Last minute preparations before the Arctic Forum opens in Salekhard.(Photo: Trude Pettersen)
SALEKHARD: The participants in the 3rd International Arctic Forum were met by this year’s first blizzard when they arrived in Salekhard today. Scientists, politicians and decision makers from all Arctic countries have gathered in the town on the Arctic Circle.
Salekhard, the administrative center of Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrug, hosts Russia’s largest international Arctic conference, “The Arctic - Territory of Dialogue”, which opens today .
The theme for this year’s forum is “Environmental Safety in the Arctic”. On the program are sessions on “Environmental safety and health for the Arctic population”, “Legal regime for the Arctic environment protection”, “Climate, pollution, biodiversity”, “Environmental safety for the Arctic development”.
BarentsObserver is in Salekhard to cover the event.
Russian President Vladimir Putin, who was one of the initiators to hold an annual international forum on Arctic issues, is expected to participate in the second day of the forum.
Other speakers are Finland’s President Sauli Niinistö, Iceland’s President, Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson, Russian Minister of Natural Resources and Ecology Sergey Donskoy, Chair of the Inuit Circumpolar Council Aqqaluk Lynge and SAO chair of the Arctic Council Patrick Borbey.
The first Arctic Forum was held in Moscow in 2010 and the second in Arkhangelsk in 2011. The third forum was supposed to take place in Salekhard in 2012, but was for unknown reasons cancelled in the last minute.