(Photo: Getty Images) The Barents Institute organizes the 2014 Thorvald Stoltenberg Conference, 7-8 October 2014, which will take place in Kirkenes, Norway. The event is entitled: Mining the Arctic: sustainable communities, economies, and governance? The deadline for abstract submissions is 19 June 2014. Presenters will be notified by 4 July 2014.

A new wave of investment in mining is taking place in the entire Arctic region. Whether a grab for energy resources promised by the blue depths of the Arctic Ocean, or mineral riches deep in the ground and ice, resource exploration and extraction of oil, gas, gold, diamonds, copper, uranium, and iron are in full force in the High North.

This intensified development creates novel and unprecedented opportunities for many local communities, but it also poses new governance, environmental, social, and business management challenges, not least when it comes to economic, social, and environmental sustainability. It is of great relevance then that we ask questions about how these changes brought about by the spur to mine and extract natural resources can be better managed in order to ensure sustainable futures.

Everyone can agree that effective resource extraction policies can greatly reduce adverse consequences to the global environment, to the sustainability of communities, and to potential harm to Arctic populations, indigenous and non-indigenous alike. But how do we agree on how these policies should be created and how they are to be implemented when big business, and national and international interests clash with local populations?

The Barents Institute Conference will attempt to address some of these pressing questions facing local communities and politics in the Arctic Region.

For more information about the conference and abstract submission, please contact Aileen Aseron Espiritu: