Arcticportal News
Arctic Council to develop SDI
Climate Change News
Written by Magdalena Tomasik   
Wednesday, 09 July 2014 10:57

(Logo: CAFF) (Logo: CAFF)The Arctic Council Working Group CAFF has recently announced a major milestone in scientific cooperation in the Arctic – a signing of a Memorandum of Understanding to guide national mapping organizations from the Arctic states toward production of a harmonized map, covering the entire Arctic region, with data on climate, biodiversity and other themes.

The Arctic Spatial Data Infrastructure will largely contribute to improved sharing and analysis of biodiversity data across the Arctic. It will become the essential tool in helping to understand the impacts of climate change on nature, environmental management issues and the adaptability and sustainable use of all living resources in the Arctic.

To develop this resource, the national mapping organizations of eight Arctic states, have signed the Memorandum of Understanding to address the development and maintenance of the Arctic SDI.

The national mapping organizations involved in the project are: the US Geological Survey (United States); Natural Resources Canada; the Federal Service for State Registration, Cadastre and Mapping (Russia); the National Survey and Cadastre (representing Denmark and the Faroe Islands); the Ministry of Housing, Infrastructure and Transportation (Greenland); the National Land Survey (Finland); the National Land Survey (Iceland); the Norwegian Mapping Authority; and the Swedish Mapping, Cadastre and Land Registration Authority.


To read more about the project and access the existing biodiversity data, please click here.


Source: Arctic Council
Another Arctic frontier to be explored
Energy News
Written by Magdalena Tomasik   
Tuesday, 08 July 2014 10:41

(Photo: Getty Images) (Photo: Getty Images) The Russian largest oil company, Rosneft, conducted seismic surveys at the Fedynsky and Central Barents license areas where Italian Eni energy corporation is having their operations.

This summer, Rosneft platforms sail further North in the Barents Sea for seismic survey. Studies will take place at five areas believed to hold up to 2 billion tons of oil and several thousand billion cubic meters of natural gas.

Perseyevsky license district is to be studied much more thoroughly in order to make the North-Western part of Barents Sea suitable for future exploration and exploitation.

In 2012 the joint cooperation was signed between the Norwegian Statoil and Rosneft to jointly explore the bordering, potential exploration areas.

Later this year, the seismic surveys will be conducted around Prinovozemelsky fields in the Kara Sea and the West Matveevsky area in the Pechora Sea.


Source: Barents Observer

Illegal fishing to be eradicated from High Seas
Other News
Written by Magdalena Tomasik   
Monday, 07 July 2014 12:46

(Photo: European Commission) (Photo: European Commission) "Illegal fishing has to be eradicated from the high seas, and this is why the EU uses its diplomatic weight to push for rules like the UNCLOS or the United Nations Fish Stock Agreement to be enforced worldwide," EU Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Maria Damanaki said during "Re-energising the Oceans" conference in Brussels, on June 30th.


"Since 1/1/2014 we have a new common fisheries policy, sustainable and science based, phasing out discarding and implementing the same principles for European vessels worldwide.
Through this new policy we have banned all types of subsidies at European level, that lead to overcapacity and overfishing. Our European fund has no granting for fuel subsidies at all," she said.

"In practice the EU requires that any fish import be accompanied by a catch certificate," Damanaki explained, adding " in other words the fish has to be caught legally; otherwise it won't get into our market. "
Speaking about future steps the Commissioner voiced the need for an integrated approach at international level.

" So far we have given special attention to promising maritime sectors such as marine biotech, aquaculture, ocean energy, deep sea mining and tourism. We think that with a focused research effort and steps to improve the environment for innovation, these sectors can prosper in a smart and sustainable way.

"Spatial planning gives operators certainty"

"A key tool to ensure sufficient marine space for concurrent economic activities is maritime spatial planning. If all goes well our legislative proposal should enter into force after the summer and it is a historic achievement. For the first time in the world, countries have a legal obligation to cooperate in planning their seas across borders.

Spatial planning gives operators certainty on whether and what economic developments are possible, where and for how long. It will speed up licensing and permit procedures, and will provide good management of the cumulative impact of maritime activities. It a huge and real step for marine governance in Europe."


Damanaki also stressed the importance of research, saying "ocean observation, mapping and forecasting are essential in this vein. This is why the EU has directly and explicitly geared its financial support, and particularly its research funds, towards the sea."
"Since last year, the EU, the United States and Canada have started a transatlantic research alliance which is to cover observing systems and ocean stressors, as well as research in the Arctic region, a fragile environment that is undergoing enormous change in terms of temperature and human activity."

"We hope to see similar forms of cooperation with and between other countries in the future."


Press Release: European Commission, 4th of July 2014

Tradition for Tomorrow takes place this summer
Other News
Written by Magdalena Tomasik   
Friday, 04 July 2014 00:00

(Photo: Tradition for Tomorrow) (Photo: Tradition for Tomorrow) Joyful celebration of Nordic folk music and dance will take place in Akureyri, northern Iceland 20 – 23 of August 2014.

Tradition for Tomorrow will introduce Nordic music and dance through performances, workshops, jam sessions, lectures and discussions.


Each Nordic country will present its best and brightest in 4 days and nights of non-stop music making, dancing, teaching and discussing.

Tradition for Tomorrow provides a singular opportunity to enjoy and examine Nordic traditional music and dance up-close and personal, discover similarities and differences between the Nordic neighbours, investigate multiculturalism and explore methods used to safeguard intangible heritage.

Click here to read more about the festival and to register for the event.

Russia back to winter time
Other News
Written by Magdalena Tomasik   
Wednesday, 02 July 2014 10:23

(Photo: Barents Observer) (Photo: Barents Observer) Yesterday, 1st of July 2014, the state´s Duma approved the new – old law ´´On computation of time´´ to switch the clock on October 26th 2014 to permanent winter time. This regulation will grant northerners with two hours earlier daylight during the dark season mid - winter compared with last winter.

It was then-President Dmitry Medvedev that introduced permanent fixed summer time in 2011. For cross-border travelers between Norway and Russia in the north, the challenges appeared difficult. The land-border between the two countries became the only in Europe with a three hour time difference during the time of the year when other European countries changed to daylight savings.

Commenting on the confusing time-change and people's lack of day-light, Vladimir Putin said the year after "Something might not have been thought through."

The lawmakers in the State Duma argued that permanent summer time had caused increased stress and had a detrimental effect on the public's health. It was also the Duma's Committee of Healthcare that issued the recommendation to endorse the permanent winter time bill.

With permanent winter time, the difference in time on the Norwegian, Russian border will be two hours in winter and only one hour during summer when Norwegians are on daylight savings time. On the Finnish, Russian border, there will be no time difference during summer, and one hour difference during winter.

At the same time as Russia turns back the clocks, the easternmost time zone will be reintroduced, nine hours ahead of Moscow time. In total, Russia will then have 11 time zones, from Kaliningrad in the west to Chukotka region in the northeast.


Source: Barents Observer

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