Exploring the Northern Dimension

NDI Policy Brief 9: Preventing premature deaths in the Northern Dimension area

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This policy brief reports key findings of a study carried out by the NDPHS Expert Group for Non-communicable diseases. The study analyzed official mortality data on premature deaths under 70 years of age in eight countries in the Northern Dimension area (Belarus, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Sweden) and found that the PYLL rate (“Potential Years of Life Lost”) differs considerably among ND area countries. A striking feature is its gender difference, being on average 2.5 times higher for men than for women. Most of this difference is due to external causes of death such as suicides and traffic accidents. Alcohol-related causes also have a heavy male over-representation. The general development in public health outcome was however good in 2003-2013, resulting in an average 26% PYLL reduction. Encouraging trends include a decrease in losses caused by vascular (heart) diseases, cancer and external causes, such as suicides and alcohol-related causes, in all ND countries that participated in the study.

PYLL figure

The results of the study led to the following recommendations:

  • Recommendation 1. Premature mortality can be prevented effectively by designing and implementing health and economic policies on health promotion and disease prevention. Evidence-based treatment of diseases also makes a difference, but is less effective than the prevention of diseases and accidents.
  • Recommendation 2. Positive changes in male health behavior have an immediate decreasing effect on overall premature mortality. Policies should be targeted towards improving traffic and occupational safety, and decreasing harmful use of alcohol.
  • Recommendation 3. Public health strategies should be intersectoral and involve all stakeholders. Practising Health in All Policies (HiAP), promoting healthy lifestyles and holistic healthcare are crucial for preventing and avoiding many premature deaths.
  • Recommendation 4. PYLL rate was selected in 2015 as the indicator to measure the progress of the current 2016-2020 Strategy of the NDPHS. Continuing this practice in the renewed strategy beyond 2020 is highly recommended. The ongoing ND PYLL-2 study should also pre-assess the 2020 COVID-19 caused years of life lost in order to evaluate its burden on the public health of populations.
  • Recommendation 5.Health policy makers are invited to discuss the results of the PYLL-2 study, launched by the NDPHS NCD Expert Group in 2020, in workshops that will be organized in 2021 in selected NDPHS countries.

The Policy Brief can be downloaded here

For more information contact the author Mikko Vienonen, NDPHS/NCD Expert Group, vienonen.m.[at]gmail.com


Publications from the first year of NDI Think Tank Action

The NDI Think Tank Action conducts research on thematic areas jointly agreed with the ND partnerships. The themes for the first year of the Action include climate change impact in the Arctic, emerging transport and logistics routes between Europe and Asia, healthy aging and creative industries' contribution to societal challenges in the ND area. The intellectual outputs of this research includes policy briefs, academic articles and other scientific publications. The following publications were prepared during the first year (2019) of the Action.

NDI Policy Briefs

Troche, G. (2019) Euro-Asian land transport links – opportunities for rail.NDI Policy Brief 5/June 2019.http://www.northerndimension.info/news/news/853-northern-dimension-institute-policy-brief-5-euro-asian-land-transport-links-opportunities-for-rail

Golubeva, E. and Emelyanova, A. (2019)Healthy ageing innovations in care for older residents of remote northern areas. NDI Policy Brief 6/September 2019.http://www.northerndimension.info/news/news/871-northern-dimension-institute-policy-brief-6-healthy-ageing-innovations-in-care-for-older-residents-of-remote-northern-areas

Sorokina, T., Trofimova, A. and Varakina, J. (2019) Systemic biomonitoring needed to mitigate Arctic health risks. NDIPolicy Brief 7/December 2019,http://www.northerndimension.info/news/news/879-ndi-policy-brief-7-systemic-biomonitoring-needed-to-mitigate-arctic-health-risks

Siluanova, L., Kuznecova, S., Yakhyaev, D., Grigorishchin, A., Hairova, T. and Zadorin, M. (2020) Ensuring safety of navigation and reducing transportation costs in the Arctic with digital technologies. NDI Policy Brief 8/January 2020.http://www.northerndimension.info/images/Policybriefs/NARFU-digital-transport-final.pdf

Soloviova, A. (forthcoming)Symbolic resources of the Russian North in the global experience economy.Forthcoming as NDIPolicy Brief x/2020.

