Youth, migration and small communities facing large industries as Nordregio's topics in ICASS IX

One of the largest scientific Arctic seminars in the Nordic, ICASS, takes place in Umeå 8-12 June, and Nordregio is presenting in several sessions. Nordregio's highlight lands on Saturday 10 June, when we draw all the recent Arctic studies together and challenge the participants to join the side-event Maps Mingle!  Arcum (Arctic Research Centre), Sámi dutkan (Language studies) and Vaartoe (Centre for Sami Research) at Umeå University are hosting the ninth International Congress of Arctic Social Sciences (ICASS IX) organized by the International Arctic Social Sciences Association (IASSA). Theme this year is “People & Place”.

8 June, Newcomers to the North: International Migration into the Arctic

(Session: Mobile Working Arrangements in the Arctic and elsewhere 11.30-16.00)

Timothy Heleniak, Senior Research Fellow,  Nordregio

With “globalization”, there has been increased international migration into the Arctic, though there has not been a lot of systematic data and study of these flows. Lack of knowledge of these “new comers” and their impact was cited as one area in need of further research in the recent Arctic Human Development Report. This paper quantifies the number of international migrants and several key characteristics of these “newcomers” such as their role in labor markets and societies. Data will be analyzed on the total number of international migrants, countries of origin, gender, age, level of education, and occupation or sector. The paper begins with a discussion of migration theory and the Arctic economy. This is followed by a discussion of data available for analyzing international migration in the Arctic. Analysis of both stocks and flows in international migration make up the bulk of the paper.

>> Read more about migration and labour market study

11 June, Resource Development & Extractive Industries (13.30-15.00)

Leneisja Jungsberg, Research Fellow, Nordregio

Capacity building and strategic management of resource based industries in the Nordic Arctic 

The role of the local authorities is crucial in managing large scale industries in peripheral areas in the Nordic Arctic. Seen from a territorial perspective there are three main challenges it is necessary for the local authorities to be aware of; 1) sparsity, remoteness and negative demographic structure, trends 2) risks of land use conflicts and negative social impacts 3) to retain economic benefits of the large scale industries locally. As part of the Northern Periphery and Arctic programme funded by the European Union six municipalities have committed to work with these challenges. The purpose is to build local capacity by increasing the level of knowledge which can be used as input for strategic decision making to manage large scale activities extracting natural resources.

This paper presents main findings of empirical data gathered in cooperation between researchers and practitioners.  These are local stakeholder input, results from surveys monitoring social impact and SWOT assessments focusing on local retention of economic benefits. The use of these results is utilised as part of developing a strategic framework by the local authorities to increase the preparedness for social and environmental management for exploitation of natural resources by large scale industries. The local strategy comprises of seven steps each leading towards the end goal of policy implementation and support of how local authorities tackle e.g. youth out-migration and a gender segregated labour market, land-use conflicts and a greener economic growth.

>> Read more about REGINA project

12 June, Why should the youth in the Nordic Arctic be considered in regional development strategies? 

(Session: Arctic Youth and Sustainable Futures 10.30-12.00)

Anna Karsldottir, Senior Research Fellow, Nordregio

In 2013, the Nordic Working Group on Sustainable Development in the Arctic initiated a foresight analysis to assess opportunities and challenges for sustainable regional development in the Nordic Arctic and identify future development perspectives. Foresight analysis is a facilitated, participative process for systematically obtaining relevant knowledge and visions for the medium- to long-term future, which is aimed at improving current policymaking and mobilizing joint actions. One considerable part of the work was focusing on youth in the various regions of the Nordic Arctic and their future perspectives. Established policies on regional development or national or regional strategies do rarely include the youth perspective into their visions. This in spite that in some of the countries involved both national and regional youth strategies exists. This presentation will refer to the special analysis on youth and what perspectives they hold compared with emphasis and content of existing regional youth strategies in the Nordic countries. We will discuss how Young people in the Nordic Arctic hold visions that might have important regional implications in the Nordic Arctic.

>>Read more about the Arctic working group and Arctic collaboration programme

Read more about ICASS IX