About the programme

New governance for a sustainable development in the North

Today there is an unprecedented global as well as local interest in the Arctic. Climate change, rising political activity among Arctic residents including native groups, new prospecting and exploitation technologies and projects, and linked global policy processes are some of the many reasons for this. However, while great attention is put on the coastal and maritime High Arctic, other areas that have more recently been included in Arctic CaseStudyAreaspolitical processes have been less emphasised. This programme places the focus on one the European Arctic mainland, defined as the northernmost parts of Norway, Sweden and Finland. The main theme of this programme is governance. We want to study land use and industry in the European Arctic mainland in the past and in the present, as well as elucidate the framework for future governance of the region. Seven different economic or municipal sectors will be in focus, namely mining, forestry, oil and gas exploration, fishing, reindeer husbandry, tourism industry and municipal planning. These sectors and the interaction between them will be studied in four main study areas, where focal municipalities will be the target both for case studies and stakeholder meetings. These are (1) Malmfälten in Norrbotten, Sweden, encompassing municipalities Kiruna, Gällivare and Pajala, (2) the Skellefteå area in Västerbotten, Sweden, with the focal municipality of Storuman, (3) Kolari in Lapland county in Finland, and (4) Sörvaranger in Finnmark county, Norway. To some extent comparisons will also be made with cases in Svalbard, Norway, and the Murmansk and Arkhangelsk oblasts in north-west Russia. Results from these case studies are expected to increase the understanding of how historical development as well as present governance on different levels both steer and constrain possibilities for improved resource use governance and planning. By providing a nuanced picture of local and subnational as well as larger governance challenges in the European Arctic mainland, the programme ultimately aims to support the capacity of decision makers to make informed decisions related to sustainable development in the area.

Mistra Arctic Sustainable Development (MASD)  is the continuation of the previous Mistra program Mistra Arctic Futures (2011-2013).

Programme period:

Programme host:
Arcum, Arctic Research Centre at Umeå University, www.arcum.umu.se

Programme partners:
Umeå University
Royal Institute of Technology (KTH), Division of History of Science and Technology
Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI)
Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI)

Mistra is investing 30 million SEK, Umeå University is investing 5.3 million SEK. KTH is investing 3.2 million SEK. SIPRI is investing 0.4 million SEK, and SEI is investing 0.3 million SEK.

Programme Managers:
Carina Keskitalo (scientific)            Email: carina.keskitalo@umu.se
Peter Sköld (administrative)            Email: peter.skold@umu.se

Programme Board:

  • Lars Lustig, County Director, County Administrative Board of Västerbotten, Sweden
  • Andrés Jato, Senior Arctic Official, Ministry for Foreign Affairs, Sweden (until June 2017)
  • Karin Bäckstrand, Professor, Political Science, Lund University, Sweden
  • Niila Inga, head of the Sami siida Laevas, Swedish Reindeer Herders Association (Samiid Riikaseravi, SSR), Sweden (until June 2017)
  • Lennart Gustafsson, Chairman, Georange, Malå, Sweden

Scientific advisory board:
Joan Nymand Larsen, Doctor, Senior Scientist, Stefansson Arctic Institute, Akureyri, Iceland
Oran Young, Professor, University of California, Santa Barbara, USA
Peter Schweitzer, Professor, Doctor, Universität Wien, Austria

Programme Director at the Financing Body (Mistra):
Johan Edman, Mistra