Academic articles and other scientific publications

Thematic Area Transport and Logistics

Rekord, S. (2019) Economy of the future the view of the new generation of investors (in Russian). Izvestia Sank-Peterburgskogo Ekonomicheskogo Universiteta(Известия Санкт-Петербургского государственного экономического университета). – Special issue to SPIEF 2019. № 4 Pp. 62–65.https://unecon.ru/sites/default/files/izvestiya_no_4-2019.pdf

Mishalchenko, Yu.V. and Piskun, L.P (2019)International economic and legal aspects of Northern Sea Route use (in Russian). Sovremennye problemy menedgmenta (Современныепроблемыменеджмента).СПб.:ООО «Скифия-принт».

Babich, S., Yakovleva, A. and Yulin, A. (2019)Transport and Logistics Potential of the Northern Sea Route in the Eurasian Economic Space (in Russian). Rossiyskaya Arktika, 4:5–14.https://russian-arctic.info/info/articles/ekonomika/transportno-logisticheskiy-potentsial-severnogo-morskogo-puti-v-evroaziatskom-ekonomicheskom-prostra/

Stepanova, V.V., Ukhanova, A.V., Laverov, N., Grigorishchin, A.V. and Yakhyaev, D.B. (2019) Evaluating digital ecosystems in Russia’s regions (in Russian). Economic and Social Changes: Facts, Trends, Forecast, 12(2): 73–90.http://esc.vscc.ac.ru/article/28138/full?_lang=ru

Panin, V. (2019) Transport connection Arctic, Far East, Siberia, Urals (in Russian). Expert conclusion published within International Arctic Forum 2019.https://roscongress.org/sessions/iaf-2019-transportnaya-vzaimosvyaz-arktika-dalniy-vostok-sibir-ural/expert/

Thematic Area Climate Change

Rekord, S. and Kulikov, D. (2019) International aspects of formation of technical and economic model of decarbonization of natural gas (in Russian). Problemy Sovremennoy Ekonomiki (Проблемысовременнойэкономики). 3 (71): 176 – 180.http://www.m-economy.ru/articles_pdf/71/PSE_71_p176_180.pdf

Kostin, K.B., Boldyrev, Y., Chernogorskiy, S., Shvetsov, K. and Zherelo, A. (2019) Mathematical model of regional socio-economic development of the Russian arctic zone resources. MDPI. Special Issue "Management of Comprehensive Development of the Arctic Territory". 8(1):45.https://www.mdpi.com/2079-9276/8/1/45

Rekord, S. (2019)Arctic as arena for cooperation or confrontation? Expert conclusions published within International Arctic Forum 2019 (in Russian).https://roscongress.org/sessions/iaf-2019-arktika-arena-protivostoyaniya-ili-sotrudnichestva/expert/

Voronin, M. (2019) Production and use of the LNG in Arctic. Expert conclusions published within International Arctic Forum 2019 (in Russian).https://roscongress.org/sessions/iaf-2019-proizvodstvo-i-ispolzovanie-spg-v-arktike/expert/

Maryandyshev, P. and Kangash, A. (forthcoming)Curbing black carbon emissions in the Arctic.To be published in 2020 as NDI Background Paper.

Thematic AreaHealthy Ageing

Golubeva, E. and Emelyanova, A. (2019) The Foster Family as a means of promoting social inclusion of older people in the Russian North. In: Naskali P., Harbison J., Begum S. (Eds.) New Challenges to Ageing in the Rural North. International Perspectives on Aging, 22. Springer, Cham.https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-3-030-20603-1_6

Thematic Area Culture

Soloviova, A. (forthcoming) Symbolic capital of the Russian North in the experience economy context. (manuscript prepared in 2019; to be published in 2020).

