Last week three researchers from the HuSArctic team attended this year’s edition of the “Calotte Academy.” The Calotte Academy is an annual traveling symposium and international forum in Europe’s North Calotte region, designed to promote interdisciplinary discourse and the interplay between senior and young researchers and to foster academic and policy-oriented dialog among members of the research community and post-graduate students as well as a wide range of other northern stakeholders. This year the Calotte Academy, which is organized by the UArctic/NRF Thematic Network on Geopolitics and Security, was themed “Resilience related to Sustainable Development in Globalization”, and took place in Rovaniemi, Inari (Finland), Kirkenes (Norway), and Murmansk (Russian Federation), from May 30th to June 5th.
Through the participation of Miguel Roncero, Laura Olsén, and Gerald Zojer, the HuSArctic research team was well presented. Miguel Roncero gave his presentation on “Sustainable Development, Resilience or Resource Fairness? A Pan-Arctic Approach for Sustainability” in the premises of the University of Lapland in Rovaniemi; Lauro Olsén gave a talk on “Indigenous peoples’ possibilities to influence on decision-making: case study of Finland” in the Sámi parliament building Sajos in Inari; and Gerald Zojer spoke about “The Arctic Council between global interests and regional development. A continuation of the prevailing economic order” at the Murmansk Arctic State University in the Russia Federation.
Due to the current strict border regulations at the northernmost borders between Finland and the Russian Federation, the Academy could not travel along the planned route, and thus had to skip the sessions at the Kola Science Center in Apatity. Consequently, the bilateral agreement between the Russian Federation and Finland, which, as Gerald says, “strongly contradicts the idea of the Barents Cooperation to make border crossings easier,” was a reoccurring topic during the week. Also a session by journalists, about freedom of press, as well as the participation and talks of policy makers, such as the mayor of the Inari municipality, or a representative of the regional Duma of the Murmansk region, added to the academic dialog. Beside having fruitful and enlightening discussions throughout the week, the HuSArctic researchers also reported that they have visited a couple of interesting sites, such as, for example, the surroundings of the nickel smelter in Nikel, which impressively visualizes environmental degradation from mining activities in the Arctic, the Litsa valley war monument, or the building of the Finnish Sámi parliament, in Inari.