HuSArctic kick-off meeting was followed next day by guest lectures on Human Security and Societal Sustainability. This time the seminar took place in the Thule meeting room in the upper floor of the Arctic Centre.
Tuesday morning, April 14th 2015, as the venue was being filled, not only by project participants and guest lecturers but also by numerous members of the Arctic Centre’s research groups and public, it soon became obvious that some additional chairs will be needed.
The half-day seminar was opened with welcoming words by Dr. Kamrul Hossain, principal investigator of the HuSArctic Project.
The first lecture was delivered by Dr. Laura Siragusa, a researcher from The School of Social Science at the University of Aberdeen, UK. The lecture “Secrecy: For and against Language Sustainability” provided interesting information about her research of Vepsian language. Vepsians (or Veps) are a very small Finno-Ugric minority living in Karelia, situated in North West Russia and their language is classified as seriously endangered by UNESCO. Dr. Siragusa’s presentation, which also combined number of stories and experiences from her research in Karelia, provided very insightful information about the current situation of Vepsian minority in Karelia.
Second lecture was presented by Dr. Aileen A. Espiritu, a researcher from the Barents Institute at the University of Tromsø, Norway. Dr. Espiritu, in her very interesting lecture “Futuring the Arctic: voice and rights in local communities”, talked about both the current and upcoming challenges facing the Arctic region, with the emphasis on mono-industry towns and the impact of industrialization in the area of northern Fenno-Scandinavia.
Next lecture “Arctic Security, Human Insecurity: Findings from Northern Canada” was presented by Wilfrid Greaves, a Ph.D. candidate from the Department of Political Science at the University of Toronto, Canada. His lecture provided a comprehensive and detailed analysis of how “in/security” in the Arctic is understood by Inuits, the indigenous peoples of Canadian North, explaining his findings also in a historical perspective.
Dr. Vigya Sharma in her lecture: “Developing a transdisciplinary framework to address Mongolia’s sustainability challenges” talked about how the traditional livelihoods in Mongolia are affected by climate change and mining industry. Dr. Sharma is a researcher in from the Sustainable Minerals Institute at the University of Queensland.
The final lecture was “Human Security and the Sámi (The Dangers of Securitization)” presented by Prof. Michael Sheehan, Professor of International Relations at Swansea University. Prof. Sheehan’s lecture provided very insightful information about the Human and Societal Security with the relevance to the Arctic.
The half-day seminar had many interesting lectures addressing the Human Security and Societal Security from different angles, which created a very productive atmosphere. The amount of questions following each lecture, triggered many interesting debates and ideas.