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Summaries and video from the Northern Dimension Future Forums available

The Northern Dimension Institute (NDI) organized four Northern Dimension Future Forums in November 2018. The first was the…

NORTHERN DIMENSION INSTITUTE POLICY BRIEF 3: ENSURING THE SUSTAINABILITY OF EURO-ASIAN TRANSPORT CONNECTIONS PUBLISHED

Northern Dimension Institute Policy Brief 3 - February 2019
Ensuring the Sustainability of Euro-Asian Transport Connections

Growth in Euro-Asian trade and rising interest in the Arctic call for coordinated policies

Trade volumes between EU and Asia, particularly China, are constantly growing, which challenges the capacity of existing Euro-Asian land and maritime connections. Together with trends in global logistics, such as increasing interest in multimodal solutions, this creates a need to improve existing transportation infrastructure, and opens up opportunities for the development of new routes.

The increase in EU-Asia trade volumes affects countries located along Northern and Southern routes alike, but specific feature of the ND area is its proximity to the Arctic with its fragile ecosystem. The rising international interest in the natural resources of the Arctic together with its improving accessibility due to changing climate conditions are expected to increase traffic in this area. This surges the need for policies that ensure the social, economic and environmental sustainability of transportation infrastructure in the ND area. Future transportation solutions need to be developed in a manner that are cost-effective, safe and environmentally friendly.

The complexity of the Europe-Asia transportation architecture implies that policy-making in the ND area needs to take into account the interests of national, regional, EU-level and external parties.  For example, many of the planned transport and logistics investments to the ND area are linked to China’s Belt and Road Initiative. Aligning of sometimes competing interests of different players is not an easy task. Yet, risks associated with increasing transportation volumes are shared, which serves a motivation to jointly develop solutions that help improving the safety and sustainability of Euro-Asian transport connections.

The Policy Brief based on the ND Future Forum on Transport* is now available. You can download the policy brief here: Ensuring the Sustainability of Euro-Asian Transport Connections (pdf).

NDI Policy Brief Ensuring the Sustainability of Euro Asian Transport Connections

Authors:

Dr. Elena Rovenskaya, International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
Dr. Päivi Karhunen & Prof. Riitta Kosonen & Piia Heliste, CEMAT & Northern Dimension Institute

*The Northern Dimension Institute (NDI) organized the Northern Dimension Future Forum on Transport: Emerging trade routes between Europe and Asia – Impacts of China’s Belt and Road Initiative on Northern Europe on 20 November 2018 in Brussels. It brought together top researchers, decision-makers and leading transport companies to discuss the future developments in land and Arctic maritime connections between Europe and Asia. The event featured two knowledge arenas consisting of expert and practitioner interventions followed by decision maker comments and a moderated discussion.

Northern Dimension Institute Policy Brief 4: Healthy Ageing Calls for a Holistic Approach published

Northern Dimension Institute Policy Brief 4 - January 2019
Healthy Ageing Calls for a Holistic Approach
 
Ageing is a challenge and an opportunity
By 2020, the number of people aged 60 years and older will outnumber children younger than 5 years globally. This challenges ageing societies with increasing costs related to population ageing and with a growing need for health and social services, including those related to age-related diseases.

The maintenance of health and well-being of the ageing population is a burning policy issue in countries in the Northern Dimension area, which are among the first ones to face this challenge. Solutions are needed to produce high-quality and cost-effective services for the elderly, and to encourage the citizens to take responsibility of their own health and wellbeing.

Tackling the challenges of ageing calls for viewing it not only as a burden but also as an opportunity. The concept of healthy ageing is about "optimizing opportunities for good health, so that older people can take an active part in society and enjoy an independent and high quality of life".

The promotion of healthy ageing calls for new types of research-based solutions that ensure access to individual health and social services, social activities, and engagement of the elderly in the design of age-friendly environments.
 