NDI Policy Brief 8: Ensuring safety of navigation and reducing transportation costs in the Arctic with digital technologies

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This Policy Brief elaborates recommendations for developing digital technologies that improve the safety of navigation and reduce shipping costs in the Arctic. This issue is of utmost importance for Russia and European countries, since the growing freight traffic requires prompt and secure provision of modern and innovative logistics solutions. The Northern Dimension Partnership for Transportation and Logistics provides a platform for cooperation in this area.

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The following actions are suggested:

  • Organization of a joint digital technology forum for all states interested in the development of the Arctic transport highway to present new solutions that would ensure efficient logistic management of the Arctic seas.
  • Establishment of a joint scientific and educational consortium for active collaboration of information technology companies and scientists in the Northern Dimension area. The consortium could form common proposals in the field of safety and rescue at sea for relevant national ministries and international institutions such as the Arctic Council.
  • Foundation of a unified “road map” for all emergency services (primarily EMERCOM) explaining the legal and managerial nuances of interaction and response in the event of an emergency.
  • Formation of a list of topical issues from suppliers planning or already engaged in the transportation of goods through the Arctic sea, their wishes and suggestions.

The Policy Brief can be downloaded here

For more information, please contact the team of authors at Higher School of Economics, Management and Law of Northern Arctic Federal University, Arkhangelsk, Russia.

Corresponding author Prof. Maksim Zadorin m.zadorin[at]narfu.ru.

NDI Policy Brief 7: Systemic biomonitoring needed to mitigate Arctic health risks

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Northern Dimension Institute Policy Brief 7 - December 2019

Systemic biomonitoring needed to mitigate Arctic health risks

This Policy Brief highlights the need for biomonitoring to assess the risks of public health disorders and negative demographic implications caused by the ingestion of hazardous pollutants into the human body. These pollutants can accumulate in food chains and spread with migratory species of commercial fish, birds and wild animals. Consequences of climate change increase the ingestion risks, and the dependence of indigenous peoples on the resources in their environment makes them particularly vulnerable. Hence, the relevance of this issue for Russia and the Arctic countries is obvious and requires attention.

The mitigation of negative effects of climate change on the health of indigenous people in the Arctic requires the establishment of systemic biomonitoring at the legislative level.

Indigenous

The monitoring must

  • be implemented on a regular basis
  • take into account not only the effect of pollutants to the body, but also the deficiency of vital trace elements, such as iodine, iron, magnesium, etc., which are essential for the proper functioning of the body.
  • include chemical analysis of environmental samples, animals and birds, which indigenous peoples consume, as well as human biological samples (urine, blood, breast milk, hair, teeth).

Download the Policy Brief Systemic biomonitoring needed to mitigate Arctic health risks

Feel free to contact the team of authors at the Arctic Biomonitoring Laboratory, Northern Arctic Federal University, Arkhangelsk, Russia, for more information:

Tatiana Sorokinat.sorokina[at]narfu.ru

Anna Trofimova a.trofimova[at]narfu.ru

Julia Varakina yu.andreeva[at]nsrfu.ru

Northern Dimension Institute Policy Brief 6: Healthy ageing innovations in care for older residents of remote northern areas

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Northern Dimension Institute Policy Brief 6 - September 2019

Healthy ageing innovations in care for older residents of remote northern areas

The number of older people is rising in all developed societies. Taking care of them is a tremendous challenge, especially in remote and rural areas. Our innovation is based on understanding the needs of older people living in remote communities of Northern Russia. The innovation is called “Foster family for lonely older persons” and suggests proactive identification and planning regarding older persons’ future needs: simplification of the design and delivery of services, and context-sensitive, social and cultural approaches to change their lifestyles and healthy habits.
It allows older people to stay and receive care in their local community, and avoids the relocation stress caused by moving to other areas. In this way, it acknowledges the benefits of an ‘ageing in place’ approach, recommended by the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE).

