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Rovaniemi in the spotlight as the venue for Arctic meetings

4/12/2019 12:48 PM

"Thanks to the big meetings during the rest of the 2018 and in 2019, Rovaniemi will solidify its position as the Arctic capital of Finland and the EU", says mayor of Rovaniemi Esko Lotvonen.

Revontulet&Arktikum.jpgNorthern lights can be seen in Rovaniemi, as it's located at the arctic circle. Photo: Visit Rovaniemi.

Many important international meetings on Arctic matters will be organised in Rovaniemi, Finnish Lapland, this autumn. They are part of Finland’s chairmanship of the Arctic Council 2017–2019. 

Some of them are Arctic Council meetings, and others are organised by partners concerned with Arctic issues. This will include the chairmanship’s largest environmental congress and a meeting of the Arctic countries’ ministers of environment. The meetings will culminate in May 2019 with a meeting of foreign ministers, with attendance also expected from Russia and the United States.

Meetings of the Arctic Council will be coordinated by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, which will be also responsible for some of the practical arrangements. The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry and the Ministry of the Environment are also involved in the arrangements. Meetings of the Arctic Council are supported locally by the Arctic Council Host Committee.

"Thanks to the big meetings during the rest of the 2018 and in 2019, Rovaniemi will solidify its position as the Arctic capital of Finland and the EU. This will be also an opportunity to Rovaniemi to enhance the city’s image as an attractive centre for education, research, sports and business," says Esko Lotvonen, Mayor of Rovaniemi.

See below for the key Arctic meetings in Rovaniemi.

Arctic Resilience Forum, 10–11 September 2018, Pilke Science Centre
The international forum discusses ways of adapting to climate change in Arctic regions. The forum will be attended by experts and shareholders of the Arctic region from around the world. 
The first day will focus on how the Arctic regions can adapt to changing conditions in the Arctic. On the second day, working groups of the Arctic Council and a number of key Arctic stakeholders will share practical experiences of how the Arctic region can adapt to climate change. 
The forum will be organised by the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry. 
Event website: https://mes.eventos.fi/event/arcticresilience2018

Arctic Biodiversity Congress, 9–12 October 2018, Lappia House
The biggest environmental event of the Finnish chairmanship will discuss biodiversity from a number of aspects. Some 450 participants have registered for the congress. These include researchers, politicians and civil servants, as well as representatives of the indigenous peoples, industry and organisations. The Congress will discuss the conservation and sustainable use of Arctic resources, implementation of biodiversity programmes, the achievement of objectives and setting of new objectives.
The Congress will be organised by the CAFF Working Group of the Arctic Council in cooperation with the Ministry of the Environment. 
Website: https://www.arcticbiodiversity.is/congress

Meeting of Arctic Environment Ministers, 11– 12 October 2018, Arktikum Museum and Arctic Science Centre
The meeting will seek solutions to the major environmental issues in the Arctic, such as climate change, the protection of biodiversity and the prevention of pollution. The meeting will be hosted by Kimmo Tiilikainen, Minister of the Environment, Energy and Housing.

Meeting of the Sustainable Development Working Group, 29–30 October 2018, Hotel Santa Claus
There are six expert working groups in the Arctic Council, one of them being the Sustainable Development Working Group. The Group will meet in October to address issues relating to the inhabitants of the Arctic region from a sustainable development perspective: health, welfare, food supply, telecommunications etc. Finland is the Chairman of the Group. Some 100 participants are expected.

Meeting of the Senior Arctic Officials (SAO), 31 October–2 November 2018, University of Lapland
The SAO steers the activities of the Arctic Council with meetings held every other year, in between meetings of foreign ministers. The SAO has an official meeting a few times a year, and the late autumn meeting will take place in Rovaniemi. There will be an estimated 200 participants. The meeting will also be attended by representatives from observer countries and various organisations.

Model Arctic Council – simulation of the Council’s work, 30 October – 2 November 2018, University of Lapland
An event for young master’s students in various fields that will discuss Arctic issues and simulate the activities of the Arctic Council. In the simulation, each student will have a role: the Member State of the Council, the indigenous people’s organisation or a Council observer member. The aim will be to show how the Arctic Council is run and to look for new solutions to topical issues in the Arctic region. 
The event will be organised by the University of Lapland together with the Finnish Ministry for Foreign Affairs and the University of the Arctic. The event will be hosted by Lassi Heininen, Arctic Politics Professor at the University of Lapland.
Website: http://www.uaf.edu/mac/model-arctic-council-univ/index.xml

10th Circumpolar Agriculture Conference, 13–15 March 2019, Arctic Centre
The International Circumpolar Agriculture Conference will be aimed at researchers, farmers, decision-makers, administrators, teachers and students concerned with agriculture and natural products in the north. The conference will focus on agriculture, food production and rural development in the Arctic regions. The topics include sustainable methods of reindeer husbandry, small-scale agriculture and the natural product sector. 
The conference will be hosted by the Arctic Centre of the University of Lapland together with Natural Resource Institute Finland. The organisers also include ProAgria Lapland, Lapland University of Applied Sciences, the Regional Council of Lapland, Reindeer Herders’ Association and Metsähallitus. 
Website: https://www.ulapland.fi/EN/Events/10th-Circumpolar-Agriculture-Conference

Meeting of Foreign Ministers 6–7 May 2019, LappiAreena
The decision-making body of the Arctic Council is the Meeting of Foreign Ministers held every other year. Finland's two-year presidency of the Arctic Council will end with the Meeting of Foreign Ministers, which will also be a major effort for the City of Rovaniemi. If the foreign ministers of Russia and the United States will attend, the security measures will be extensive. Media representatives alone can number about two hundred. The meeting will wrap up the Finnish Chairmanship and assess what has been achieved, after which the chairmanship will be handed over to Iceland, with sights set on the future. 
The meeting will be hosted by the Finnish Ministry for Foreign Affairs.

Arctic Business Forum 2019, 9–10 May 2019, Hotel Santa Claus
The Arctic Business Forum to be held in 2019 will be the tenth, bringing together Arctic players, business leaders and investors. The two-day Arctic Business Forum will discuss business opportunities and the future of the Arctic region, with an update and future prospects of business and investments in Lapland and neighbouring regions. The event will be organised by the Lapland Chamber of Commerce.
Website: http://arcticbusinessforum.com/

Arctic Arts Summit 2019, 4–5 June 2019, University of Lapland
The Arctic Arts Summit will be held next year with the theme "The Arctic as a laboratory for sustainable art and cultural policy". The aim will be to create models for a sustainable arts and culture policy and to promote Arctic cooperation on the subject. 
The meeting will be attended by people active within arts and culture and artists mainly from countries that are part of the Arctic Council. A total of 350 to 400 participants are expected to attend.
The meeting will have an extensive art programme: international exhibitions, concerts and performances.
The meeting will be organised by the University of Lapland. The national steering group also includes the Ministry of Education and Culture Ministry of Education and Culture, Arts Promotion Centre Finland, Sámi Parliament, City of Rovaniemi, Regional Council of Lapland and the University of the Arctic.

Further information: 
Markku Heikkilä, Head of Science Communication / Arctic Centre, markku.heikkila(at)ulapland.fi
Esko Lotvonen, Mayor of Rovaniemi, esko.lotvonen(at)rovaniemi.fi