2nd High-Level Dialogue on SDGs in the Arctic: Finland

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: http://www.rovaniemiarcticspirit.fi/EN/Program/Side-Events

Polar Research and Policy Initiative, together with LapinAMK – Lapland University of Applied Sciences, hosted a panel discussion ‘SDGs and the Arctic: Where do we go from here?’ as the principal follow-up session of the Rovaniemi Arctic Spirit Conference 2017 held in Rovaniemi, Finland, in November 2018. The panel discussion was 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 session was the 2nd High-Level Dialogue in our ‘SDGs in the Arctic’ Dialogue Series.

The general aim of our sessions 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 Finland in November 2017. Our panel discussed 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, comprised senior academics and policymakers who responded 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

The event took place on 16 November 2017 from 6 pm to 8 pm at Borealis Auditorium, Lapland University of Applied Sciences in Rovaniemi, Finland.



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