The Arctic 2050 research initiative aims to identify how institutional and innovation development can make the intensification of economic activity in the Arctic a key driver of the sustainable development of the region, including social and environmental perspectives.
The Arctic 2050 research
Harsh environmental conditions of the Arctic have been constraining economic activity in the region. Climate change opens up new prospects for the development of these territories. The Arctic has become one of the geopolitical hot spots: global and regional players seek to advance their frontiers.
The region is extremely rich in natural resources: 30% of the world's unexplored reserves of natural gas and 13% of oil reserves lie down in the Arctic bowels. Melting ice opens up access to unexplored mineral and biological recourses, as well as unlocks shipping routes for year-round navigation.
At the same time, the intensification of economic activity makes a significant impact on both the environment and the living conditions of the indigenous peoples. Understanding the driving forces that will transform the business and political landscape of the Arctic in the coming decades is crucial for policy-makers and businesses in order to come up with mutually beneficial approaches for seizing the arising opportunities without making harm to the unique Arctic natural and social ecosystem.
We develop four narratives for the Arctic until 2050 describing the possible implications of the intensification of economic activity in the region, establishment of the Arctic technological platform, and development of the Arctic cities. We discuss threats and opportunities in each scenario offering recommendations for the business and policy-makers. We are combining cabinet and field research. We provide an overview of the academic and applied literature on the subject and share findings from the series of in-depth interviews and expert seminars with key stakeholders, including businesses, government, local administrations, social and environmental non-governmental organizations.
The Arctic region is going through a serious transformation as it faces the disruptive challenges of climate change and shifting global political, social and economic patterns.
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