Resilient Arctic societies and industrial development - Economic Development and the Growth of Cities


  • 15:00 KEYNOTE: Alternative Arctic Economies
    Authors: Thierry Rodon ( Université Laval )

    The Arctic is seen as a periphery and mostly portrayed as a resource region.  As a result of climate change, it has become a new frontier for resource development, from mining and oil and gas extraction to commercial fisheries.  In this keynote, I would like to emphasize the need to change this narrative.  The Arctic is not only a resource rich hinterland; it is the homeland to indigenous and non-indigenous communities that benefit only marginally if not at all from big resource development projects.  However, through a mix of creative and traditional economies, Arctic people and communities attempt to elaborate their own models of economic development.

  • 15:30 The Arctic resource curse: Approaches to interpretation
    Authors: Daria Gritsenko ( University of Helsinki ); Elena Efimova ( St. Petersburg State University )

    Concerns about a resource curse in Arctic regions have been raised in response to rapid growth in the extractive industries in the circumpolar North. Yet, the contemporary resource curse debate that examines the linkages between resource extraction and socio-economic development is largely focusing at the national level. This paper gives consideration to how symptoms of the resource curse are experienced at a regional scale, among others, by Indigenous communities. Our data covers seven regions of the Russian Arctic: Murmansk Oblast’, Nenetskiy AO, Komi Republic, Yamalo-Nenetskiy AO, Krasnoyarsk Krai, Sakha Republic (Yakutia), and Chukotskiy AO. We empirically examine the four main interpretations of resource curse, including 'Dutch disease', (negative) correlation with economic growth, 'staples trap', and political rent-seeking, and assess their applicability at the level of an extractive Arctic region. First, we show that the “Dutch disease” type of argument, which highlights the roles of state-level institutions (resource ownership, exchange rate, industrial policy), can only be made at the national level. Second, we apply correlation analysis and find no evidence of systematic negative association between economic growth and the added value of production in extractive industries. Third, we compare the regions in terms of their economic diversification and per capita GRP and find that more specialised regions enjoy higher economic performance. Fourth, we demonstrate that due to the Russian federal taxation regime resource rents do not stay within the extractive regions, promting their governments to rely on regional taxation rather then rents. Finally, we explore the relationship between a range of indicators of socio-economic development and resource extraction in these seven regions and conclude that while regions vary in the patterns of their socio-economic development, we cannot attribute these differences to growth in extractive industries.

  • 15:45 The NPA project URCHIN -- Utilising the Arctic sea urchin resource
    Authors: Philip James ( Nofima )

    Nofima are the lead partner in the three year URCHIN project, funded by the Northern Periphery and Arctic Program  (NPA). The project aims to utilise the sea urchin resource present in the northern arctic regions and develop the sea urchin industry in Norway, Greenland, Ireland and Iceland. Each of these countries have quite specific challenges regarding sea urchin fisheries. Therefore, the project is diverse and addresses a number of challenges experienced in isolated and environmentally harsh and challenging areas in the Northern and Arctic region.

    The project research areas include the following. The development of fishing techniques appropriate for the arctic regions. Implementation of fisheries management and legislation, including suitable methods of stock assessment, to enable sustainable fishing in arctic areas. The use of roe enhancement as a means of utilizing urchins from Artcic areas that are present in very high numbers (urchin barrens) but are too low quality to fish commercially. The ecological benefits of roe enhancement have been investigated in a complimentary project ECOURCHIN. Storage and transport of sea urchins in arctic areas is problematic and has been an area of research in the URCHIN project. Finally, market value and placement is crucial in order to develop new, or to expand existing industries. How sea urchins products from the Arctic area fit into existing, or new markets has been investigated.

    The URCHIN project has created a platform for the development/expansion of sea urchin fisheries in the NPA area and has had a positive impact on small business and local communities in remote areas of the Northern Periphery. This talk describes how the sea urchins industry looked in the NPA area prior to the URCHIN project. How it will look at the conclusion of the project (April 2018) and some examples of the economic and social impact the project has had in the NPA area.