The Policy Brief based on the ND Future Forum on Health* is now available. Northern Dimension Institute Policy Brief 4 January 2019
You can download the policy brief here: Healthy Ageing Calls for a Holistic Approach(pdf). Northern Dimension Institute Policy Brief 4 January 2019 healthy ageing calls for a holictic approach
 
Authors
Prof. Arja Rautio, Thule Institute, University of Oulu
Ms. Minna Hanhijärvi, Aalto University School of Business / CEMAT & Northern Dimension Institute
Dr. Päivi Karhunen, Aalto University School of Business / CEMAT & Northern Dimension Institute
Prof. Riitta Kosonen, Aalto University School of Business / CEMAT & Northern Dimension Institute
 
*The Northern Dimension Institute (NDI) organized the Northern Dimension Future Forum on Health: Healthy Ageing on 28 November 2018 in Vantaa, Finland. The event gathered researchers, professionals, civil servants and decision-makers to discuss the future challenges and opportunities in providing support, services and environments enhancing health and wellbeing among senior citizens. The event featured three knowledge arenas focusing on the topical themes of loneliness and mental health, managing healthy life-styles and preventing ageing related diseases, and creating environments supporting healthy aging.

Northern Dimension Institute Policy Brief 2: The curbing of black carbon emissions offers many benefits for the Arctic published

Northern Dimension Institute Policy Brief 2 - January 2019
The curbing of black carbon emissions offers many benefits for the Arctic
 
Black carbon emissions are a global problem with special significance for arctic regions
Temperatures in the Arctic are rising clearly faster than the global average temperatures. The main reason are increasing amount of greenhouse gases, but black carbon, emitted from incomplete burning, contributes to the warming. It may cause some 20-25% of the warming in the Arctic, both through warming of the atmosphere and by accelerating melting due to reduced reflection of sunrays reaching ice and snow. Important sources of black carbon include transport, residential burning of coal and biomass, oil and gas flaring, and open burning of biomass from wildfires or the open burning of agricultural waste.

The health effects of black carbon emissions are significant. Black carbon is a component of the fine particles that have serious adverse health effects globally. The combined effects on the climate and health have motivated the Arctic Council and the Northern Dimension Environmental Partnership to pay special attention to ways of reducing emissions of black carbon. The actions to reduce emissions need to be replicated globally for the positive effects to take effect. Globally residential combustion and transport emissions dominate. In the Arctic region emissions from oil and gas production are also important.
 
The Policy Brief based on the ND Future Forum on Environment* is now available. Northern Dimension Institute Policy Brief 2 January 2019
You can download the policy brief here: The curbing of black carbon emissions offers many benefits for the Arctic (pdf). Northern Dimension Institute Policy Brief 2 January 2019 curbing black carbon emissions
 
Author
Prof. Mikael Hildén, Finnish Environment Institute and the Strategic Research Council
 
NDI Lead coordinator: Prof.  Riitta Kosonen
 
*The Northern Dimension Institute (NDI) organized the Northern Dimension Future Forum on Environment: Black carbon and climate change in the European Arctic on 19 November 2018 in Brussels. The event gathered researchers, top experts, decision-makers and NGOs to discuss the future challenges as well as solutions available to avert the black carbon impacts of future climate change.
 

Northern Dimension Institute Policy Brief 1 - Designing innovative public services published

Northern Dimension Institute Policy Brief 1 - January 2019 Designing innovative public services
 
Contemporary challenges that ND area governments face are increasingly sophisticated and complex. This is due to the rapid development of technologies that blur the boundaries between the government and citizens, and because of societal changes such as aging of population and increasing immigration flows. The ND Future Forum on Culture* focused on the potential of creative and cultural cross-overs in producing public services that tackle societal challenges more effectively.
 
The Policy Brief based on the ND Future Forum on Culture is now available. Northern Dimension Institute Policy Brief 1 January 2019 Designing innovative public services web
You can download the policy brief here: Designing innovative public services (pdf).
 
