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).
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 - 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
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 - 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.
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 - 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.
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.
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.
Nordic Council of Ministers has published a reprint of the Nordic Council of Ministers’ State of the Nordic Region 2018 about the Nordic Bioeconomy.
- Refsgaard, Karen
- Teräs, Jukka
- Kull, Michael
- Oddsson, Geir
- Jóhannesson, Torfi
- Kristensen, Iryna
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
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.
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.
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.
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.