Nordic Regional Youth Camp: Young Eyes on Sustainability in the Arctic Dimension

How can the young generation impact sustainability in the Arctic? In late August, the Youth League of the Finnish Norden Association in collaboration with the Nordic Youth Council organized a camp for young influencers together with three partner organizations from the Nordic countries and Russia in Helsinki, Finland. Read more about the young vision for the Arctic! Below, find the statements put forth by the camp participants:

PRIORITIZE THE ARCTIC ENVIRONMENT

REDUCE THE COSTS TO DEVELOPE THE ARCTIC ENTREPRENEURSHIP

GREATER INCLUSION OF INDIGENOUS PEOPLES AND YOUTH IS NEEDED FOR BETTER DECISION-MAKING

 

The Nordic Regional Youth Camp: Young Eyes on Sustainability in the Arctic Dimension strived to replicate the youth event arranged ten years ago in adjunction to the Nordkalotten Conference in Tornio, Finland. Finland is holding the Arctic Council presidency 2017-2019, therefore Finland and Helsinki presented itself as the perfect arena to discuss Arctic issues in the summer of 2018. The event was based on the “Planet”-perspective in the Nordic Council of Ministers’ Arctic Cooperation Program 2018-2021 and financed primarily by Nordregio.

 

In the light of climate change, the Arctic region is facing big changes that force us to rethink our way of living, policy-making and working. As the hosting organization, we wanted to find a way to do productive cooperation and find sustainable solutions to save our fragile Arctic. Leading specialists on the Arctic provided guidance and inspirations for the camp participants to find solutions and turn the challenge of the Arctic region in to an opportunity. And solutions we found, as you can see from our statements above. Participants from Denmark, Norway, Russia and Finland came together and visualized a prosperous and sustainable solution for the Arctic from a young perspective!

 

The Youth League of the Finnish Norden Association in cooperation with the Nordic Youth Council as well as InnoBarentsLab, a student organization at the University of Lapland, Barents Regional Youth Council (Kirkenes, Norway) and Garant the Center of Social Technologies (Arkhangelsk, Russia), were all a part of organizing and gathering young voices from allover the Arctic Region and the Nordic Countries to discuss and find solutions for challenges in the Arctic region, as well as spark the discussion on the region onwards, to a broader audience.

 

The camp was preceded by a two-day “pre-camp”, where the coaches and team members had an opportunity to gain background information and deeper knowledge regarding the issues that were discussed during the camp. We had the pleasure of visiting René Söderman at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and hear about the agenda setting in the Arctic and hearing more about the business side of sustainability from Timo Rautajoki, the CEO of Finland Chamber of Commerce Lapland. Petra Laiti, Chair of the Finnish Sami Youth Organization introduced team members to the new Arctic generation. The pre-camp also included an educational visit to the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, were team members heard about Finnish actions towards a sustainable North. We also had a unique opportunity to visit Arctia Ltd, Finnish manufacturer of ice breakers. All these informative and interesting visits concluded in a handout for the participants of the camp. The handout gave background and broadened the dimension of discussion about the “Arctic” and “sustainability”.

 

The three-day youth camp had two separate programs – Arctic challenges and policy-making program and Media and communication program.

 

The Arctic challenges and policy-making program focused on presenting recent outlooks on the Arctic region, sustainability, business opportunities and youth perspectives on the region, through prominent speakers. Participants were further divided into three teams: Sustainability and Environment in the Arctic, Sustainable Business Opportunities in the Arctic and Shaping the Future Generation in the Arctic.

The media and communication program focused on how to get your voice and message out, how to communicate in the public sphere, how to influence, how to build a successful campaign, how to be a storyteller. The participants in the media and communication program made communication strategies and concrete media material based on the debate and conclusions made in the other program of the camp.

These two separate programs worked together for a common goal. Read the statements on what the participants concluded that should be done for sustainability in the Arctic Dimension and get to know their faces on our social media channels under the hashtags: #nryc18 #keepingitarctic

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