Research recommendations on responsible development of the Arctic region
There are many ways to boost Finland's Arctic expertise and opportunities for influence in international Arctic operations. The MERMAID project, coordinated by the Finnish Meteorological Institute, focused in particular on developing the maritime cluster and the tourism sector. The project's final report was published on 7 March in the publication series of government analysis, assessment and research activities.
The report was commissioned with Finland's Chairmanship of the Arctic Council in mind, which starts at the beginning of 2017. The final report includes recommendations and proposed action to strengthen Finland s Arctic expertise. It also analyses the role of Russia in the Arctic region.
The future of the Arctic region up to 2035 was examined by means of three different scenarios of the future. In the scenarios, the most important factors shaping the region were climate change and its impact on the conditions in the region, the geopolitical situation and the advancement of arctic technology. The report also took the global economy and global fossil fuel markets into account. The measures proposed in the report make it possible to develop the Arctic region responsibly and take all parties into consideration.
The recommendations for promoting the general development of the Arctic region range from climate change considerations to improving the status of the Sami to enhancing the management of research, business, investment and catastrophies.
- The unique environnment and culture of the Arctic region, for instance, which are under pressure from globalisation and climate change, must be safeguarded in the future. We must also make sure the region thrives. To this end, together with all parties we need to formulate a national vision on the future of the Arctic region and clear rules of play in the region that take everyone into account, observes Karoliina Pilli-Sihvola, researcher at the Finnish Meteorological Institute.
Finland’s Arctic expertise calls for more cooperation
Finland's Arctic expertise is an advantage in terms of the development of the maritime cluster, but the study shows that Finland's potential in the field can be enhanced by further improving knowhow in the maritime cluster. The final report proposes the creation of a multidisciplinary and pragmatic offshore and subsea training programme.
To develop the tourism industry, the report recommends making greater use of the Arctic is Cool concept, for example. This could be done for instance by promoting the Arctic region more generally as a tourist attraction in collaboration with other countries and tourism actors.
The Finnish Meteorological Institute, Centre for Maritime Studies of Turku University, the Multidimensional Tourism Institute of the Lapland University Consortium and the Aleksanteri Institute of Helsinki University took part in the MERMAID project. The project was carried out as part of the implementation of the Government's 2014 plan for analysis, assessment and research.
Further information: www.ilmatieteenlaitos.fi/MERMAID
Inquiries: General recommendations: Karoliina Pilli-Sihvola, Finnish Meteorological Institute, tel. +358 50 309 4660, karoliina.pilli-sihvola(at)fmi.fi; Adriaan Perrels, project coordinator, Finnish Meteorological Institute, tel. +358 50 583 8575 adriaan.perrels(at)fmi.fi, maritime cluster: Sari Repka, tel. +358 40 801 19206, sari.repka(at)utu.fi; tourism sector: Sanna Kyyrä, tel. +358 40 484 4492 sanna.kyyra(at)ulapland.fi; Russia's Arctic energy policy: Veli-Pekka Tynkkynen, tel. +358 40 517 0521 veli.pekka.tynkkynen(at)helsinki.fi
English translation of the press release published on 8 March 2016