During the two years of Finnish Chairmanship, the Lapland Arctic Council Host Committee has toiled behind the scenes to display Lapland’s Arctic expertise to visitors and to provide information about the Arctic Council to the locals.
When Finland was preparing to assume the Chairmanship of the Arctic Council, the regional organisations in Lapland decided that they wanted to contribute. Various educational institutions, expert organizations, companies, cities, and municipalities formed Lapland Arctic Council Host Committee to promote Lapland's unique Arctic Expertise by organizing side events in connection with the Arctic Council meetings and other Arctic events taking place in Lapland.
Coordinator Anne Raja-Hanhela is proud of the work the Host Committee has accomplished.
“It has been a genuine pleasure to work closely with Ministry for Foreign Affairs Chairmanship team. As their local partner, we have organised successful meetings around Lapland. The event arrangements have worked well and we have been able to showcase local Arctic expertise.”
The meeting days are long, and the workload can be exhausting. The Chairmanship team and the Host Committee have devised fun outdoor activities for the industrious officers and dignitaries.
“We have taken the officials for nice walks or sat them by a campfire in the traditional Finnish way. We even organised Arctic Council's own Winter Olympics”, Anne Raja-Hanhela recalls.
The Host Committee is pleased that most meetings during the Finnish chairmanship took place in Lapland.
“The communities in Lapland have been able to show their capacity as meeting organizers. Everything does not always have to happen in the capital. We have also been able to design the programs so that along with the meetings, the participants have learned about the local way of life, through visits to companies for example”, the Host Committee coordinator explains.
Environmental protection and sustainable development are at the heart of the work of the Arctic Council. The Lapland Host Committee has made an effort to present local solutions related to these themes during the meetings.
Their hard work will culminate in Rovaniemi on 6-7 May with the 11th Arctic Council Ministerial meeting. Check the schedule of events for the public on the Host Committee website.
Top of page: Coordinator Anne Raja-Hanhela is promoting Arctic expertise in Lapland. Photo Kaisa Sirén.