Mikhail Pogodaev, Katrín Ríkarðsdóttir and Eiríkur Björn Björgvinsson

Arctic Mayors’ Roundtable

An Arctic Mayors’ Roundtable was held during the Arctic week in Fairbanks on the occasion of the 10 th Arctic Council Ministerial meeting.
The roundtable brought together the Arctic mayors. The municipal representatives gathered at the Roundtable to discuss common challenges and to join hands for cooperation and to share experience in the Arctic settlements’ management.
The Arctic Mayoral Declaration was adopted as a result of the Roundtable.

Our most important mission as mayors is to create good lives and societies for the people living in our municipalities. We also have the great responsibility to take care of our Arctic communities.

As peoples of the Arctic, we face unique challenges including a rapidly transforming economy, a remoteness and isolation that creates an urgent need for cooperation and collaboration between communities, and a climate that is changing at twice the rate of other regions of the world. These circumstances impact our peoples, health, economies, budgets, infrastructure, and our cultures. As mayors, we join together to build on the work of others and to amplify our own efforts to strengthen and create community resilience and make sure our residents are prepared to overcome adversity and take advantage of opportunity.

Local government in the circumpolar region has a special role — to deliver essential public services; convey the priorities of residents at the most fundamental level to regional, national and international decision-makers; and work to ensure sustainable growth, equality, resilience, and future opportunities for our communities a place where todaVs and future generations can live, learn, work and play,

As mayors, we declare our intent to continue to work toward formalizing our communication and collaboration. By signing this declaration, we commit to strengthening the bonds between our people and communities to build a resilient region capable of improving living and economic conditions, ensuring that the benefits that come with the promise of the Arctic accrue to peoples of the Arctic.

As the undersigned mayors, we endorse the following principles and practices:

  • Expand economic diversification, opportunity and local benefits o Reduce the high cost of living that affects Arctic families, businesses, and communities o Diversify and promote economic development that relies on local resources and minimizes uncertainty and risk o Establish short term and long term goals for energy efficiency, food security, and affordable housing
    Ensure benefits accrue to peoples of the Arctic and that increased value be derived from resources developed near communities o Support inter- and intra-Arctic regional socio-cultural exchange and economic trade by reducing or removing barriers: telecommunications, transportation and regulation
  • Build cutting-edge infrastructure o Encourage and utilize innovative and sustainable building and engineering standards o Invest in environmentally and culturally appropriate infrastructure consistent with risk and cost reduction principles o Promote infrastructure networks within and between communities - especially those concerning public safety and emergency protocols o Work toward affordable, reliable and resilient locally-available sustainable energy resources; with local capacity for their conceptualization and implementation
  • Assume responsibility and provide leadership in our adaptation to a changing climate o Become energy independent through innovation and technology o Support research; develop and implement related climate strategies o Implement policies and practices that promote energy efficiency and energy security, including renewable energy
    Integrate resilience principles into economic and community development projects
    Govern using the best available science, knowledge and technology o Develop research and data-driven approaches to identify and address natural, social and economic challenges o Monitor, track and mitigate adverse changes to the natural and social environment that jeopardize our communities, including environmental contaminants o Incorporate and respect traditional and local knowledge in decision-making
  • Promote healthy, equitable communities through inclusion and cooperation o Ensure meaningful community engagement to develop local solutions to challenges, including with our indigenous peoples within and outside our municipalities
    Deepen the knowledge base and capacity to protect, steward and promote human and natural resources.
    Build technological capacity to strengthen communication within and between communities o Facilitate pathways for Arctic mayors, and support other local and indigenous government leaders, to be included in decision-making processes at all levels of governance o Promote healthy families and the strongest possible education for all of our residents

Our purpose in making this declaration is that we strengthen and maintain open lines of communication between our communities and reinforce the ties between communities.

We, the undersigned Arctic Mayors, commit to working together to develop a thriving economy, and to governing for the benefit and well-being of all Arctic peoples.

See the signed document here