23 April 2010

Arctic Futures in a Global Context

During the current Polar Week 2010, Mistra and the Polar Research Secretariat have jointly presented the Arctic Futures research programme. This gives Swedish researcher the opportunity to submit proposals for research projects around the Arctic in the context of global change.  The projects should focus on geopolitics, economics and technical circumstances from an environmental perspective.

The Arctic is an area that is rapidly turning into a major political arena for the entire planet.  Sweden turns to the north, and the Arctic with a special status in international organizations. This requires a solid knowledge base and good decision support at a political level, including factoring in current geopolitical and strategic issues.

The Arctic is a region undergoing tremendous transformation and faces significant challenges.  In a global context it is crucial that the changes are favorable both from a political and from an environmental point of view. Several fundamental factors may be noted, all pointing towards increased accessibility and increased human activity in the Arctic.  Such a future scenario includes:

  • A more ice-free Arctic as a result of global climate change
  • Technological advances in extracting natural resources and improved communications and transports
  • Scarcity of key natural resources and increased global demand
  • International law and geopolitical conditions

The research program focuses on the socio-economic and political aspects with global-coupling and is not intended for purely scientific projects.  The aim is to highlight and stimulate research in the social sciences, which traditionally have attracted less attention than polar research with a natural science orientation.  For a period of three years, Mistra will invest up to 30 million SEK in three to five selected projects.

The Polar Research Secretariat will host the Arctic Futures in a Global Context presentation and the research program will be coordinated by a program director at the secretariat.

For more information on Arctic Futures contact

Britt-Inger Andersson
Director of Idea development
+46 8 791 10 25

Eva Grönlund
Director of Communications at the Polar Research Secretariat
+46 8 673 97 30

Mistra Mistra