October 12, Moscow. The international conference International Cooperation in the Arctic: New Challenges and Vectors of Development, organized by the Russian International Affairs Council (RIAC) with the support of the Russian Foreign Ministry has started. The conference will take place from 12 till 13 October 2016.
“In order to discuss a number of major issues of cooperation in the region the Russian Council on International Affairs with the support of the Government Office of Russia and the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs is holding a conference entitled ” International cooperation in the Arctic: New Challenges and vectors of development ” on October 12-13, – the organizers reported.
The progress on the project is considerable. EALLU is managed by ICR and WRH, with co-leads Canada, Denmark/Greenland, Norway, Russia, USA, the Aleut International Association and the Saami Council. EALLU runs up to 2019, but already 26 different activities such as community workshops, seminars and events have been held, in a huge variety of locations, including Inuvik, Nome, Kautokeino, Inari, Copenhagen, St Petersburg, Moscow, Uryung-Khaya, Chersky, Topolinoe, Yakutsk, Genhe (China) and Tereli in Mongolia, to name but a few.
As part of the reindeer meat seminar being held in the Embassy of Norway (see here for details) and tomorrows celebrations of Norway’s national day (Syttende mai) a short film has been made outlining the Arctic Council EALLU project and the course (“Conservation of Biodiversity in an Indigenous Perspective”), held under the EALLU project recently in Kautokeino, Norway.
In a few short years the Arctic Circle assembly, held annually in Iceland’s capital has grown to become the largest Arctic related gathering, and is now attended by more than 1500 participants from close to 50 countries. The Assembly is held every October at the Harpa Conference Center and Conference Hall in Reykjavík, Iceland and has just wrapped up. In addition, the Arctic Circle organizes smaller forums on specific subjects, such as the 2015 forums in Alaska and Singapore, and the 2016 forums in Québec and Greenland. This year was no exception and even featured a keynote by President Hollande of France who noted the critical importance of action on climate change in advance of COP 21 in Paris, next month. Watch videos of the keynote presentations here and see photos here.
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Norway’s State Secretary and Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Tore Hattrem was in attendance and said Norway has stepped up its climate diplomacy over the last year and noted “Climate change affects everything. It can change food production globally, and in the end also affect security policy”
ICR Director Anders Oskal is on the Advisory Board of the Assembly and spoke at two sessions – one on Arctic Research and the other on Business and Cultural Development in the North where he was joined by Mikhail Pogodaev, who is currently the acting chair of the Northern Forum. In total ICR delivered 7 speeches and hosted 2 outbreak sessions in cooperation with the Northern Forum, IASSA, IASC, UArctic and business leaders.
The ICR/ WRH team are travelling onwards to the Arctic Council Senior Arctic Officials meeting, the first under the US chairmanship which gets underway in Anchorage tomorrow.
The Arctic Energy Summit gets underway today in Fairbanks, Alaska and the Director of the International Centre for Reindeer Husbandry is one of the plenary speakers under the theme of ‘Understanding Commmunity Perspectives’. The Summit is a multi-disciplinary event expected to draw several hundred industry officials, scientists, academics, policy makers, energy professionals and community leaders together to collaborate and share leading approaches on Arctic energy issues – no doubt Shell’s recent bombshell announcement will be top of mind!
At the end of the week, Oskal will be attending the first Arctic Council SDWG meeting under the U.S. chairmanship which also takes place in Fairbanks. Oskal is travelling with Johan Mathis Turi, Secretary General of the Association of World Reindeer Herders and they will also be meeting with representatives of the Kawerak Reindeer Herders’ Association.
Last week the 9th Arctic Council Ministerial Meeeting wrapped up in the city of Iqaluit, the territorial capital of Nunavut, Canada. This meeting marked the conclusion of Canadian Chairmanship and set the main objectives for the next two years of the USA Chairmanship. This meeting will bring together ministers of the Arctic States and high-level representatives of the indigenous Permanent Participant organizations.
The Association of World Reindeer Herders delegation (which included ICR Director Anders Oskal, WRH Chair Mikhail Pogodaev and ICR project coordinator Alena Gerasimova, WRH is an accredited Observer to the Arctic Council) was present for the meeting to deliver the final report and executive summary of the EALLIN project on reindeer herding youth.
At the meeting the ministers signed the Iqaluit declaration, which highlights the achievements of the Arctic Council during Canadian chairmanship (2013-2015) and defines the main directions of the Council for the US Chairmanship (2015-2017).
“It is with great pride that we signed the Iqaluit Declaration here in Canada’s North,” said the Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, Canada’s Minister and Chair for the Arctic Council. “Canada has put Northerners at the forefront of the Arctic Council’s agenda, and we will continue working to ensure that the Council’s work benefits the people who live there.”
