finding ways for the environment to cope with climate change

The Arctic Resilience Forum in Rovaniemi on 10–11 September 2018 seeks to develop the resilience of the Arctic region to global warming.

In ecology, resilience means the ability of ecosystems to resist damage and to recover from disturbances. The acceleration of climate change has stronger impacts on the Arctic region than elsewhere on Earth, posing a serious threat to the region’s sensitive environment and the people who depend upon it.

The Arctic Resilience Forum, an international conference organised by Finland’s Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, seeks to develop the resilience of the Arctic region to climate change. This comprises innovative solutions, as well as management of weather and climate risks and climate change adaptation. The event is organised together with the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and is included in the programme for Finland’s Chairmanship of the Arctic Council.

Adaptation to these changes demands close cooperation between researchers, public authorities, companies, and Arctic inhabitants. It also requires the adoption of a new kind of climate-resilient thinking. Further development is needed in, for example, meteorological and hydrological observation systems, flood warning systems, and dam safety.

“New and effective adaptation measures must be developed fast. To achieve this, we must enhance our research and technological competence, which is why education and development perspectives are in focus at the Resilience Forum. The main purpose of the event is to share best-practice solutions to the challenges we are seeing in the region”, says Jaana Husu-Kallio, Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry.

Environmental protection lies at the core of Arctic cooperation, and it is one of the priority themes of the Arctic Council during the Chairmanship of Finland.

“Finland holds the Arctic Council Chairmanship from 2017 to 2019, and we are committed to promoting actions to strengthen the Arctic region’s resilience to ongoing climate change. Finland is also working towards the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN’s 2030 Agenda in the Arctic”, says Pekka Shemeikka, Chair of the Sustainable Development Working Group of the Arctic Council.

The speakers at the Arctic Resilience Forum include Director General Juhani Damski from the Finnish Meteorological Institute, Professor and resilience expert Sverker Sörlin from the KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Sweden, and Head of the Arctic and Environment Unit of the Saami Council Gunn-Britt Retter. The Resilience Forum will provide a meeting place for representatives of the Arctic Council Member States, indigenous peoples' organizations, members of the Council’s Working Groups, and observers. Also present are representatives of local Arctic stakeholders such as the Regional Council of Lapland.

Photo (c) Pirjo Lempeä.

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