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Russian Deputy PM Dmitry Rogozin appointed head of state commission on Arctic development
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Written by Administrator   
Tuesday, 24 March 2015 08:07

Dmitry RogozinDmitry Rogozin - © ITAR-TASS/Mikhail Metzel The new body will help resolve social and economic tasks to develop the Russian Federation’s Arctic zone and ensure national security. 


MOSCOW, March 23. /TASS/. Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has signed a provision on the state commission on Arctic development issues and approved its composition, the Russian government reported on its website.

The commission will be led by Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin.

The establishment of the new body is called upon "to organize interaction of federal, regional bodies of executive power, local self-government bodies, other state bodies and organizations when resolving social and economic tasks to develop the Russian Federation’s Arctic zone and ensure national security," accompanying documents state.

The Russian president signed a decree on the state commission on Arctic development on February 3, 2015.


Polar Law: Applications open!
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Written by Federica   
Wednesday, 18 March 2015 00:00

UNAKThe University of Akureyri offers the following studies in Polar Law: a 120 ECTS programme leading to an MA degree; a 90 ECTS programme leading to a LLM degree; a 60 ECTS study at master level leading to a Graduate diploma; and individual courses in Polar law leading to a certificate. All courses in Polar Law are taught in English.

International cooperation
The University of Akureyri's established Polar Law masters programmes are now offered in cooperation with four other Universities within the West Nordic Studies, Governance and Sustainable Management interdisciplinary masters programme. Students from all the affiliated masters programmes will attend a joint first course, Introduction to Circumpolar Studies, in Akureyri in August 2015. Students continue their studies at their home institution but those following the West Nordic Studies study line will take at least one term's coursework from a partner university. In addition to the coursework, all students complete a substantial thesis.

Programme description
The programme provides a unique focus on Polar law. It comes about in a timely fashion, when climate changes are having a dramatic effect on the Arctic and Antarctic, when the opening of new shipping routes is becoming probable, when current and potential boundary disputes on land and sea remain unresolved, when issues and questions of national and local governance are moving forward on national and international agendas, and, last but not least, when multiple threats to the environment are sending serious danger-signals and calling for urgent measures. One of the interesting areas of study to which this program can contribute concerns possible lessons that the legal regime for Antarctica could provide for solutions in the Arctic.

Polar Law describes the legal regimes applicable to the Arctic and the Antarctic. It is interdisciplinary, placing emphasis on relevant areas of public international law and social sciences. Subject areas include: environmental law; the law of the sea; sovereignty issues and boundary disputes on land and sea; natural resources governance; the rights of indigenous peoples in the North; self-government and good governance; economic development; Arctic security and Arctic strategies; and land and resource claims in Polar regions.

Every effort is made to ensure that all courses in this programme are gender-sensitive.

Students who have not yet completed an introductory course in public international law do so during their first semester of study.

Courses are taught by Guðmundur Alfreðsson, Alyson Bailes, Tom Barry, Giorgio Baruchello, Kees Bastmeijer, Joan Nymand Larsen, Erik Franckx, Soffía Guðmundsdóttir, Lassi Heininen, Jón Haukur Ingimundarson, Julia Jabour, Rachael Lorna Johnstone, Joan Larsen, Peter Ørebech and other leading academics and practitioners in the field of Polar law.

New students are admitted into the program in odd-number years. The application process will next be activated in January 2015. The deadline for the submission of applications is April 1, 2015 for residents outside the EU/EEA. June 5, 2015 for EU/EEA residents.

The Faculty recognises the diversity of backgrounds of the Polar Law students and is keen to offer a flexible study environment in which students can make the most of their study opportunity at the University of Akureyri. For that reason, a student may be exempted from otherwise mandatory courses if s/he can demonstrate that s/he has satisfactory competence from previous study or occupation or will obtain such competence during the study period in an alternative course.

Where an exemption is granted, the student should seek an alternative course or courses with relevance to Polar Law, either within the University of Akureyri or from another university, and ensure that s/he at all times has adequate academic credits to fulfil the obligations of the study line.

All such requests must be sent to the Curriculum and Credit-transfer Committee which will assess each on its merits, taking particular account of the stated learning outcomes for the Polar Law study line in question and the skills and competences demonstrable by the applicant or to be acquired in an alternative course (e.g. from a previous academic transcript or a current course description). In no case may the Curriculum and Credit-transfer Committee endorse such a change if the result would be that any learning outcome for the study line would not be achieved.

More info here

Application Form here





Arctic Workshop of the University of Tartu: Work in the Arctic
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Written by Federica   
Sunday, 15 March 2015 10:12

Logo of the University of Tartu Logo of the University of Tartu (source: wikipedia) "Arctic workshop of the University of Tartu: Work in the Arctic" that will take place on 29 and 30 May, 2015 at the Department of Ethnology, University of Tartu, Estonia. 

Life in the Arctic is often depicted as a place where people fight for survival, struggling with the harsh climate, long distances and the limited choice of consumables. Simultaneously, the Arctic is a resource frontier where circumpolar countries develop extraction industries by constructing or maintaining large-scale infrastructure with settlements. A narrative of heroic work under hard conditions is part of the image of life in the Arctic, exploited enthusiastically both by people who live in the region and outside of it. Sometimes the gains of that struggle are measured in high northern wages, sometimes hard work in the Arctic proves the extraordinary toughness of "Northerners", sometimes modern industry is presented as a symbol of progress.

This workshop will focus on different aspects and interpretations of work in the Arctic. Our goal is to assemble a truly interdisciplinary collection of presentations that will focus upon the cultural and social side of working in the Arctic, contributing to a better understanding of the economic, political or ecological aspects in general. Therefore, we encourage participation not only from anthropologists but also from economists, political scientists, historians, human geographers, biologists and others. The informal nature of the workshop is suited not only for senior scholars discussing their research results but also for PhD students.


More info here


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
Other News
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. 

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