EU Arctic Information Centre to become a reality

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Posted on: 12 Mar 2013

The EU has selected a 19-member consortium known as EU Arctic Information Centre that aims to facilitate information exchange between the EU institutions, Arctic stakeholders and the general public.

10 March 2013 EU Arctic Information Centre to become a reality The European Commission has selected a consortium led by the Arctic Centre, University of Lapland in Rovaniemi, Finland, to carry out an one million euro project to produce a "Strategic Environmental Impact Assessment of development of the Arctic." The project will last eighteen months during 2013-2014. Arctic Centre in Rovaniemi, Finland. The consortium known as the EU Arctic Information Centre Initiative comprises an international network of currently 19 leading Arctic research and outreach institutions from the various European Union member states, and the EEA countries. The preparatory project is a first step to strengthen communication and outreach within the EU and between the EU and the Arctic community about the contribution the EU is making to address environmental and other issues raised by the rapid development of the Arctic region as a result of economic and climate change. "The key idea of the Preparatory Action project is to create an efficient application of science-based information and its fulfillment with views and perspectives of stakeholders both inside and outside of the Arctic," says Director of the Arctic Centre, Professor Paula Kankaanpää. To deliver that, the main activities are organized within four work packages: EU Arctic Information Centre feasibility study, Impact assessment process, Outreach and communication, and Project management. Providing information for decision makers The project provides a platform to test the effectiveness, functionality and sustainability of the proposal by the consortium to establish an EU Arctic Information Centre. The project will also enhance the use of impact assessment and its importance as a tool and a channel to put together information for the use of decision- and policy-makers and the related legal processes. The proposed EU Arctic Information Centre would aim to facilitate information exchange between the EU institutions, Arctic stakeholders and the general public. The possibility of the EU Arctic Information Centre has been expressed in various EU Commission, Council and Parliament Arctic papers since 2008. The Arctic Centre at the University of Lapland made a concrete initiative of the network model in 2009. "The project does not constitute the launch of an EU Arctic Information Centre itself," notes Mr Jaime Reynolds who coordinates Arctic issues for the Directorate-General for the Environment within European Commission "However the EU Arctic Information Centre Feasibility Study and Impact Assessment processes included will be fundamental for considering decisions about the establishment of the Centre." Creating pan-European knowledge network The ultimate vision is to contribute to the sustainable development of the Arctic by creating an active pan-European network of institutions that represents a substantial Arctic knowledge base, says Finnish Arctic Ambassador Hannu Halinen. "Rapid development of the Arctic, together with complicated political, socio-economic and environmental processes, will demand an effective use of science-based information and pro-active work by relevant communication and research centers to guide the decision- and policy-makers to swift and coherent actions," Halinen says. Sources: Arctic Centre Network partners Related: Finland updates its Arctic strategy Arctic sea ice melting faster than predicted Fast melting Arctic ice to lift use of the sea route Arctic - an opportunity for Finnish-Russian cooperation
Posted: 12 March 2013

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