Visit of Prof. Maruyama and Prof. Matsuna, 11-30 March 2011

From the 11th until the 30th of March we have enjoyed the visit of Professor Hiroshi Maruyama and of Associate Professor Takashi Matsuna from the College of Liberal Arts at the Muroran Institute of Technology in Hokkaido, Japan. The purpose of their visit was to have meetings with Dr Elina Helander-Renvall and with members of our Anthropology Research Team on issues of land use and resources and legitimacy issues in relation to indigenous peoples. On this topic, Professor Maruyama is publishing an article (in print) with the title “Ainu Landowners’ Struggle for Justice and Illegitimacy of the Nibutani Dam Project in Hokkaido Japan”, 13 International Community Law Review. A seminar on this topics will be organized at the Arctic Centre next September 2011.

ACCESS kick-off meeting (Sorbonne Universités, Paris), March 8-10.2011

Anna Stammler-Gossmann has attended the kick-off meeting for the “ACCESS” project at the Sorbonne Universités, in Paris on the 8-10 of March 2011.

ACCESS (Arctic Climate Change, Economy and Society) is an European project of the 7th Framework Programme Research and Development started on March 1st, 2011. 27 partners from 8 European countries and from Russia evaluate climatic impacts on marine transportation, fisheries, marine mammals and extraction of oil and gas in the Arctic Ocean. ACCESS is also highly concerned with Arctic governance issues.

During the three days meeting Anna presented the Arctic Centre as a project partner, the research objectives of the Arctic Centre’s tasks for the project and outlined the planned stakeholders’ workshop that she will organise on the theme “Sharing the sea: coexistence and challenges of coastal economies”.

Anna is leading the project task on “Socio-economic impact of climate change on the fishery sector”. Her research is focused on regional and local effects of climate-related environmental changes on fisheries.

“Human Dimension”: time to emancipate Arctic anthropology

At the upcoming major Arctic Science event, the Arctic Science Summit Week in Seoul, South Korea, 27th March-1st April. The theme of the summit is “The Arctic: New Frontier For Global Science” and Florian will co-lead a session on “Societal changes in the Arctic and North-South relations“, with prominent participants from all over the world. From the Arctic Centre will participate also Professor Bruce Forbes who will attend the session as an invited speaker. Forbes works at the Arctic Centre as research Professor and as leader of the Global Change Group. More informations on the conference programme can be found here:

Among other things, we will discuss there if it still makes sense to speak of the term “Human Dimension” in Arctic Science. Maybe the term has outlived itself, or wouldn’t it be weird to talk about the “natural dimension of Sami spirituality” as an opposite? If we are honest, aren’t we doing all our science for humans really? Or why would climate change matter, for example, if there were no humans on our planet to be affected by it? So in a way, “Human Dimension” is everywhere and nowhere, just as “natural dimension”. These terms base on an artificial division between humans and nature, which for people living with, on and as part of the land was always strange as a construct. More on this topic you can find the discussion of several key IASSA members here: .

Discussion on this would be very welcome!! Any ideas? We shall talk about this and maybe propose a resolution at the next general assembly of IASSA (International Arctic Social Sciences Association) in Akureyri, Iceland, in June. (

Extractive Industries in the Arctic


Pavel Savelievich in front of the first gas well of Novyi Urengoi, West Siberia, 2008

Looking forward to a phD course on extractive industries in the Arctic. It’s planned and implemented by several members of the IASSA ( Extractive Industries Working Group members. There will be experts from all over the field, including industry representatives, NGO, indigenous people’s representatives, teaching about how to prevent damage from industry projects to local people, and how to implement projects as sustainably as possible. . Even though, if we think about it properly, can extracting finite resources EVER be sustainable???
Any views on that?

welcome to the new blog!

Greetings and a warm welcome to this blog on Arctic anthropology!

We would be happy if this becomes a forum for communicating relevant and interesting events, thoughts, ideas around human livelihoods in the circumpolar North.

Looking forward to seeing you soon!