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Maritime Preparedness and International Partnership in the High North – on the Agenda of the University of the Arctic Congress in Saint Petersburg
September 2016, several researchers from the MARPART project took part at the University of the Arctic Congress in St. Petersburg. The goal was to increase focus on Arctic maritime preparedness and cooperation on the one hand, as well as embedding this issue into the wider theme of Arctic security and safety.


From left: Odd Jarl Borch, Nataly Marchenko, and Johannes Schmied

MARPART project leader Professor Odd Jarl Borch, Dr. econ., Research Associate Nataly Marchenko from the University Centre in Svalbard (UNIS) and Project Advisor Johannes Schmied from Nord University were among the people who presented the proceedings of ongoing MARPART research.
Nataly Marchenko gave an insight on Safety of Industrial Development and transportation routes in the Arctic. Her research was presented during a science session on understanding and awareness of the Arctic through education and outreach. She highlighted the importance of the efforts of the Arctic Technology department at UNIS to educate in the field of transportation, operations in ice and harsh environmental conditions. She also touched upon lifesaving and survival training in the Arctic environment.

This goes in line with Johannes Schmied’s presentation as a panelist in a science session on oil and gas drilling in the Arctic. Following up on research findings from the Norwegian SARiNOR project on Search and Rescue in the High North he presented a study undertaken together with Tor Berg, Odd Jarl Borch, Kay Fjørtoft, Andrey Kazakov, James R. Parsons, Ensieh Kheiri Pileh Roud and Ørjan Selvik, which focused on Safe Operations in Arctic Waters. An emphasis was put on the Polar Code and the need for vessel capacities and competence in SAR emergencies.   The study  elaborates on the need for innovation within preparedness management, and calls for a revision of the latest standards and guidelines including requirements by the Polar Code.

From left: Johannes Schmied, Andrey Krivorotov, Jack Sharples, Lassi Heininen (moderator), Matthias Finger, Peter Evon

During the broader panel discussion, some of the panelists highlighted economic reasons and profitability as main drivers for Arctic oil and gas development. Others raised the importance of local communities and interaction by institutions working for a sustainable development of the Arctic. Further topics of discussion were regulations, the need for a framework to support maritime preparedness to prevent loss of lives and mitigate the impact of oil spills.
In addition to providing interesting science sessions, the UArctic Congress helped to set a milestone for further international cooperation on Arctic safety and security. University of the Arctic agreed to support the UArctic Thematic Network on Arctic Safety and Security. The network, led by Nord University, includes around 20 universities from Norway, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Russia, Sweden and USA. This provides a more permanent platform for the work started in the Marpart project. This UArctic Network will serve as an extended platform for MARPART research.

On September 15, 2016 in St. Petersburg (Russia), the High North Center for Business and Governance (Nord University Business School, Bodø, Norway) and Baltic State Technical University (St. Petersburg, Russia) celebrated the 25 year anniversary of cooperation between Nord University and Russian partner universities. The celebration was marked by the conference “Norwegian-Russian Partnership in Business, Education and Research:  impacts on individuals, institutions, and society”. At the conference, Andrey Kazakov (Advisor, High North Center for Business and Governance) presented the MARPART project to conference participants representing industry, authorities, governmental and non-governmental organizations, as well as institutions for higher education and research from 10 countries.
 
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