SDGs and the Arctic: Where do we go from here?

Date: 2017-11-16 18:00:00 PM - 2017-11-16 20:00:00 PM
Venue: Borealis Auditorium, Lapland University of Applied Sciences, Jokiväylä 11B, Rovaniemi, Finland
Event Website:

Polar Research and Policy Initiative together with LapinAMK – Lapland University of Applied Sciences is pleased to invite you to the panel discussion ‘SDGs and the Arctic: Where do we go from here?’ which will be the principal follow-up session of the Rovaniemi Arctic Spirit Conference 2017 to be held in November. The panel discussion is organised in collaboration with the Johnson Shoyama Graduate School of Public PolicyUniversity of Saskatchewan, and Trent University, with the Arctic TreeHouse Hotel as our official hospitality partner.

The general aim of our session is to encourage policymakers, academics and journalists to integrate more effectively within their Arctic discourse and agenda a focus on the SDGs, whereby climate security remains an integral goal, but without an accompanying neglect of issues such as energy, food and water security, as well as access to education, healthcare, employment, housing, transport, infrastructure and telecommunication. When we think or talk about the Arctic in the world at large, we often focus on themes such as rising temperatures, melting ice caps, thawing permafrost and threatened polar bear populations. This is entirely understandable, and our concern is wholly legitimate; yet, it neglects the critical human dimension and, thus, paints an incomplete picture of the Arctic. The Arctic, unlike the Antarctic, is home to Indigenous and Northern peoples whose lives and livelihoods are affected by the changes around them and who have needs, challenges and aspirations like any other. In fact, all 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are relevant to the Arctic, and it is only the lexicon of the SDGs that can capture in the most holistic manner the issues faced by peoples across the circumpolar North.

We are pleased that the promotion of the SDGs in the Arctic is a key priority of the Finnish Chairmanship of the Arctic Council (2017-2019), and that ‘SDGs and the Arctic’ consequently is the principal theme of the Rovaniemi Arctic Spirit Conference in November 2017. Our panel will discuss the more precise ways and means in which the observations and concerns raised at the Arctic Spirit Conference may be translated into actionable goals and plans, and how progress on their implementation may be monitored to ensure the successful realisation of the 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development in the circumpolar North. Our panel, accordingly, will comprise senior academics and policymakers who will respond to the important question: Where do we go from here?


Veikko Kärnä, Lecturer, Lapland UAS
Veikko Keränen, Lecturer, Lapland UAS
Aleqa Hammond,
former Premier of Greenland
Jeremy Rayner,
Professor, University of Saskatchewan
Heather Nicol,
Professor, Trent University
Terzah Tippin Poe,
Lecturer, Harvard University
Moderator: Dwayne Ryan Menezes,
Director, Polar Research and Policy Initiative

Should you be interested, you are most welcome to attend the panel discussion. It will take place on 16 November 2017 from 6 pm to 8 pm at Borealis Auditorium, Lapland University of Applied Sciences in Rovaniemi, Finland.