Authors
Signe Adamoviča, Creativity Lab Latvia
Dr. Päivi Karhunen, CEMAT & Northern Dimension Institute
Prof. Riitta Kosonen, CEMAT & Northern Dimension Institute
 
*The Northern Dimension Institute (NDI) organized the ND Future Forum on Culture: Creating a better world through cultural and creative crossovers on 15 November 2018 in St. Petersburg, Russia. The event gathered over 50 participants from 11 countries to discuss and share inspiring experiences and lessons learnt on design thinking approach in public service and cultural and creative crossovers addressing societal challenges. The participants represented universities, cultural institutions, NGOs and governmental organizations.

NCM published Nordic Bioeconomy Programme: 15 Action Points for Sustainable Change

Nordic Council of Ministers and Nordic Council of Ministers Secretariat have published the Nordic Bioeconomy Programme: 15 Action Points for Sustainable Change, which combines environmental, social and economic ambitions for a more sustainable Region. The bioeconomy is of fundamental importance to the national economies of the Nordic countries, and especially important for rural development in large parts of the Region. The programme aims to create new industries and value chains and to facilitate and guide the transition of bio-based industries into technology advanced industries, and to optimise the production and value creation of biomass. The programme sets out a vision for the Nordic bioeconomy based on four pillars:
  • competitive bio-based industries
  • sustainable resource management
  • resilient and diverse ecosystems
  • inclusive economic development
To reach this vision, the programme defines 15 action points under three thematic areas: Innovate – Accelerate – Network. The focus is on development of new policies on regional, national and Nordic level, for increased funding, better education, labelling and certificates, bioeconomy clusters and several other areas. The programme also contains an appendix with sustainability principles that can be seen as a step towards developing common ground and good practices for a sustainable bioeconomy in the Nordic Region.
 
Read the Programme at the NCM website.
 

Publication: The Rapidly Developing Nordic Bioeconomy: Exerpt from State of the Nordic Region 2018

Nordic Council of Ministers has published a reprint of the Nordic Council of Ministers’ State of the Nordic Region 2018 about the Nordic Bioeconomy.
 
Authors:
  • Refsgaard, Karen
  • Teräs, Jukka
  • Kull, Michael
  • Oddsson, Geir
  • Jóhannesson, Torfi
  • Kristensen, Iryna
 
Abstract:
The Rapidly Developing Nordic Bioeconomy is a reprint of the Nordic Council of Ministers’ State of the Nordic Region 2018. The new bioeconomy, and the general shift from a fossil-based to a bio-based economy, is an area with vast potential for the entire Nordic Region, although it is more relevant to some geographical areas than to others.
 
The publication maps the scale and distribution of bio-based industries, such as forestry, fisheries, aquaculture and biogas production and contains informative and concise description of the Nordic Bioeconomy.
 
You can find the publication here.
 

Report on the Baltic Sea Region Economies: Progress and Priorities Launched

Baltic Development Forum (BDF) has commissioned a report on the Baltic Sea Region economies. The report looks back at the economic journey of the BSR countries in the past 20 years. The report is written by Dr David Skilling, Director of the Landfall Strategy Group.
 
Over the past two decades, the Baltic Sea Region – from the Baltic states to the Nordics – has developed into an integrated, high performing economic region.  It is called the ‘top of Europe’ for a good reason.
The Baltic Sea Region economies have performed strongly since 2000, out-pacing many of their European peers.  As a group, they have averaged a GDP growth rate of 2.7% relative to 1.6% for the EU28 as a whole.
And even in a challenging post-crisis environment, the Baltic Sea Region economies have performed well – growing faster than many other crisis-hit European economies, as well as the broader EU group.
 
Read the report here.
 

