The future of Governance and handling Vulnerability in Arctic Ecosystems

IASS researchers Kathrin Stephen (left) and Vilena Valeeva. Photo by Rolf Schulten.

The session on this theme at 13.00 – 14.30 on Wednesday, was very interesting. I especially liked that all of the participants presented a concrete strategy for governance of marine ecosystems, or methods to engage young people and stakeholders to imagine future scenarios in the Arctic.

First out was Dorothy Dankel from the University of Bergen. She introduced a new concept called “The Melting Snowball Effect”. The point is that youth can contribute to create new future narratives for the Arctic, specifically Svalbard. In this way they can get deeper understanding of how the warming climate effects the ecosystem services and international governance regimes for Svalbard. Personally, I think it is a great project because it creates awareness and can give motivation to find solutions for future challenges. Vilena Valeeva representing IASS in Potsdam, also presented their research on developing scenarios as a tool for adapting to changes in the Arctic. The case study was conducted in Yamal, Russia. The goal of the workshops was to improve the stakeholders capacity for adapting effectively to multiple changes the Russian Arctic year 2040.

The Norwegian Coastal Administration also impressed me with their tool for environmental governance. Øyvind Rinaldo wanted us to imagine a map for coastal areas with information about environmental risks and influencing factors, like boat traffic, biodiversity and status of species. A similar method was the frame for the last presentation by Vassily Spiridonov. The study is a collaboration of many scientist and institutions, and was supported by WWF Russia. Personally, I found this the most important project of the four, which is called; “From conservation priority areas to marine spatial planning in the Pechora Sea”. Spiridonov talked about it in an understandable manner and engaged the audience.

My overall experience is that the projects and research in the event, help stakeholders and governments to reflect on how we got to where we are, as well as how we should act further!

By Frida Omma Jørgensen, Masters, Norwegian University of Life Sciences





DISCLAIMER: These posts are contributions from participants in Arctic Frontiers Young Ambassadors program and do not necessarily reflect the views of Arctic Frontiers.

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