The Sustainable Development Working Group will hold its fourth regular meeting of the Finnish Chairmanship in Kemi, Finland on 04-06 February 2019. This meeting will include an executive meeting, review and approval of SDWG project deliverables for ministerial 2019, approval of new projects and a follow-up work plan.
Preliminarily, the total number of participants will reach 63. The meeting will be attended by member countries of the working group, regular participants, observers and many others.
The Northern Forum will be represented at the event by a Coordinator in the International Project collaboration of Regional Council of Lapland Maiju Jolma-Taylor.
To date the Northern Forum presents within the framework of the SDWG such projects as “International Arctic School”, “Human in the Arctic” and “Arctic Children – Preschool Education and Smooth Transition to School”
The Sustainable Development Working Group is one of six working groups of the Arctic Council. Terms of Reference for the SDWG were formally adopted at the Arctic Council Ministers’ Meeting in Iqaluit, Nunavut, Canada in September 1998. The goal of the Sustainable Development program of the Arctic Council is to propose and adopt steps to be taken by the Arctic States to advance sustainable development in the Arctic. This includes pursuing opportunities to protect and enhance the environment and the economies, culture and health of indigenous peoples and Arctic communities. The guiding tenet running throughout the work of the SDWG is to pursue initiatives that provide practical knowledge and contribute to building the capacity of indigenous peoples and Arctic communities to respond to the challenges and benefits from the opportunities in the Arctic region.
Major Areas of SDWG Activity:
Since its inception, the SDWG has carried out approximately 65 projects and activities. Consistent with the overall work and priorities of the Arctic Council, this work generally falls into six broad thematic areas:
- • Arctic Human Health issues and the well being of people living in the Arctic. Prevention and control of disease and injuries, as well as the long term monitoring of the impact of pollution and climate change, are critical to human health and Sustainable Development.
- • Sustainable economic activities and increasing community prosperity, to better understand human influences on the Arctic environment and the socio-economic conditions of Indigenous Peoples and Arctic communities. Arctic communities must have an appropriate economic base to ensure their survival, including environmentally-friendly economic activity in the energy sector.
- • Education and cultural heritage, including Indigenous Languages. These are a fundamental prerequisite for sustainable development, capacity building and the well-being of Indigenous Peoples and other Arctic residents.
- • Management of natural, including living, resources. This must be based on sound science and traditional and local knowledge to maintain and develop health, culture and the sustainability of local communities in the Arctic.
- • Adaptation to Climate Change: To strengthen the work of the Council by reducing vulnerability and implementing adaptation initiatives related to climate change in the Arctic, including practical community-based actions.
- • Infrastructure development. This enhances economic growth and can contribute to the quality of life of Arctic people.