NCM Publication: Baltic 2030 Bumps on the Road: How the Baltic Sea States are performing on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

The report Baltic 2030: Bumps on the Road provides an overview of the 2030 Agenda implementation in the Baltic Sea Region, aimed at informing strategy and prioritisation discussions for national and regional collaboration. For each of the region’s eleven countries, performance on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is examined and five selected SDGs are discussed at the indicator level. Based on this analysis, the authors recommend seven avenues for action where greater collaboration in the region can support SDG achievement. The report was commissioned by the Council of the Baltic Sea States (CBSS) and is jointly published by CBSS and the Nordic Council of Ministers (NCM). It was drafted by the advisory firm Nordic Sustainability and follows the previous Bumps on the Road to 2030 report published by the NCM in 2017.
 

Arctic Business Forum Yearbook 2018 available

The 9th Arctic Business Forum Yearbook is an overview of the European High North investments and business development published in association with the Arctic Business Forum.
 
The Yearbook 2018 by Lapland Chamber of Commerce addresses Arctic cooperation, policies and business, as well as an estimation of European High North investment potential for the same time frame. Regionally the Yearbook covers the Northern parts of Finland, Sweden and Norway as well as Murmansk and Arkhangelsk regions in Russia.
 
You can download the book from here: Arctic Business Forum Yearbook 2018

Maritime activities in the Baltic Sea assessed in HELCOM report

HELCOM released in March 2018 the most comprehensive assessment of maritime activities in the Baltic Sea region currently available – covering distribution of activities at sea, developments over time, related environmental issues as well as future perspectives and scenarios. The vast number of activities addressed include operational and accidental pollution from maritime traffic, fisheries, aquaculture, offshore energy production, cables and pipelines, submerged hazardous objects, and leisure boating.

Read the HELCOM Maritime Assessment 2018here.

Report: Arctic Business Analysis: PPPs and Business Cooperation available

Arctic Business Analysis is a joint publication in English by the Nordic Council of Ministers and the Arctic Economic Council.

The report – Arctic Business Analysis – identifies the need to develop and promote the spirit of entrepreneurialism in the Arctic and calls for work to be done to publicise the business opportunities in the region and to showcase it as an attractive and sustainable market for investment and economic development. In 2016, the Nordic Cooperation Ministers decided to put more emphasis on economic development in the Arctic within the Arctic Cooperation Program of the Nordic Council of Ministers.

The Nordic Council of Ministers partnered up with the Arctic Economic Council in carrying out an Arctic Business Analysis. The aim was to qualify knowledge on the business environment in the Nordic Arctic and how to take the business environment to a next level.

The analysis covers 1) Entrepreneurship and Innovations; 2) Public- Private Partnerships & Business Cooperation; 3) Bio-economy, and 4) Creative and Cultural Industries.
The general findings of the analysis are:

  • a need for an increased collection and dissemination of Arctic specific data;
  • a need for strengthened cross-border business collaboration between regions and actors in the Arctic; and
  • a need for a positive branding of the Arctic as an attractive and sustainable market for investments and economic development.

You can download the report on the Nordic Council of Ministers' website.

Cross-country report "Mapping exercise: How could creative industries foster innovation in tourism in the Northern Dimension area?”

Northern Dimension Partnership on Culture launches a new report, exploring the CCS/CCI and tourism linkage challenges. "Mapping exercise: How could creative industries foster innovation in tourism in the Northern Dimension area?" explores creative industries and tourism linkage challenges in the Northern Dimension area. It is financially supported by the European Commission and developed by PROMAN for the NDPC. The cross-country report is supplemented by reports from 11 Northern Dimension countries on the development of their CCS/CCIs and tourism sector.

The aim of the report was to investigate the ecosystem and good practice examples of creative industries and tourism sector cooperation in the Northern Dimension countries, as well as to provide evidence and guidance on further action needed in order to accelerate innovation potential that creative industries could bring to tourism development.

