(source: GettyImages) The Arctic Cooperation Programme of the Nordic Council of Ministers has opened up its call for project applications for financial support in 2016 to new project proposals as well as for the continuation of existing projects.
The deadline for applications is January 18th 2016.

The objective of the Arctic Cooperation Programme is to support processes, projects and initiatives that will help promote sustainable development and benefit the people of the Arctic under the conditions generated by globalisation and climate change.

The Arctic stands on the threshold of major changes which will affect Arctic societies and the Arctic people in a number of areas. Consequently, the Nordic Council of Ministers' Arctic Cooperation Programme for 2015-2017 has a "people first" approach with a focus on contributing in a concrete way to exploring new paths and possibilities for the populations in the Arctic region in a changing environment, both socially and otherwise.

The Arctic Cooperation Programme is designed to help collate and co-ordinate the work relating to the Arctic within the framework of the Nordic Council of Ministers and its institutions. Within the overall objectives and focus areas introduced below, the following will be prioritised in the period 2015-17:

Activities that include Arctic and Nordic involvement and are within the framework of the objectives focus areas and criteria set by the Arctic Cooperation Program.
Activities that follow up on and disseminate the results from Nordic initiatives concerning the Arctic, including results from the Arctic Cooperation Program.
Activities that are in line with current political priorities, including those of the Nordic Council of Ministers, the Arctic Council and of the respective Arctic strategies of the Arctic states.

For knowledge on the Nordic Cooperation in general and Nordic political initiatives more specifically please visit www.norden.org.

Download application form and the Guidelines for the application

Areas of cooperation
Four areas of cooperation have been drawn up for the Nordic Council of Ministers' Arctic Cooperation Programme 2015-2017:

In response to the challenges posed by urbanisation and lifestyle changes in the Arctic, the Programme seeks to support initiatives aimed at devising constructive solutions to challenges relating to demographics, settlement patterns, town planning and transport. The changes affect women and men differently, and gender equality is a prerequisite for the development of a sustainable society. The Programme supports approaches that ensure access to traditional food, guarantee food and water security, and promote public health. It pays particular attention to protecting the way of life of indigenous peoples, to facilitating adaptation to the new conditions caused by climate change and globalisation and to exploring new economic opportunities. The Programme funds initiatives that build cultural and social capital among the people of the Arctic, as well as initiatives that support children and young people’s participation in, and influence on, society. The Programme adopts a cross-sectoral and an inter-agency approach and seeks to bring together and co-ordinate all of the work done on Arctic issues by the Nordic Council of Ministers and its various institutions and working groups.

Sustainable economic development
The Programme seeks to promote sustainable economic development, provide support for potential new circumpolar business opportunities and address challenges related to increased economic activity and a more diverse economy. It aims to support the sustainable use of natural resources, innovation and green growth, e.g. in shipping, maritime safety, fisheries, tourism and renewable energy. Interaction between business and the community, e.g. through corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives, is of vital importance.

Environment, nature and climate
Photo: Rasmus Ole RasmussenThe Programme promotes initiatives that counteract environmental changes caused by human activity both in and beyond the Arctic, as well as initiatives that seek to preserve the unique natural environment and biodiversity of the region. It supports initiatives that enhance knowledge of the environmental challenges faced in the Arctic, and that address what can be done at local and regional level to stop the destruction of the region’s environment, nature and seas. The impact of global climate change is particularly severe in the Arctic. As a result, the Programme supports initiatives that generate and spread knowledge of the causes of climate change and its effects in the region. It supports initiatives designed to devise adaptation strategies and determine what can be done at local and regional level to curb the negative effects of global warming, greenhouse-gas emissions and pollution.

Education and skills enhancement
The Programme supports initiatives that promote education and skills enhancement, including at grassroots level and through Arctic-based organisations. This includes improving learning networks and fostering the competences needed to participate in democratic processes at local, regional and international level; developing competences and building capacity in local and regional governance; developing local competences in information and communication technology (ICT) and other initiatives designed to help the people of the Arctic develop a sustainable society.

Read more about the programme

Nordic Council of Ministers' website

Nordregio administers the NCM Arctic Cooperation Programme

The Nordic institution, Nordregio, is administrating a yearly budget of app. 6 million DKK aiming at supporting initiatives and projects within the framework of the Programme. By delegating the administration to Nordregio, which was first done with the 2009-2011 NCM Arctic Cooperation Programme, the intention has been to strengthen the possible synergy between the projects by keeping the administration and the professional overview within the same administrative unit. The programme is at the same time a supplement to the other Nordic strategies and programmes involving issues in relation to the Arctic, such as Strategies for Sustainable Development, Environmental Action Programme.

Download template for the final progress report for the Arctic Cooperation Programme:
Final progress report

Rasmus Ole Rasmussen
Senior Research Fellow

Anna Karlsdóttir
Senior Research Fellow