  • Recommendation 1. Introduce a tiered compensation mechanism with greater remuneration packages for caretakers who provide services to older persons with a higher degree of disability. The foster families can represent a more cost-effective way of providing care to older persons.
  • Recommendation 2. Make sure that people know about the foster family initiative. Advertise the programme not only on the regional TV but also by radio and social networks to improve dissemination channels.
  • Recommendation 3. The bureaucracy is what affects the sustainability of the foster family programme. Make sure to find the balance between ensuring the safety of this programme for the participants, providing support in a way that is not burdening the participants and collecting data despite resource constraints. This will require a tailored monitoring and evaluation package for various foster family types.

The Northern Dimension Institute Policy Brief 6 - September 2019 is now available.
You can download the policy brief here: Healthy ageing innovations in care for older residents of remote northern areas (pdf).

ND Policy Brief 6 Healthy Ageing innovations 2019 web

Learn more about our innovation from the references, or feel free to contact the authors:
Professor Elena Golubeva, NARFU, Russia, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Dr. Anastasia Emelyanova, University of Oulu, Finland, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Science Communication Handbook available

A Science Communication Handbook is published in the framework of the NDI Think Tank Action.

The Science Communication Handbook provides researchers with guidelines of effective science communication. The handbook includes practical tools and examples that will help researchers to plan communication and interaction to support their research projects goals.

Science Communication Handbook (link to the PDF)

The Handbook is based on the communications training for researchers organized by the NDI Think Tank Action and conducted by the Kaskas Media, a Finnish communications agency that specializes in science and expert communication. Kaskas Media has produced the handbook based on the science communication training day materials.

The communications training for researchers was held on Wednesday 12 June 2019 at Aalto University. The Handbook and the training are part of the "Development of a think tank functions of the Northern Dimension Institute - NDI Think Tank Action”. The NDI Think Tank Action is a three-year project in 2019 - 2021 co-financed by the EC DG NEAR.

Northern Dimension Institute Policy Brief 5 - Euro-Asian land transport links – opportunities for rail

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Northern Dimension Institute Policy Brief 5 - June 2019

Euro-Asian land transport links – opportunities for rail

Growing trade volumes between Asia and Europe, changes in the goods structure and new localization patterns of industries and businesses in Asia and to some extent even in Europe in combination with strategic infrastructure and operational improvements on Euro-Asian land-routes, in particular by China and Russia, are key causes behind increasing rail freight volumes on the Euro-Asian landbridge. There are two groups of land route options, the Northern Routes, passing on some part over Russian territory, and the Southern Routes, bypassing Russia to the South (partly involving sections with ferry/short-sea-traffic via the Caspian and/or the Black Sea).

For the time being,
*only the Northern Routes are fully functioning for rail traffic between China and Europe and there are reasons to assume that they will stay highly competitive against the Southern Routes even once the latter will have been established in full length, i.a. due to a distance advantage to large parts of China.

*the Southern Routes contain important development perspectives i.a. through the possibility to connect to regions and emerging economies in Southern and South-Eastern Asia currently not linked to the Euro-Asian rail landbridge.

Thus, while a certain route competition certainly may arise, the Northern and Southern Routes are also complementary; their (geographical) market focuses have a certain overlap, but are not identical, and their development should be considered with this perspective in mind.

At the same time, there are still serious challenges of infrastructural, organizational and political nature to overcome, until the Southern Routes will be able to show a performance comparable to those of the Northern Routes.

Together the ongoing improvement of the Northern Routes and the gradual evolution of new Southern Routes can be an important impetus and generate a new momentum for the development of rail freight between Asia and Europe.

The Policy Brief authored by Dr. Gerhard Troche is based on his presentation at the Northern Dimension Future Forum on Transport*. You can download the policy brief here: Euro-Asian land transport links – opportunities for rail (pdf).

NDI Policy Brief 5 Euro Asian land transport links opportunities for rail

*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.

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

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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

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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

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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.
 

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