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21.12.2015 14:18

Arctic meets in Paris

Lapland UAS representatives (students and staff) had a great possibility to participate in a global event in France - Arctic Encounter Paris 2015 (AEP).

The event took place from 10th December to 12th December, 2015 in a form of variety of events, where our students and staff were active participants as well as listeners of very interesting speeches related to the most urgent Arctic issues.

AEP took place on the final days of the monumental UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP21) in Paris, France and was an official side event of COP21. AEP was the only event of COP21 where Arctic policy and current Arctic issues became central topics.  AEP was organized by Kallander&Association (USA), they are also the founders of Arctic Encounter Symposium and French Polar Cluster (France). University of Washington´s School of Law and Lapland University of Applied Sciences were among main educational partners of the event.

AEP started on 10th December with the “Breaking the Ice” night, that took place in French Military Library. To our surprise we were able to find many interesting books and publication related to Arctic issues. The event was organized in partnership with the Center de Documentation de l´Ecole Militaire and the French School of War. “Ice breaking” was organized through short presentations by French Arctic and Antarctic explorers, followed by thematic workshops. “Is the Arctic Global Common?” - was the key theme of the event. This was a great possibility for experts and students to get to know various experts in the field and to establish new contacts during the evening.

Friday, December 11th was the core day for our students. It was a day of first Model Arctic Council MAC ever held outside the Arctic. All students that were representing Lapland UAS had their seat in MAC and each of them participated in actual simulation of Arctic Council ministerial meeting. Lapin AMK was represented by Roni Mäläskä, Denis Ivanov, Annett Pee, Nikita Litvinchik, An Tran, Linh Tran ( all business students, also representing our unit InnoBarentsLab), Ilona Miettunen and  Jenni Kuusela from ROTKO. Lapland UAS staff head of DP Kaisa Lammi, international development officer Irina Gerashchenko, IBL leader and lecturer Anzelika Krastina acted as experts. Our students worked together with 47 young leaders coming from 26 research and education institutions located across 14 countries, just to mention few of them such as University of Washington, University of Toronto, King´s College London, Yakut State University, University IEA Poitiers, Universite Paris Sud, Youth Arctic Coalision, National Inuit Youth Council and many other. MAC simulations took place in exceptionally remarkable venue of Eiffel Campus just few steps away from the Eiffel tower.


Model Arctic Council process. Denis Ivanov reports on behalf of Finland. (Picture by A.Krastina)

Model Arctic Council was a simulation of an actual case, which included all the procedures of the real Arctic Council meeting. The event started with welcome speeches by the organisers and hosts of the event. Out teacher Anzelika Krastina made a presentation about “our” Arctic – Barents Region and youth entrepreneurship in the circumstances of the Arctic conditions.  The rest of the day young people were working hard and as a result produced final declaration on given case that was supposed to be shared with actual COP21 delegates. The day continued with Arctic Think Tank night with many exceptional speakers and experts. Arctic security and defense was the core themes of the evening. Latest developments in military and security affairs were discussed among policy experts and participants.


MAC organisers and participants from all over the world. (Picture Annett Pée)

Saturday, December 12th was dedicated to the largest event of the AEP “Arctic Business and Policy Colloquium”. The location of the event was French Military Academy (École Militaire). It was an amazing event with exceptional concentration of Arctic knowledge in one place. Experts from entire circumpolar world and entire globe, indigenous people and simply interested people, all participants influenced a creation of very special vibe that had to do with general concern about the development in the Arctic. Set of panel discussions were extremely interesting and engaging. Among other the following themes in panels were discussed: Arctic Governance; Arctic Development: what´s in it for Greenland; Acting in the Arctic, learning from the Arctic; Arctic Youth and Innovations; Arctic Energy and Resources; Arctic Infrastructure and Tourism, Shipping and Polar Code. Among the panelists of Innovation and Youth panel, Anzelika Krastina was able to share the concern regarding the depopulation of European Arctic and as main reason for young people moving to the south was mentioned the lack of vision for opportunity in the north. The panelists discussed about the need for an actual act to encourage the youth to participate more actively in community and political life of the region.


Anzelika Krastina represents Lapland UAS in panel discussion “Innovation and Youth” (Picture Annett Pée)

As it was mentioned, every presentation and panel was extremely educational and interesting as well as generated lively discussions and it is not possible to describe all of them. It is certainly worth noticing remarkable speeches of former premier of Greenland, member of the Danish Parliament Hon Aleqa Hammond; Captain Laurent de Jerphanion, head of Strategy and Policy, French Navy Staff; video greetings by Admiral Robert J. Papp, Special Representaive for the Arctic, State Department, USA and especially Reggie Joule, Mayor, Northwest Arctic Borough, USA, an inspirational speech by an indigenous person, who reminded that the Arctic is first of all about its people!

Lots of new knowledge and passion about the Arctic – was the most inspirational things of the AEP in addition to establishment of new contacts and partnerships. What´s more important, this was a time and place to start joint cooperation with French Polar Cluster in delivering joint course on Arctic Business, which would be unique with no similar courses existing elsewhere.

Special thanks goes to main organisers of AEP and especially Mikå Mered (French Polar Cluster) for engaging Lapland UAS in this remarkable global event that gave us a unique possibility to share and to learn a lot about the Arctic.


Lapland UAS staff at Arctic Encounter Paris (Picture Annett Pée)


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