Models for sustainable development from Arctic cooperation
Finland will raise cooperation in the Arctic region to the fore at the annual UN High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development 2018. Sustainable solutions are needed to resolve both social, economic and environmental questions.
The Arctic nature and communities suffer from rapid changes caused by climate change and globalization – phenomena with geographical origins far from the polar regions. What happens to the Arctic nature and glaciers has a fundamental impact on the future of the globe as a whole.
Finland will host a side event at the follow-up and review forum of the 2030 Agenda, currently being held in New York. The side event will focus on the accelerating climate dependency between the north and the south, and on the two decades of work by the Arctic Council to the benefit of sustainable development. Finland holds the Chairmanship of the Arctic Council in 2017–2019.
The Arctic Council is an intergovernmental forum of governments, indigenous peoples and observer organisations. In addition to environmental questions, the Council discusses, for example, the position and fate of different languages, social questions, communities' preparedness for crises, and economic cooperation opportunities.
"Combining sustainable economy and the environment poses a particularly serious challenge for the fragile Arctic regions. At the same time, however, sustainable innovations can open up economic and social opportunities for companies and consumers. Successful solutions that reduce inequality, reached in the Arctic region, could serve as models for sustainable development in other parts of the world, too," says Pekka Shemeikka, Finnish chair of the Sustainable Development Working Group of the Arctic Council (SDWG).
Minister of the Environment, Energy and Housing of Finland Kimmo Tiilikainen will host the side event. Other Arctic countries and indigenous peoples, including the Sami Council, will attend the event.
The priorities of Finland's Arctic Chairmanship are education, meteorological cooperation, environmental protection, and connectivity. To promote them, cooperation is conducted with for instance the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), the International Maritime Organisation (IMO), and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).
More information about the side event on the website of the Arctic Council.