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West Nordic Studies: Governance and Sustainable Management
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Written by Federica   
Sunday, 15 March 2015 10:03

(source:West Nordic Studies webpage) (source:West Nordic Studies webpage)West Nordic Studies: Governance and Sustainable Management is a multidisciplinary Master's Programme (120 ECTS) in West Nordic Studies offered jointly by the partner universities. The programme aims to provide specific knowledge of the Circumpolar North, combined with abilities to manage and link contemporary issues and past developments on orientation in the major themes of the present debate on societal challenges. The objective is to increase knowledge of the common issues of the area. The aim is to graduate candidates that can understand and meet the complicated challenges of coastal Norway, Iceland, Greenland and the Faroe Islands (the Nora region) as part of the Circumpolar North complexities and are able to strengthen networking in the area. WNS will offer a comparative perspective in meeting the urgent challenges the region is facing today including the social implications of climate change affecting scarce populations and micro-economies; long distances; limited working opportunities; gender issues in society and education; threats to indigenous culture and societal security; contested issues of identity and cultural heritage; the quest for natural resources; good governance and sustainable management.

The programme includes studies in WNS home universities, joint intensive course at the University of Akureyri, studies completed at other partner universities and a Master's thesis. WNS studies can be completed in four semesters. Each WNS student is required to complete at least 30 ECTS credits at another partner university abroad. The length of the study abroad period can vary according to the student's individual study plan.


Partner Universities: 


University of the Faroe Islands

The University of the Faroe Islands offers students a MA/MSc in West Nordic Studies, Governance and Sustainable Management with emphasis on developing a broad overview of governance and sustainability issues from an transdisciplinary perspective in both theory and practice. The programme is research and practical based, and core courses at the University of the Faroe Islands are oriented towards applied knowledge and dialogue with policy, business, and civil society actors. The programme includes compulsory international exchange between 40 and 70 ECTS-credits at the other West Nordic partner universities. The programme is mainly taught in English.


University of Greenland

The MA program is to give the students in-depth knowledge in some core disciplines such as political science, sociology, economics and international law. The focus is primarily on Greenlandic and Arctic relations. MA-students should on an international level be able to describe, formulate, analyze and process various problems related to the core areas above. MA students will be graduated as Master of Social Sciences.


University of Akureyri


The emphasis of the polar law master programs at the University of Akureyri is on both international and domestic laws, as these concern the Arctic and Antarctica, concerning issues of environmental law, biodiversity, climate change, human rights, the rights of indigenous peoples, good governance, natural resources, the law of the sea, transportation, international cooperation, and sovereignty and boundary disputes on land and at sea. Leading teachers come from different domestic and foreign academic institutions. All courses in polar law are taught in English. The diversity of backgrounds of the polar law students is recognized and a flexible study environment is offered. The studies prepare students for work with different government bodies, international organizations, NGOs, indigenous peoples, and universities and research institutions.


University of Iceland I

Specialization: Environment and Natural Resources in the High North.
Organized by: Environment and Natural Resources Graduate Programme and Institute for Sustainability Studies, University of Iceland.

The earth is witnessing global environmental change that is unique in its history. These changes are expected to impact societies worldwide, but nowhere is the impact more visible than in the Arctic. The melting of glaciers and sea-ice in the region will have significant consequences in the area as well as worldwide. This specialization, explores these issues, applying a multidisciplinary perspective. Students will gain an understanding of the natural and physical systems that form the basis of the changes taking place and the environmental governance and management methods that can be used to push the region towards sustainable development and green growth.


University of Iceland II

Specialization: Small states and societies.
Organized by: the Centre for Small State Studies and the Centre for Arctic Policy Studies, University of Iceland.

The governance and culture of small states and societies in the Arctic differs in many ways from the large states in the region. In this specilization emphases will be placed on exploring the opportunities and constraints they are up against, such as security challenges, means of influencing the international community, the dynamics of cultural identities as well as public administration and governance. This will be placed in local and global contexts within the social sciences and humanities and related to both past and present developments in the wider Arctic area.