Once again, as in Kiruna in 2013, Secretary John Kerry underlined the importance of indigenous peoples’ role of shaping decisions in the Arctic Council:
“…This underlines the US commitment to collaborate closely with Arctic indigenous peoples in their Chairmanship, as they indeed do with their co-leadership of our new Arctic Council project on food”, says Anders Oskal, Executive Director of ICR and project lead of the new Arctic Council EALLU Project. “This is key as Arctic change and globalization are now taking an ever stronger hold of the circumpolar reindeer herding areas”, he concludes.
PRESS RELEASE ON THE OCCASION OF THE ARCTIC COUNCIL MINISTERIAL (Download as a PDF) April 24, 2015: Iqaluit, Canada
Reindeer Herding Youth Take Action on Arctic Change
Young Reindeer Herders Deliver Strong Message to Arctic Foreign Ministers at the 9th Arctic Council Ministerial in Canada
“For us, the reindeer is everything. If we lose the reindeer we lose our language, our culture, our traditions and the knowledge to move in the nature.”
[Participant at the EALLIN workshop in Jokkmokk, 2013]
A unique project called EALLIN involving reindeer herding youth from Russia, Finland, Sweden and Norway has delivered a 120-page report, executive summary and recommendations to the Artic Council Ministerial meeting in Canada today. More than 160 indigenous youth from multiple regions in Russia, Mongolia, Finland, Sweden and Norway participated in 12 community based workskops over four years. “EALLIN” means ‘life’ in the Sami language and the project was backed by Norway, the Russian Federation and the Saami Council. EALLIN calls attention to the serious challenges faced by young reindeer herders, such as mental health, a lack of appropriate education and a lack of participation in local community development.
Reindeer herding youth are the future of reindeer herding, and the strong message from engaged youth was that they wanted to continue herding reindeer, as it ‘a good life’. However, there are many issues and challenges that are making life ‘not so good’ everywhere where reindeer are herded. EALLIN brought young reindeer herders of the taiga and tundra together to bring their voices to the Arctic Council. Reindeer herdings youth in the Circumpolar North are on the frontlines of monitoring the rapid ongoing changes in the Arctic, therefore, their knowledge and skills are key for their future existence in their home pastures and territories.
“Our peoples are undergoing dramatic and historical changes in our homelands, changes that we have never seen in the millenia-old histories of the reindeer herding peoples of the north” states Arctic Council EALLIN Project Lead Dr Mikhail Pogodaev, the Executive Chair of Association of World Reindeer Herders (WRH).
“We know enough about the changes to act”, concludes Anders Oskal, Project Co-Lead and Co-Author of the IPCC 5th Report. “We don’t need more assessments to understand, basically, we have to do things differently now if these societies and cultures are to survive and thrive under the Arctic boom – and bust”. And doing things differently is exactly what the EALLIN report calls for.
Delivered to Arctic Council: “Youth – The Future of Reindeer Herding Peoples – Executive Summary” and “Youth – The Future of Reindeer Herding Peoples”, Full Project Report 120 pages,
(Pic: Arctic Council) Some excellent news from the Arctic Council Senior Arctic Officials which was the fourth and final meeting during Canada’s Chairmanship of the Arctic Council, in Whitehorse, Yukon. At this meeting, the EALLIN full report and Executive Summary were approved for delivery to the April 24-25, 2015 Iqaluit Ministerial.
In especially exciting news for the future, the EALLU project has been formally endorsed. The working title is EALLU: Arctic Indigenous Youth, Climate Change and Food Culture. The project is to be lead by Norway, Russia and the Saami Council. The project leader will be ICR Director Anders Oskal and co leaders include Mikhail Pogodaev, Exec. Chair of WRH, Mr. Tom Grey, President of Kawerak Reindeer Herders’ Association, Alaska and many others. EALLU will run four years and carry into the next chairmanship of the Arctic Council which is the U.S.
The societal goal of EALLU is to maintain and further develop a sustainable and resilient reindeer husbandry in the Arctic in face of climate change and globalisation, working towards a vision of creating a better life for circumpolar reindeer herders. EALLU is a Sami word, central to the concept of reindeer husbandry, and means ‘herd’. EALLU will build on the previous Arctic Council SDWG projects EALAT Information and EALLIN coordinated by the ICR and WRH which have done so much to bring reindeer herders voices’ to such a high level and engaged and energized scores of young reindeer herders from across the Arctic.
The 11th Conference of Parliamentarians of the Arctic Region was hosted by the Canadian parliament in Whitehorse 9-11 September 2014 and the text is a strong expression of support for indigenous peoples in the Arctic and that their traditional livelihoods need support while recognizing that the Arctic is a developing region, industrially.
