Arctic Challenge for Sustainability Project

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Report of the Summary Symposium of Theme 7, “People and Community in the Arctic”

On February 14, a symposium to summarize the activities of Theme 7, “People and Community in the Arctic: Possibility of Sustainable Development,” was held at the 21 Komaba Center for Educational Excellence, University of Tokyo.

The symposium gathered 56 attendees, including government officials and business people as well as the project members. In the first section, three speakers, Natsuhiko Otsuka from the Arctic Research Center of Hokkaido University, Hiroki Takakura from the Center for Northeast Asian Studies of Tohoku University, and Akiho Shibata from the Polar Cooperation Research Center of Kobe University, delivered talks on the details of the activities and the achievements of the research project. The second section was a panel discussion organized by seven project members with three experts from the Cabinet Office and from the private sector. Making the preliminary report for policymakers prepared by the project members the basis for discussion, the member-researchers spoke first, and the experts then made comments on them.

Being the venue of face-to-face meeting of representatives of government, industry, and academia, the panel discussion sparked a debate about the current issues we are facing in connection with the Arctic. While opinions and questions were actively exchanged from various points of view, some inconsistencies between those viewpoints surfaced.

The report under the title of “The perspective of the Arctic policy of Japan in the future” (in Japanese) was reviewed following the result of the panel discussion, and it was then issued as a press release jointly among Hokkaido University, Tohoku University, Kobe University, and the National Institute of Polar Research, on February 28. The report for policymakers is publicly available on the open website of ArCS as well. *A page in Japanese

Masanori Goto, Hokkaido University, a member of Theme 7)

A scene from the panel discussion