The report demonstrates that there is already a substantial level of engagement between both sectors in the Northern Dimension countries. However, there is a room for improvement, since many CCS/CCI – tourism sector cooperation possibilities in ND countries are ‘under-utilised’ and require intervention, although there is no classic ‘market failure’. A list of recommendations drawn from the report suggests a variety of steps to be taken and opportunities that would arise from a targeted and thought-out CCS/CCIs and tourism sector co-creation.

NDPC expects that this report will lay foundations for a more productive dialogue and introduction of concreate measures to provide a further fruitful interaction between both sectors in the Northern Dimension area.

Cross-country report "Mapping exercise: How could creative industries foster innovation in tourism in the Northern Dimension area?Download the report here

FORUM D’AVIGNON RUHR 2016 "CREATIVITY: RAW MATERIAL, RESOURCE, FUTURE"

Artists and creative minds, politicians, entrepreneurs and scientists from throughout Europe attended the Forum d'Avignon Ruhr 2016 in August to discuss creativity as an ever-present ray of hope and its potential for more traditional areas of large-scale industry, the new digital economy and ultimately for culture itself.

The forum documentation, presentations and photographs have now been published. Please dowload the presentation on this link.

Russia’s energy security in the long term: capacity remuneration mechanisms

Russia's capacity market and capacity remuneration mechanisms (CRMs) have not been effective in achieving the so called energy trilemma goals: energy security, sustainability and affordability. This is the finding of a doctoral dissertation at Lappeenranta University of Technology, LUT.

The results show that implemented CRMs can guarantee Russia's energy security in the short term. However, the current capacity market design cannot provide market-based incentives to invest in new power plants, thereby undermining the provision of energy security in the future. CRMs for renewable energy alone will not suffice to achieve the sustainability goals set by the policy makers, at least in the short term. At the same time, CRMs, capacity payments, and challenges faced in the wholesale electricity result in high final consumer electricity cost, incentivising consumers to leave the market.

Capacity remuneration means that power producers receive capacity payments, which should cover their investments in new power plants within 10 to 20 years, while agreeing on building contracted capacity on time. However, the implementation of CRMs, together with overestimation of the demand growth, has resulted in a capacity oversupply in Russia. This has increased the amount of the old capacity that receives capacity payments to stay in the market in order for the system to stay reliable.

"As a result, capacity payments question the design of the capacity market and impact on the final consumer capacity price, and thus, result in an energy affordability issue," explains Evgenia Vanadzina,researcher behind the study.

Read more on LUT website.

 

The coordination of policy priorities among regional institutions from the Baltic Sea to the Arctic: the institutions – coordination dilemma

The article examines the coordination of policy priorities among the Arctic Council, the Barents Euro-Arctic Council, the Council of Baltic Sea States, and the Nordic Council of Ministers. The member states of these groups established these institutions to coordinate their regional cooperation. However, the member states ended up having to coordinate the parallel work of these institutions. This coordination effort influenced their cooperation, creating an institutional coordination dilemma. The article analyzes how interests, leadership, and identity politics influence this dilemma and how negative, problem-solving, and positive forms of coordination can amend its effects regarding the temporal consistency of policy priorities and their sectoral overlap.

Authors: Aalto Pami, Espiritu Aileen A, Kilpeläinen Sarah, Lanko Dmitry A.

The article was published in Journal of Baltic Studies.

EU Commission releases report on the development of the rail market

The European Commission adopted the fifth report on the development of the European rail market. The report shows that EU legislation on rail, which encourages competitiveness and market opening, has led to a more efficient and customer-responsive industry. In Member States where rail markets are opened, competition can result overall in lower fares for customers and better value for taxpayers. After adoption of the 4th Railway Package, the focus of the Commission will be on the implementation of existing legislation to bring about further performance improvement.

Download the full report on Commission webpage.