Permanent Participants drafted their statement of principles which are in discussion at the session today. This statement currently contains 11 principals on the Traditional knowledge and its use in the Arctic Council.This document will first be considered by the Sustainable Development working group and then will be addressed to a higher level of the Arctic Council process. “Practical tool for declaration came out of the workshop, a document highlighting the challenges and solutions of engagement of TK holders, importance of youth, elders and both genders…”
January 30, EALLIN workshop started in Umeå, Sweden. The workshop for reindeer herding youth was held in connection with the opening of the cultural capital city of Umeå 2014, and it going last from 30/01 till 01/02. Young reindeer herders met with Mikhail Pogodaev, Chair of the Board of the Association of World Reindeer Herders, Johan Mathis Turi, General Secretary of the Association of World Reindeer Herder and others, to discuss current situation and future of reindeer husbandry, to share and exchange experience and knowledge, to make recommendations in order to bring their voice to the Arctic Council.
The Canadian chairmanship of the Arctic Council got under way this week in Yukon Convention Centre, in Whitehorse. The Association of World Reindeer Herders (WRH) is an Observer to the Arctic Council. WRH is being represented at this years Arctic Council Sustainable Development Working Group and Senior Arctic Officials meeting (the y run concurrently) by International Centre for Reindeer Husbandry Director Anders Oskal.
Oskal had the opportunity to meet on a one on one basis with the Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of the Environment, Minister of the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency and Minister for the Arctic Council.
Aglukkaq was elected to the Canadian House of Commons as a Conservative in the 2008 Canadian federal election for the riding of Nunavut and is the first Inuk in Canadian history to be appointed to the Cabinet of Canada.
Oskal took the opportunity to discuss the role of WRH in the Arctic Council, and more specifically various initiatives regarding indigenous peoples and traditional knowledge.
Late last year a workshop was organised by the International Centre for Reindeer Husbandry and the Stockholm Resilience Centre to further the work being undertaken in the Arctic Council Arctic Resilience Report. The Arctic Resilience Report is a science-based assessment that aims to better understand the integrated impacts of change in the Arctic. Its goals are to:
• Identify the potential for shocks and large shifts in ecosystems services that affect human well-being in the Arctic.
• Analyze how different drivers of change interact in ways that affect the ability of ecosystems and human populations to withstand shocks, adapt or transform.
• Evaluate strategies for governments and communities to adapt.
At the recent Arctic Council Ministerial meeting in Kiruna, Sweden, the SDWG EALLIN project was presented to the Ministers by a young Sami woman, Elena Walkeapaa who spoke directly to Ministers about the challenges facing reindeer herding youth today.
Also presented to the meeting participants was this brochure which outlines the scope and goals of the SDWG EALLIN project. View/Download/Print this brochure here.
The Arctic Council met in Kiruna last week and the meeting signalled the passing of the Chair from Sweden to Canada. Much media coverage was given over to the issue of new observers to the Council (China was accepted as Observer after 10 years of trying, also India, Italy, Japan, Singapore and South Korea). China now can participate at the same level as…the Association of World Reindeer Herders (!) which is also an Observer to the Arctic Council. Membership of the Council has been a valuable and important tool for bringing the concerns and challenges of reindeer herders to the highest levels of government around the Arctic (see EALAT Information). The importance of Observer status to WRH will likely increase over time as the Arctic grows rapidly in strategic and resource importance.
Representatives of the indigenous Saami people told Xinhua on Tuesday that they were actively adapting, with “the best knowledge available”, to challenges posed by the changing environment in the Arctic region.
According to the Saami delegation participating the Arctic Council Working Group presentations here in Kiruna, the northernmost Swedish city within the Arctic circle, they were trying to learn the best knowledge and to cope with the challenges, particularly the changing situations for reindeer herding, typical means of the group’s livelihood.
“There were needs, of course, minerals, copper and perhaps cellphones, but one thing we can say for certain is that, the world that people also need food (reindeer products)”, said Anders Oskal, a Norwegian Saami, also director of the International Centre for Reindeer Husbandry, voicing awareness been raised to the livelihood of his people just before the Eighth Ministerial Meeting of the Arctic Council.
Mikhail Pogodaev and Johan Mathis Turi (WRH) and Anders Oskal and Svein Mathiesen (ICR) were in attendance at the Arctic Changes – Global Effects Arctic Environment meeting that was held in Jukkasjarvi, Sweden Feb 5-6. The meeting was attended by ministers and high level representatives from Canada, Denmark/ The Faroe Islands, Finland, Iceland, Norway, The Russian Federation, Sweden and the United States of America. They were joined by Arctic Council Permanent Participants representing the Sami Council and the Inuit Circumpolar Council, as well as other interested countries and organisations. Inuit Circumpolar Council, as well as Arctic Council observers from countries and organisations. Download the Arctic Environment Ministers Chairs conclusions here.