University of Nordland

The specialization in West Nordic Studies: Governance and sustainable management will provide you with necessary knowledge and skills to participate in local governance and in the management of local resources and development in different social contexts.

The West Nordic coastal states have abundant natural resources and a scattered population in common. Your challenge will be to understand, analyze, and arrive at solutions that encourage people to maintain and develop more sustainable communities. A common challenge for these four states is that the larger cities are growing while smaller communities are depopulated, at the same time as the interconnections between larger centers and periphery is growing stronger.


More info here.



6th Arctic Shipping Summit Montreal, Canada 18-20 March 2015
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Written by Federica   
Saturday, 14 March 2015 11:57

6th Arctic Shipping SummitThe 6th Arctic Shipping Summit will be held in Montreal, Canada, next 18-20 March 2015. It focuses on technological, operational, and logistical and challenges encountered by ship owners in harsh Arctic conditions. It will address key developments in transport and regulation in the Arctic as well as; commercial, communication and safety issues. Particular emphasis will be put on evaluating potential opportunities in the region.
This summit, through presentations, roundtable discussion and case studies will examine practical solutions to Arctic shipping issues and present the latest innovations of technology in this specialised area.

Key topics include: 

  • Governing The Arctic: The Arctic Council and IMO Polar Code
  • The Polar Code: Monitoring of Compliance
  • Placing the Arctic in a Global Context
  • LNG and the Future of Arctic Shipping
  • Improving Satellite Coverage in the Arctic and its Impact on Search & Rescue
  • Identifying the Arctic's Global Impact
  • A Focus on the Immediate Future of Arctic Shipping
  • Search and Rescue: Infrastructure, Communications and Satellite Coverage
  • The Potential of the Offshore Arctic Market


More information and program here. 

"Arctic Marine Resource Governance" Reykjavik, Iceland, 14 th -16 th of October 2015
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Written by Federica   
Friday, 13 March 2015 08:48

The conference will be held in Reykjavik, October 14-16 2015The conference will be held in Reykjavik, October 14-16 2015The conference is part of the project: Marine Resource Governance in the Arctic, financially supported by Nordic Council of Ministers' Arctic Co-operation Programme, the Joint Committee for Nordic Research Councils in the Humanities and Social Sciences, and the Carlsberg Foundation.

Confirmed Keynote speakers: Vincent Gallucci, School of Aquatic and Fisheries Sciences, Univ. of Washington Sue Moore, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory

Conference Themes: The ecosystem changes underway in the Arctic region are expected to have significant impacts on living resources in both the short and long run, and current actions and policies adopted over such resource governance will have serious and ultimately irreversible consequences in the near and long terms. The themes of the conference will be:

