Finland's Strategy for Arctic Policy (p. 14 - 25)

Finland recently released a fresh document detailing guidelines for its Arctic policy. We will be covering the introductory section to get a sense of Finland's view of the arena and its corresponding objectives, but feel free to read the other sections that delve deeper into the policy priorities if you're interested:

"Finland is an Arctic country and one of the eight permanent members of the Arctic Council. Through close cooperation, sustainable development goals relevant to this region can be attained and, in combination with global measures, the accelerating climate change and its harmful impacts can be mitigated.

Finland's goal is a peaceful Arctic region marked by constructive cooperation. Increasing tensions and conflict potential must be avoided.

The Arctic region is warming up faster than other areas. The direction of climate change in the Arctic region can be turned through global emission reductions. While the actors contributing to the climate change are primarily located outside the Arctic region, there are also countries among the Arctic States with substantial emissions. Good living conditions and possibilities for participation in cooperation and decision- making on the Arctic must be safeguarded for the people living in this region. In particular, cross-border cooperation and dialogue between people and NGOs should be facilitated and promoted. The indigenous peoples living in the Arctic should be able to preserve and develop the vitality of their cultures, languages and traditions and obtain the necessary capabilities for adapting to the challenges created by the changes affecting the region. In all Arctic cooperation, Finland promotes gender equality and non-discrimination.

Finland's Arctic expertise is a key part of our country's Arctic profile. Biodiversity and the carrying capacity of nature, protecting the climate and the environment, the principles of sustainable development, the welfare and participation of the local population as well as indigenous peoples’ rights will be addressed in all economic activity in the Arctic region. While all business is not harmful for the environment, unsustainable business is. Circular economy and other new principles of economic activity as well as technological solutions may also create entirely new business opportunities.

Finland's position and attraction as an international top expert in the Arctic will be strengthened by investments in education and research. The knowledge and expertise produced by Arctic research will be utilised widely. Research evidence will underpin high- quality and timely decisions in different sectors and fields and promote the ability of the Arctic population to live a good life.

Infrastructure and logistics in the Arctic region will be developed to serve businesses and the needs of the region's population through sustainable and low-emission methods and modes of transport. Digitalisation will be promoted in the services of the region and in transport system development. The accessibility of telecommunications will be improved to meet the needs of the authorities, companies and citizens.

The overall image of Finland as an Arctic country is created as the sum of many actors. In addition to various levels of public administration and policy-making, universities, research institutes and business life, such stakeholders as NGOs and informal networks also play a role. At all levels, both institutional knowledge and individual-level expertise and activity have significance.

Ensuring the general visibility of Finland's Arctic activities and making sure that the multiple voices are heard will also be important in terms of the objectives of the Strategy for Arctic Policy. Additionally, it is essential that the stakeholders involved in Finland's Arctic activities have a good ability to network with each other and form partnerships with a low threshold. Arctic cooperation is also part of Nordic cooperation.

The objectives of Finland's Arctic policy and Arctic activities have cross-cutting significance for different sectors across Finland. A silo effect can be prevented by engaging in cooperation across sectoral boundaries and encouraging activities that collectively promote Finland as an Arctic country."

Offer your reflections on this Nordic country's regional strategy over on the forum:

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