Arctic researchers and developers are to gather in Murmansk
October 1 to 3, the city of Murmansk, infrequently referred to as “the capital of Russia’s Subarctic will host the 2nd International Economic Forum “The Strategy of the Arctic’s Development.” Its agenda includes discussions on the issues of socio-economic development of the Arctic territories taking the advantage of the geopolitical and potential of Northern regions while implementing major investment projects aimed to develop industrial, energy and transport infrastructure, development of hydrocarbons and bio-resources in the shelves of Arctic seas, and environmental aspects of economic activities in the North.
Before the Forum in Murmansk, some of its participants are gathering on a two-day international Forum under the name of “The Arctic as a Territory for Dialogue” in Moscow. The leading Russian experts and researcher have held a news conference with a preview of activities of both Moscow and Murmansk forums.
The two events come within the framework of the global Arctic calendar. The more events of the kind gather experts and researchers on different parts of the Subarctic, the better, its organizers say. They include the Russian Geographic Society and a number of ministries, including bodies of local administrations.
Anton Vassiliev, Russian Foreign Ministry’s Ambassador Special hopes that the participant of the Murmansk forum will focus on socio-political issues of the region’s development.
“This is exactly the niche that can advantageously single out this forum among the meetings of its kind, including the preview forum in Moscow on the 22nd and 23rd,” said Anton Vassiliev.
This year’s anomalous heat has told also on the Arctic regions. The Murmansk forum will outline some guidelines for the study of its impact on the region’s wildlife. Speaking on the subject Aleksandr Frolov, the head of hydrometeorology and environment monitoring said: “The anomalous heat on the European territories was felt in Siberia and the European parts of the Arctic, be it even with a lower amplitude. The western parts of the Arctic had no ice – and that’s another anomaly. We monitor the climatic changes in the Arctis using our 49 research stations including 3 observatories that are quite well-equipped, and satellites. Another important goal is the study of permafrost in Siberia and Yakutia that was also affected last summer.”
“The rise of the upper temperature level of the permafrost amounted to 3 degrees, and that that’s a serious thing given that houses there are built on pillars, and if permafrost starts to melt, the pillars may sink with cracks in the walls of the houses. Then there are oil and gas pipelines and other infrastructure laid down in the permafrost. We are speaking about big cities – Norilsk, Dudinka and Vorkuta. Besides The world’s northern areas and their southern extremities can also be affected by temperature rises, spelling trouble to up to 800 million people. If the temperatures rise above 2 degrees or the trend of their steady growth can in the coming two decades result in the 57 centimeter level rise of the world ocean,” said Sergei Shoigu, the Minister for Emergency Situations and President of the Russian Geographic Society.
Director of the Geography Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences Vladimir Kotlyakov emphasized international cooperation in the Arctic Studies: “As one of the participants of the International Polar Year of 2007 and 2008, thanks to government’s funding Russia was one of the four countries that did work on more than half of more than 200 programmes it outlined, with good results, too. Companies that do business in the Arctic are invited to participate in the Murmansk forum, including oil and gas companies, shipping companies, and other market operators.”And suddenly, the significance of the Murmansk International Economic Forum was underlined by an evil force – anti-globalists and hackers are planning to torpedo it. The activists of the movement intend to gather up to 5,000 anti-globalists from all over the world to hold their own congress in Russia’s northern seaport of Murmansk.