  • 1. Global management and institutions for Arctic marine resources : For participation in this theme, we seek research that investigates global governance issues for the Arctic. This includes activities both within the Arctic Council and in relation to the rest of the world. While the Arctic Council works to bring together the 8 Arctic nations and permanent participants from indigenous Arctic communities to resolve governance issues requiring multilateral cooperation, the governance challenges this group faces are complex and cut across many different policy lines. Such challenges include non‐legally binding policy. Furthermore, while other nation states may, through an application process, become observers of the council actions, engagement of the rest of the world directly with the Arctic Council is limited. Potential topics include: alternate and/or complementary global governance activities for the Arctic, including the Arctic Circle meetings and the Arctic Economic Council; North‐South relations; the roles of indigenous communities, linking international legally binding policies to Arctic marine issues; stewardship of the Central Arctic Ocean for environmental protection and safety. A sample question for this theme is: What happens when the provisions of two resource regimes conflict? The IWC, for example, has a very narrow exemption for aboriginal subsistence whaling. The Arctic Council, on the other hand, is much more sensitive to the needs of the Arctic's permanent residents. This raises questions about institutional interplay, overlapping institutional goals and jur
  • 2. Resource stewards and users: local and indigenous co-management: The living marine resources in the Arctic have long been used and managed by indigenous communities, and ice cover has, to date, assisted in protection of remote marine resource stocks. As climate change shifts the productive capacity of the environment and global values for such resources, and as economic development and technological innovations change the structure and demands of indigenous communities for resources, governance must move to co‐management of the resources to best resolve disparate values and multiple uses of marine ecosystems and their services. Potential topics: evaluation of existing co‐management schemes for marine mammals or other consumptive use species; forecasting of expanding long term participatory citizen monitoring with spatial ecosystem assessment for Arctic resilience; formal channels for longitudinal knowledge of indigenous residents in aiding marine resource management and improved living conditions and capacity building for Arctic residents. sample question for this theme is: How do we deal with situations where the interests of commercial and subsistence users conflict? How well has the American system of community development quotas (CDQs) worked to alleviate this tension? In the case of CDQs, we can evaluate the effectiveness of an institutional innovation that has been in place for some time.
  • 3. Governance gaps in Arctic marine resource management: The 6 working groups of the Arctic Council (ACAP, AMAP, CAFF, EPPR, PAME and SDWG) all have specific mandates which in principle should cover the realm of issues requiring multilateral decision‐making. In some cases, however, certain concerns may fall into governance gaps outside of the Arctic Council entirely, between the working groups, or, in overlapping several groups, find themselves without dedicated resources or actionable governance plans. Research in this theme is intended to focus on identifying these gaps and the development of potential solutions to address them. Potential topics include governance options for dynamic responses to marine resource shifts (beyond migratory species), marine invasive species management, institutional Management of externalities to marine resources beyond the on Arctic Council and not included in existing regulatory programs (Polar Code, etc). How do we deal with situations in which marine pollution originates within the jurisdiction of one state but impacts areas within the jurisdictions of others (Arctic states or others) as transboundary pollution? Sample questions for this theme include: What happens when the relevant marine areas cut across the jurisdictional boundaries of two states or across the boundaries of the EEZs of coastal states and the high seas? Can we deal with potential fisheries in the Arctic Ocean without consulting key non‐Arctic states? The underlying issue here has to do with nesting a focused arrangement for a specific issue into the broader constitutive framework of UNCLOS
  • 4. Multi-scale, ecosystem-based, Arctic marine resource management: The complexities of the Arctic political, economic, and ecological environment mean that governance must accommodate multiple scales of use and concern. Rapid climate change – predicted to be more rapid and more influential in the Arctic than anywhere else on the planet – means that shifts in ecosystems and the resources they provide will require adaptive, ecosystem‐ based management to successfully navigate the uncertainty and change underway. Potential topics include: analytical tools for connecting bioeconomic integrated systems into adaptive management among Arctic sovereign for decisions and policymaking, incorporation of risk management into ecosystem based management, analysis of systematic differences in policies and outcomes associated with scale of policy implementation.


Discussion of the themes and sample questions of interest can be found in the extended call through Content: We intend to host up to 50 participants, with approximately 30 ½ hour presentations in addition to the keynotes. We bring together experts on marine resource management and the Arctic with the purpose of examining case-studies from the Nordic countries and to discuss continuing applicable research. We anticipate participation from academics, resource managers, Nordic and other Arctic policy makers and stakeholders to achieve maximum effectiveness and impact. Participation There is no conference fee. Acceptance is limited and will occur on a rolling basis, with a final deadline for abstract submission for presentation considerations of May 31, 2015. For consideration as a presenter, please submit a short abstract and title pertinent to the theme. For consideration as an attendee, please send a short note identifying your experience and interest in the topic. Presenters and attendees should expect to contribute to conference outputs, some of which may include publications and receive stipends (details to follow).

Deadline for enrolment is September 15, 2015. Please send your application by e-mail to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it News and questions Updated information about the conference can be found at the Arctic website under Workshops and Conferences. Questions?

