For the first time since 1997, the 12th Northern Forum General Assembly was held in Yakutsk (November 4-6, 2015) . This General Assembly’s agenda focused on environmental impact on Northern regions’ sustainable development. Whereas the main panel discussion has reviewed Adaptation of regional administrations to climate change, discussion sections were dedicated to Biodiversity and environmental protection in the regions, development of business cooperation in the North, development of infrastructure in the North and the most attended section – Positive Life strategy. The latter section has indicated both high level of awareness of social and physical health issues common with the Northern regions and interest of moderating bodies – Sakha Strategic Research Center and Russian Ministry for Economic development.
During the meeting, 7 resolutions were prepared and adopted by the Board of Governors, while two more resolution were not approved, as the coordinators have not yet reached consensus on its budget topic.
One of the most important propositions of this General Assembly was creation of working groups on entire directions of project work, according to Resolution 177. This measure must link work of project participants to local and interregional authorities, what increases its effect on actual, visible results. Previous system of projects united into programs was not enough efficient, due to its distance from the actual decision-makers; this time, this gap gets smaller.
Therefore, in administrative terms – the main expectation now rests with future of membership in the Northern Forum, as more regions are actively observing decisions taken on the General Assembly and are considering to join. Such signals are coming from the State of Alaska, Northern provinces of Canada, Finnish Lapland, Chinese Heilongjiang and several Russian Arctic regions. The issue of last two resolutions may indicate a path of future development of the Northern Forum that was discussed during the General Assembly agenda.
You can download the presentations given during the assembly and the 7 Resolution here.