8th International Conference ‘The Arctic: Sustainable Development’ Addresses Priority Projects of Russia’s Chairmanship of the Arctic Council

Participants in the plenary session of the 8th International Conference ‘The Arctic: Sustainable Development’ discussed the key programmes and projects of Russia’s two-year chairmanship of the Arctic Council, the implementation of the Development Strategy of the Arctic Zone of the Russian Federation until 2035, the modernization of the labour market in the Russian Arctic, as well as the role of Indigenous peoples in ensuring progressive change in the Arctic regions.

“Russia’s main priority in the Arctic is the sustainable development of this region with constant attention being paid to the interests and needs of the entire population living there, including the Indigenous peoples of the North. This is precisely what the initiatives and projects launched during our chairmanship of the Arctic Council aim to achieve, including the digitalization of the cultural and linguistic heritage of the Indigenous peoples of the Arctic and the establishment of the Snezhinka international scientific station that runs on carbon-free energy. During Russia’s chairmanship, the [Arctic] Council for the first time began to discuss such topics as the protection of the intellectual property rights of Indigenous peoples amidst the globalization of economic activities and the social responsibility of business to the local population of the Arctic,” Ambassador-at-Large of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Chair of the Arctic Senior Officials Nikolay Korchunov said.

Korchunov said Russia remains unequivocally committed to constructive and mutually beneficial international cooperation in the Arctic region. This commitment is above all crucial to ensuring the socioeconomic well-being of people living in the Arctic, including Indigenous peoples, as well as the most effective solution of cross-border problems associated with climate change. In 2022, Russia organized more than 40 conferences and other forums on topical aspects of the Arctic agenda, some of which were attended by representatives of the international community, including representatives of BRICS countries and specialized UN agencies, he said.

The plenary session participants also addressed issues related to ensuring national security in this region, discussed the development strategy for the construction, housing, and utilities sector in Russia, the creation of an integrated information support system for the country’s national interests and the socioeconomic development of Russia’s Arctic zone, the establishment of a tourism brand in the Arctic, and the creation of conditions needed to attract investment.

“The state support mechanisms created in 2020 have helped to attract investors for 634 investment projects with a total volume of RUB 1.6 trillion. Approximately 35,000 new jobs are being created, including around 10,000 jobs that have already been created,” First Deputy Minister for the Development of the Russian Far East and the Arctic Gadzhimagomed Guseynov said.

In addition to tax incentives and administrative preferences, he said the Ministry for the Development of the Russian Far East is providing other forms of support to assist investors. In 2022, the decision was made to build energy infrastructure in the Arctic Capital special economic zone. It will provide at least three major projects – the Tuloma Marine Terminal, Rusatom Cargo, and the Udarnik Terminal – with the capacity it needs and will attract more than RUB 73 billion of private investment.

The 8th International Conference ‘The Arctic: Sustainable Development’ (Arctic 2023) took place in Moscow on 2–3 March at the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Russian Federation. Following the conference, the participants will prepare a resolution that will be sent to the Russian government and the relevant ministries and agencies.

The conference is being held by the Interregional Scientific, Technological, Business, and Educational Partnership ‘Sustainable Development of the Arctic Zone of the Russian Federation’, the Federation Council’s Arctic and Antarctica Council, and the Regional Energy and Energy Conservation information and analytical magazine together with the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Russian Federation, Gubkin Russian State University of Oil and Gas, MPEI National Research University, Moscow State Institute of International Relations of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and System Consulting. The main goal of the conference is to promote the sustainable socioeconomic development of the Arctic, promote scientific, technical, and innovative activities, as well as create favourable conditions to attract investments for development projects in Russia’s Arctic zone.

Russia is chairing the Arctic Council in 2021–2023. The comprehensive programme of Russia’s chairmanship of the Arctic Council aims to promote cooperation to improve the well-being and quality of life of the Arctic population, including the Indigenous peoples of the North, adapt the Arctic to the effects of climate change, conserve the biodiversity and unique ecosystems of the Arctic, ensure socioeconomic development, find solutions in matters concerning global energy and transport security, promote scientific cooperation in high latitudes, and strengthen international cooperation. The Roscongress Foundation manages the events of Russia’s chairmanship of the Arctic Council.