Do not hesitate to contact Irene Nygaard at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it Contact: Department of Environmental and Business Economics, University of Southern Denmark Niels Bohrs Vej 9 – DK-6700 Esbjerg, Denmark Tel. +45 6550 1000 – E-mail This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it - Website:

Follow live The Economist: "The Arctic Summit" 2015
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Written by Federica   
Wednesday, 11 March 2015 18:12

Screen Shot 2015-03-11 at 18.41.52Still icy: Has investing in the Arctic been oversold?After the first edition in Oslo (2013), "A new vista for trade, energy and the environment", and second in London (2014), "New horizons for trade and economic development", also this year The Economist has organized a one-day-event on Arctic issues. The 2015 edition will be held again in Oslo and the discussion will focus on "Still icy: Has investing in the Arctic been oversold?". 

The ice might be melting but megaprojects planned in the Arctic are coming to a grinding halt due to dropping oil prices, rising tensions with Russia and America's new production capabilities. The icy 'last frontier' is expensive and hazardous for all industries and stakeholders are now weighing the return on their current and future investments. In addition indigenous groups and NGOs remain sceptical about the impact commercial activity will have on climate change, biodiversity and local communities.
In 2015, the Economist Events' Arctic Summit asks whether commercial interest in the Arctic is a bubble about to burst. Join senior level politicians, government bodies, NGOs, indigenous groups, intergovernmental organisations, and corporations from across the insurance, infrastructure, oil gas and mining, logistics, shipping, tourism and risk management industries for the Arctic Summit in Oslo to unpick the complexities of doing business in the High North.


The conference will start March 12th 2015, h.9:00 CET and it will be broadcasted live here. 


The programme of the conference is avalaible here.


(source: The Economist



Call for papers: Energy Security and Environmental Governance
Other News
Written by Federica   
Wednesday, 11 March 2015 08:48

Aarhus Matchpoint ConferenceAarhus Matchpoint Conference"Aarhus Matchpoint conference, Security and Governance in the Global Arctic: Nordic and International Perspectives", will be held in Aarhus next 12-13 November 2015.

The purpose of the conference is to provide a forum for policy-makers and academics to deliberate on how the security, resilience and sustainability of the globalized Arctic region and its peoples may be enhanced, and what instruments of governance may most suitably contribute. The conference will spell out (1) how the different relevant dimensions of security (military, economic, environmental, energy and human security) manifest themselves in the governing / governance arrangements in the Arctic; (2) how the challenges associated with each manifest themselves, individually and together; and (3) what forms of governing arrangements can best help to address the challenges. The conference will also focus on (4) how the Nordic countries and nations, including Greenland, the Faroe Islands and Aaland Islands, may contribute to the peace, stability and prosperity of the Arctic region through collaborative efforts based on their shared social, human, environmental and democratic values.

Ellen Margrethe Basse and Cécile Pelaudeix  on behalf of Arctic Research Centre, Aarhus University, are organizing the panel on "ENERGY SECURITY AND ENVIRONMENTAL GOVERNANCE".

A call is now open to submit papers (deadline 15 June 2015) on:

The increase in global energy demand, and the evolving politico-socio-economic contexts of Arctic countries are all factors (re) stimulating economic development in the energy sector: hydrocarbons resources (oil and gas), but also rare earth elements or uranium. Resource extraction is impacting the natural environment and the small-scale societies of the Arctic. National and regional governments therefore face crucial governance issues.

The session will in priority address the following questions:

- What is the rationale for the development of resource extraction in the various Arctic regions/states?

- How to compare the national environmental regulations in the Arctic related to energy resources extraction?

- How do national energy strategies accommodate regional and local needs?

- Which actors are involved in the setting of environmental standards and what are their relative powers?

- How does the EU contribute to the development of standards related to environmental protection?

- To what extent does international legal framework impact national regulations applicable in the Arctic? Conversely, to what extent local, regional and national regulations have an impact on international law?

- How to assess the evolution of public policies in the use of local renewable energy in Arctic communities?

Keynote speaker: Dr. Petra Dolata, Associate Professor, University of Calgary

The session welcomes contributions from political science, international relations, law and economics.

Open for 3 sessions.

Submit your paper to  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it e or Cécile Pelaudeix


More information here

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