New research project: JUSTNORTH

New research project: JUSTNORTH  – Toward Just, Ethical and Sustainable Arctic Economies, Environments and Societies
Researchers at the Stefansson Arctic institute have been successful in securing EU funding with a consortium of 15 partners for a project on Arctic sustainable development. The project is JUSTNORTH  – Toward Just, Ethical and Sustainable Arctic Economies, Environments and Societies. JUSTNORTH has been awarded €6 million in funding through a grant from EU Horizon 2020 call LC-CLA-07-2019: The Changing Cryosphere: Uncertainties, Risks and Opportunities. The Institute’s share of the grant is approx. 150 million ISK.

Uppsala University will host the project with the overall purpose to assess the viability of economic development in the Arctic. They are joined with experts in Arctic research from universities and research institutes in Sweden, Iceland, Finland, Denmark, Norway, Spain, Russia, Hong Kong, UK and the USA.

The Arctic is a region of 4 million inhabitants with vibrant cities & communities, universities, industrial parks, rich historic and cultural heritage. The warming of the Arctic has geo-economic implications – for energy markets, transports, access to raw materials and even security. In the European Arctic there is an expected investment of 277 billion euros by 2030, largely focused on the construction, mining, logistics, energy, fisheries, tourism and creative sectors-- but there is a need to understand the impact, risks and opportunities this brings to Northern communities.

This project will assess the viability of new economic development of the Arctic through a sustainable justice perspective, while gaining insights on the positive and negative impacts, risks and benefits of key economic activities. The research will seek to create understanding on the potential for economic development in the North that is both sustainable and just by investigating how to reduce inequalities between Arctic stakeholders.

The project will:

  • Co-develop a negotiation tool, allowing measurement for different stakeholder perspectives in economic development projects and creating potential for achieving sustainable outcomes, premised on actor-specific values.
  • Develop recommendations for the EU Integrated Arctic Policy on regulatory pathways necessary create the conditions for sustainable development.
  • Evaluate the current conditions of economic activities in the Arctic against the indicators for sustainable development goals.
  • Produce a documentary with unique perspectives into Arctic sustainable development.

The project includes 18 cases studies of Arctic economic activities including energy, mining, transport, tourism, fisheries, shipping, and indigenous economies. It will take 3.5 years to complete.