Study: Quantifying global soil carbon losses in response to warming

The first global study of soil carbon loss due to warming, finds that an additional 55 trillion kilograms of soil carbon could be added to the atmosphere between now and 2050. This is equivalent to as much as 17 per cent of all greenhouse gas emissions during this same period. Most of it would come from Arctic and subarctic soils.

The study was published in Nature and presented in High North News.

Publication: Maritime activity in the High North - current and estimated level up to 2025

The key purpose of the research consortium is to assess the risk of the increased maritime activity in the High North and the challenges this increase may represent for the preparedness institutions in this region.

Project partners include actors from Norway, Greenland, Iceland and Russia (Northern Dimension co-coordinatorNorthern (Arctic) Federal University being one of them.

The report gives a picture of the current commercial and government maritime activity in the sea areas north of the Arctic Circle from the Kara Sea, along the Northwest coast of Russia, the Northern coast of Norway, around Svalbard, Iceland and Greenland up to the Baffin Bay. Furthermore, the report offers estimation of the future maritime activity level in the area up to 2025.

Download the report on the website.

Publication: "Interventions" visualizes environmental change through photography

Global environmental change calls urgently for new perspectives, practices and fresh imaginations. The book Interventions explores new possibilities for visualizing environmental change and introduces innovative ways for communicating environmental change and raising public awareness on environmental issues.

The book was launched on November 26, 2016 at the Oulanka Research Station in Kuusamo, Finland, coinciding with the 50-year anniversary of the station.

Read more on UArctic website.

Publication: Arctic Resilience Assessment

The Arctic Resilience Assessment (ARA) is an Arctic Council project led by the Stockholm Environment Institute and the Stockholm Resilience Centre. It builds on collaboration with Arctic countries and Indigenous Peoples in the region, as well as several Arctic scientific organizations. The ARA (previously Arctic Resilience Report) was approved as an Arctic Council project at the Senior Arctic Officials meeting in November 2011. The ARA was initiated by the Swedish Ministry of the Environment as a priority for the Swedish Chairmanship of the Arctic Council (May 2011 to May 2013) and is being delivered under the US Chairmanship of the Arctic Council.

Download the assessment on Arctic Council website.

Improving wastewater management in the Baltic Sea Region - IWAMA project

IWAMA aims at improving resource efficiency in wastewater management of the region. The project actions are distributed along three main fields: capacity development, smart energy management and smart sludge management.

The intention of IWAMA is working together to improve the state of the Baltic Sea. In the publication, a visualisation of the scope of the project is present on the map, picturing the geographical locations of 17 project partners and 12 associated partners from 10 countries of the Baltic Sea Region. To strengthen the flow of knowledge and experience, the partners of IWAMA are united to provide the region with inspiration through the Baltic Sea Challenge network.

Download the IWAMA infograph leaflet on the UBC Sustainable Citied website.

Health at a Glance: Europe report published

As a first step in the Commission’s State of Health in the EU cycle, the Health at a Glance: Europe 2016 report was published in November 2016. Developed by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) with cooperation from the Commission, this publication provides updated analysis of the health status of EU citizens and the performance of health systems.

Apart from various chapters with statistical indicators of 35 European countries, the 2016 report includes two cross-cutting chapters on political priorities: the labour market impacts of behavioural risk factors and related chronic diseases, and the strengthening of primary care systems.

Download the report and infograph on European Commission website

Publication Settlements at the Edge: Remote Human Settlements in Developed Nations

The new book Settlements at the Edgeexamines the evolution, characteristics, functions and shifting economic basis of settlements in sparsely populated areas of developed nations. With a focus on demographic change, the book features theoretical and applied cases which explore the interface between demography, economy, well-being and the environment. This book offers a comprehensive and insightful knowledge base for understanding the role of population in shaping the development and histories of northern sparsely populated areas of developed nations including Alaska (USA), Australia, Canada, Greenland, Norway, Russia, Sweden, Finland and other nations with territories within the Arctic Circle.

 

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