Now a project description of a recent MASD related research project is available in public. The project focuses on the effects of mining on societies and local environments in the Arctic, and which of these effects will persist after the end of operations. The research project is conducted in close cooperation with the Mistra Arctic Sustainable Development Program (MASD), funded by Mistra and involving the Division of History at KTH, the Arctic Centre at Umeå University (ARCUM) and other partners in Sweden and elsewhere. Read more!
Author Archives: Lena Maria Nilsson
This SEI Discussion Brief provides an overview of geopolitical and sustainability issues related to the global supply and demand of iron and copper.
The European Arctic holds an abundance of mineral resources and mining activities have intensified in the past decade, driven mainly by increased global demand linked to rapid expansion of the Chinese economy. Future demand of iron and copper will be driven by further economic development in countries that are in the process of industrializing, where iron is linked to initial industrial and building infrastructure while copper demand generally peaks at a later phase of economic development. The global supply or key minerals will be governed by a combination of factors, where sustainability issues related to water and energy access and to social license to operate are increasingly important. With big powerful market players, such as China, the market is also likely to be affected by geopolitical interests.
Vetandets värld is sending a program today entitled “60 års valslakt vid Antarktis”, at 12.10 on P1. The program includes an interview with MASD researcher Dag Avango about research on natural resources and geopolitics in the polar regions. The research project included two field work campaigns in the Antarctic in 2009 and 2010, funded by Vetenskapsrådet, which are discussed in the program.
The story about abanndonned wale industy heritage in the Antarctic has a significant relevance on Avangos present studies on abandonned mines in the Arctic within the MASD programme.
The program will be available for download from the SR website.
If the United States wants to fulfil all the three declared goals and hold high-level meetings, considerable efforts will need to be exerted by all the members of the Arctic Council, especially Russia. It will be difficult, for example, to implement the agreement on search and rescue and Arctic Ocean oil spill response without close cooperation with Russia. Large-scale exercises would lose much of their value without Russia’s participation. Furthermore, to advance such important issues as environmental protection and climate change, the Arctic should remain a stable and peaceful region. The introduction of new long-term priorities calls for a consensus, which is hard to achieve in an atmosphere of mistrust and tensions.
Monday May 27th, Stockholm MASD researchers Ekaterina Klimenko (SIPRI) and Annika E Nilsson (SEI) visit Umeå University to participate in a seminar on security issues in the Arctic, together with Umeå MASD researchers Niklas Eklund and Lize-Marie Van der Watt. The seminar is arranged by the Association of International Affairs at Umeå University (Utrikespolitiska föreningen).
In a recent essay, MASD researcher Ekaterina Klimenko discusses how five years of dynamic development, cooperation in the Arctic region is at risk of stumbling on the geopolitical tensions between Russia and the West.
The forthcoming chair USA needs to make a strategic choice: either it, along with other Arctic states, will pursue a policy around the intention to keep the Arctic a ‘zone of cooperation’ (which will require close collaboration and engagement with Russia), or it will seek to challenge Russia as part of the response to the Ukraine crisis and the Arctic cooperation will become a victim of the broader geopolitical tensions between Russia and the West.
For the past five years the Arctic region has enjoyed a high level of cooperation not least because Russia has opted for collaboration with its Arctic neighbours. However, geopolitical tensions between Russia and the West have raised questions regarding the sustainability of that cooperation. The recent increase in Russia’s military activities in the Arctic have raised concerns over whether the Arctic can continue to be a ‘zone of peace and cooperation’ in the foreseeable future.
Read more in the publication: Russia and the Arctic: an end to cooperation? written by MASD researcher Ekaterina Klimenko. The essay is available at Sipris hompage. Klimenko March 15, 2015.
(In Swedish) Uppdrag granskning, SVTs program för grävande journalistik, har intervjuat handläggare i Norrbotten om deras handläggning av de miljöärenden som rör den numera nedlagda gruvan Northlands Resources. Läs mer på Länsstyrelsen i Norrbottens hemsida.
January 27th the e-book “Sustainable Development in the Circumpolar North. From Tana, Norway to Oktemtsy, Yakutia, Russia”, co-edited by Greg Halseth, Co-director of the Community Development Institute at the University of Northern British Columbia, Canada, was launched. The book provides practical strategies and tools for successfully dealing with the challenges and opportunities presented by the social and economic transformation being experienced in rural northern communities. Topics explored in the book include:
- Youth, entrepreneurship and rural development, with a chapter that addresses how to create an innovative and entrepreneurial consciousness and identity among youth;
- Sport, tourism and rural development, with chapters that look at the interface between different sections of the economy; and
- Social and economic development in indigenous communities and religions, with chapters on the effects of industrial development and development challenges in indigenous communitie
The book is available online:
Norway, Sweden and Finland share common economic, environmental and social interests in the Scandinavian Arctic. This report, a co-production of an expert group set up by the Prime Ministers of Norway, Sweden and Finland in April 2014, defines four drivers of growth and offers four instruments for the Governments of Norway, Sweden and Finland to use to secure sustainable economic growth in the North. Growth from the North