On December 10th 2013, the Polar Research Institute of China (PRIC), and six institutes from the Nordic countries as well as three other institutes from China signed a Cooperation Agreement on the China-Nordic Arctic Research Center (CNARC) to formally mark the inauguration of CNARC. Attendants to the inauguration ceremony included representatives from the State Oceanic Administration, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China, diplomats in China from the Arctic countries, business leaders, as well as Chinese and Nordic Arctic scholars.
Scientists from China and the Nordic countries have already established strong links in Arctic science cooperation. The idea of CNARC, to strengthen cooperation in this field even further, was supported during the official visit of former Prime Minister of China, Wen Jiabao, to Iceland in April 2012. Following his visit and in order to promote wider Arctic cooperation PRIC and the Icelandic Center of Research (RANNIS) suggested to expand the cooperation from China-Iceland to involve all the Nordic countries in this Arctic research cooperation.
Subsequently, in June 2013, during the first China-Nordic Arctic Cooperation Symposium held in Shanghai, PRIC proposed to establish CNARC. The proposal received positive response from Chinese and Nordic institutes, which provided the foundation for the establishment of CNARC.
The CNARC provides a platform for academic cooperation to increase awareness, understanding and knowledge of the Arctic and its global impacts; and promote cooperation for sustainable development of the Nordic Arctic and coherent development of China in a global context.
CNARC focuses on the Nordic Arctic and global Arctic issues, with its research themes including:
- Arctic climate change and its impacts,
- Arctic resources, shipping and economic cooperation and
- Arctic policy-making and legislation.
The cooperation of CNARC will include the following four modes of activities:
- carrying out joint research projects,
- developing Arctic research networks and frontiers by providing opportunities for Chinese and Nordic scholars to conduct Arctic research through fellowships and scholarships,
- convening regularly the China-Nordic Arctic Cooperation Symposium and other workshops and
- facilitating information sharing and cultural exchange between China and Nordic countries in Arctic context.
CNARC is supported by an Assembly of Member Institutes and a secretariat. The Assembly of Member Institutes consists of representatives from Chinese and Nordic institutes with capacities to influence, coordinate and implement Arctic research. The secretariat is based at PRIC. Following the inauguration the first Assembly of Member Institutes took place in order to discuss the operation mechanism of CNARC and its work plan for 2014.
List of CNARC member institutes:
Nordic member institutes
- Arctic Center of the University of Lapland (Finland)
- Fridtjof Nansen Institute (Norway)
- Icelandic Center for Research (Iceland)
- Nordic Institute of Asian Studies (Denmark)
- Norwegian Polar Institute (Norway)
- Swedish Polar Research Secretariat (Sweden)
Chinese member institutes
- Center for Polar and Oceanic Studies, Tongji University
- Research Institute of Polar Law and Politics, Ocean University of China
- Shanghai Institutes of International Studies
- Strategic Studies Division, Polar Research Institute of China