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Arctic workshop in Luleå

Published: 7 October 2016

What are the best practices for mining and sustainable development in the Arctic? That’s the focus for a workshop at Vetenskapens Hus in Luleå October 13-14.

The workshop is held by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Energy Resources along with the Swedish government, Luleå University of Technology and the City of Luleå. The arrangement is a part of the work within the Arctic Council, a leading intergovernmental forum promoting cooperation, coordination and interaction among the Arctic States, Arctic indigenous communities and other Arctic inhabitants. The Arctic Council has eight member countries: Canada, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Russia and the United States. In addition, six organizations representing Arctic indigenous peoples have status as Permanent Participants.

USA is currently holding the chairmanship of the Arctic Council and this is the fourth workshop they are organizing during their chairmanship.

"We have a robust partnership"

– We are very excited to host this workshop on Best Practices for Mining and Sustainable Development in the Arctic in the city of Luleå because of its long standing association with the mining industry and the presence of Luleå University of Technology, a leading academic institution on all aspects of mining, especially in the Arctic. The U.S. also has a robust partnership with the city of Luleå under the leadership of Mayor Niklas Nordström, and we greatly appreciate the city’s collaborative approach on everything from academic research to the arts and music, says ambassador Mary Burce Warlick, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State, at the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Energy Resources.

Luleå University of Technology’s Pro-Vice Chancellor Birgitta Bergvall-Kåreborn is glad to welcome the workshop’s participants to Luleå.

– Both our expertise and geographical location clearly shows that the university and the region are major actors within the Arctic cooperation, she says.

Among the speakers at the workshop are Johan Sterte, Vice-Chancellor of Luleå University of Technology, professors Lena Abrahamsson and Pär Weihed, ambassador Mary Burce Warlick, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State, Bureau of Energy Resources, U.S. Department of State, and Niklas Nordström, mayor of Luleå.

Deeper understanding

The target participants for the workshop are government representatives from ministries responsible for policy development and regulatory management of mineral extraction projects within a country.

Ms Warlick hopes the workshop will give the participants a deeper understanding of the wide range of issues associated with sound stewardship of Arctic mineral resources.

– We will also introduce key case studies that highlight best practices for sustainable mineral extraction in the Arctic, she says.