  • 16:00 Socio-economic implications of energy subsidies removal in the Russian Arctic (the Sakha Republic case study)
    Authors: Mariia Iakovleva ( University of Saskatchewan )

    In the proliferous environment of the Arctic these days, fuel dependency remains one of the vital problems based on complex transport systems and remoteness of communities in the North. This problem leads to a large economic burden not only on the state budget but on industries. The feasible solution is seen in the deployment of renewable energy technologies that have had a noticeable update in the last half-decade. However, this has been in a context of the policy of energy subsidies, namely cross-subsidization - an approach of price equalization between industrial and residential consumers for on- and off-grid communities - in the Russian Far East. In recent years, the volume of cross-subsidies has significantly grown and become a very serious problem in Russia. In 2016, the amount of cross-subsidization in the Sakha Republic/Yakutia, the largest federal entity of Russia, was equal to 6.8 billion RUB (118 million USD). Cross-subsidization in Yakutia exists since almost half of the territory is above the Arctic circle with 125 diesel stations united into regional islanded microgrids (ITAR TASS Far East, 2016). Preservation of the mechanism of cross-subsidization has led to distortions in the economy, non-compliance with the basic principles of pricing in the electricity industry. At the regional level, cross-subsidies lead to a shortfall of financial assistance from the federal budget. At the municipal level, there is a distorted formation of power generation costs which leads to the wasteful and inefficient use of energy resources (Elyakova & Elyakov, 2015).

    However, according to a decree of the President of Russia (2016), cross-subsidization of the diesel generated energy is to be consistently phased-out in the Sakha Republic within ten years. Thus, this raises an important question: what are the socio-economic implications of the phasing-out of cross-subsidies?

    Removal of cross-subsidies is particularly important for economic stability, which is aggravated by the threat of social insecurity due to the absence of economically effective competition in the energy industry in the Far East. At the same time, cross-subsidization of the residential consumers adversely affects the competitiveness of a number of branches of Russian industries. Cross-subsidization creates incentives for large-scale industrial consumers (diamond, gold, oil companies Yakutia economy based on), to invest in creating self-generation or joining the national grid by opting-out from the regional grid. Therefore, it is essential to research and expose the implications of energy subsidies removal for the society and industries based on national, regional, and municipal policies.

  • 16:15 Magnetic North: Resilience in the Changing Urban Arctic
    Authors: Mara Kimmel ( University of Alaska Anchorage ); Julie Decker ( Anchorage Museum )

    This paper examines how northern cities integrate newcomers to build environmental, social and economic resilience. It focuses on the efforts underway in Anchorage Alaska to embed values of equity, inclusivity and justice into a resilience framework.  Anchorage is the most ethnically diverse city in the United States, and foreign born Alaskans contribute greatly to the city's and state's economy.  Yet many immigrants, refugees and rural Alaskans remain at the margins of the city's social and economic life.  Anchorage leaders are currently constructing a data driven policy framework focusing on building the capacity of that city to address environmental, economic and cultural change through partnerships between local government, universities, the business community and the city's museum.  The city's effort is multi-disciplinary, including migration law and policy, economics, political science, climate science, social and environmental justice, and urban design theory and practice. This presentation examines these efforts with an eye toward assessing the applicability of this model to other urban centers in the circumpolar north.  

  • 16:30 Arctic urbanisation: how does it possible?
    Authors: Nadezhda Zamyatina ( Lomonosov Moscow State University ); Ruslan Goncharov ( National Research University Higher school of economics )

    Arctic urbanization became one of the popular researching frontiers. Arctic human development report showes that  the majority of the Arctic territories of the world (except the Faroe Islands, Nunavut and Northwest territories of Canada) have more than ¾ of urban population.

    The literature review  showes us by the way that the main socio-economic condition of Arctcic settlemets development is the condition of remoteness (Huskey, Berman etc.). Remoteness hinders the agglomeration effect and other advantages of urban development.

    So the phenomenon of Arctic urbanization poses three puzzels for us: 1) is Arctic urban population really increase so fast as it seemed, 2) are Arctic cities "real" cities comparable to non-Arctic analogues, and 3) what are the mechanisms of urban resilience in Arctic conditions. Re-evaluation of the degree of Arctic urbanization using the same criteria for different countries  showers that the current estimations of Arctic urbanization are over-stated. Nevertheless Arctic urbanization is an established phenomenon. Within Russia the Arctic paradoxically is the most urban part of the country (at the beginning of 2016 89% of the Arctic zone of the Russia population live in urban areas). We attempted to compere the Arctic and non-Arctic cities of Russia surching differences in specialisation, the level of amenities etc. using official statistical data. The findings is that there are no statistically significant differences in the structure of employment or amenities but there are great difference in the level of mobility of Arctic urban population. We suggest the high level of mobility as the main factor of Arctic urban resilience. It could be the base for knowledge spill-over and thus the base of innovative process which is the core process of urban development. The high level of mobility and temporal proximity (Torre et all) compensate the absence of agglomeration effect and other negative factors of development of Arctic cities derived from the conditions of remoteness.

Science Science

Tuesday 23rd January 2018

15:00 - 16:45

Scandic Ishavshotel Ishavet 2

Add to Calendar 2018-01-23 15:00 2018-01-23 16:45 Europe/Oslo Resilient Arctic societies and industrial development - Economic Development and the Growth of Cities Scandic Ishavshotel Ishavet 2

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