putin_olafurragnarArchangelsk in Russia is the place to be this week. Hosting the Arctic Forum, the city also sports the biggest fair of the year this week, the famous Margaritinskaya fair.

The 2nd International Arctic Forum “The Arctic: Territory of Dialogue” will take place at the Northern Arctic Federal University. The Russian Geographical Society organized the event which sports people like Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, Prince Albert II of Monaco and President of Iceland Dr. Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson.

Up to 400 people are specially invited to the Forum, including noted scientists, representatives of NGOs, policy makers and businessmen.

Arctic Portal has a representative at the forum. Project manager Halldór Jóhannsson is in Archangelsk for this week.

The forum’s focus this year is on creating Arctic transportation infrastructure as a foundation for the development of the Arctic. This primarily involves the development of commercial and research navigation, transportation terminals (sea ports and airports) and corridors (the Northern Sea Route), polar aviation, cargo and passenger trans-polar and cross-polar transportation. Steady development of this infrastructure is vital for the very existence of the Arctic region.

Special attention will be devoted to the full spectrum of safety issue in this difficult-to-develop region. From a technological perspective, it is necessary to ensure the safety of sea and air traffic using satellite, radio-navigation and hydro-meteorological monitoring. In terms of international law, it is necessary to create multilateral mechanisms for emergency warning and response, including search and rescue missions.

The forum will also focus on cooperative efforts to protect the Arctic environment, environmental safety, the rational use of natural resources in the Arctic and improving the living standards of its indigenous people.

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