The High North: Visions and strategies (2011) Ministry of Foreign Affairs


One of the major institutional Arctic initiatives in Norway is FRAM, the High North Research Centre for Climate and the Environment, a constellation of institutions contributing to maintaining Norway’s prominent status in the management of environment and natural resources in the North. The Norwegian Polar Institute, a member of FRAM, represents Norway on several international forums. The Norwegian Polar Institute is active within the fields of scientific research, mapping and environmental monitoring in the Arctic and Antarctica. The Institute advises Norwegian authorities in strategic and thematic matters relating to the polar regions, represents Norway internationally on various occasions and is Norway’s competent environmental authority in Antarctica. The Institute equips and organises major expeditions and owns the research vessel Lance as well as the Sverdrup Research Station in Ny-­‐Ålesund. The FRAM centre also hosts the Arctic Council Secretariat. UiT The Arctic University of Norway located in Tromsø, is another prominent FRAM member. UiT´s key research focuses on the polar environment, climate research, indigenous people, peace and conflict transformation, telemedicine, medical biology, space physics, fishery science, marine bio-­‐ prospecting, linguistics and computational chemistry. The university also has several other Arctic related initiatives, including the establishment of national research groups. It is a majority owner of the Northern Research Institute (Norut) , which carries out public sector and industry research commissions, with special expertise in the Northern regions, and UiT is an initiating partner of the National Centre for Petroleum Activities in the Arctic. The latter centre, to be seated in Tromsø, received seed money from the Norwegian state in 2012 and brings several institutions together to focus on petroleum extraction-­‐related research in an Arctic context. The Institute of Marine Research, also a member of FRAM, is Norway’s largest centre of marine science. Their main task is to provide advice to Norwegian authorities on aquaculture and the ecosystems of the Barents Sea, the Norwegian Sea, the North Sea and the Norwegian coastal zone. About 50% of their activities are financed by the Ministry of Fisheries and Coastal Affairs. The institute owns several research vessels to this end. The Norwegian Polar Institute, the Institute for Marine Research, and UiT The Arctic University of Norway has commissioned the construction of research vessel “Kronprins Haakon”, an ice-­‐class Polar 10 Icebreaker which should be ready for delivery in 2015. The University Centre in Svalbard (UNIS), also a member of FRAM, is a share-­‐holding company, owned by the Norwegian Ministry of Education and Research. UNIS’s goals are to provide university level education in Arctic studies, to carry out high quality research, and to contribute to the development of Svalbard as an international research platform. It is an important clearing house for research on Svalbard. UNIS is also in charge of the Svalbard Integrated Arctic Earth Observing System (SIOS) (see table 2.2). The overall goal of SIOS is to establish an Arctic Earth Observing System in and around Svalbard that integrates the studies of geophysical, chemical and biological processes from all research and monitoring platforms. In terms of research stations, two Norwegian stations are part of the EU-­‐INTERACT initiative. Finse Alpine Research Centre is located in the northwestern part of the Hardangervidda mountain plateau. Even though the University of Oslo is the official owner, state funding for building the station was provided on the condition that the Universities of Bergen and Oslo have equal rights to the use of the station for research and education. Bioforsk Svanhovd belongs to the Norwegian Institute for Agricultural and Environmental Research (Bioforsk). It is located in the Pasvik area in North-­‐East Norway. The Centre for High North Logistics (CHNL) was established as an international knowledge hub for businesses, research institutions and authorities so that they can develop effective and sustainable logistics solutions for northern sea areas. One of their initiatives is the creation of an online database, Arctic Resources and Transportation Information System (ARCTIS), a knowledge hub to provide the best available information on non-­‐living resources, shipping and logistics in the Arctic. Since much of its activities take place in the Arctic, Statoil, the Norwegian oil and gas extraction company in which the Norwegian government holds a majority share, has a dedicated Arctic unit and a specific focus on the far north of the Norwegian continental shelf. Besides infrastructural development in the north, Statoil has taken an institutional corporate initiative in conducting research and development programs tailored to meet the challenges of oil and gas extraction in the north.

  • Norway, Iceland, Greenland and the Faroe Islands are the founding signatories of the North Atlantic Marine Mammal Commission (NAMMCO), an international body for cooperation on the conservation, management and study of marine mammals in the North Atlantic.
  • The Arctic Frontiers (AF) is an independent Norwegian network organising an annual summit in Tromsø, Norway, provides a platform for all Arctic stakeholders to define priorities for development and research.
  • The Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme (AMAP)‘ s Sectretariat is in Oslo
  • Norway participates at Polar View (PV), an initiative by the European Space Agency (ESA) and the European Commission, with participation from the Canadian Space Agency, under the Copernicus Programme. Current PV service lines include: sea ice monitoring and forecasting; iceberg monitoring; ice edge monitoring; ice drift trajectories; river ice monitoring; lake ice monitoring; glacier monitoring; snow monitoring
  • ANISTIAMO: Addressing New Challenges in Satellite Based Maritime Surveillance and Arctic Monitoring is an initiative of Kongsberg Satellite Services in Norway with participation by organisations in Ireland and Finland. ANISTIAMO builds on previous research that focused on satellite derived information for maritime surveillance, and seeks to continue working with maritime agencies (e.g. naval organisations, coast guards) that are potential users of satellite-based products and services. With this in mind, the primary objectives of the initiative are to: validate the capability to provide products and services responding to requirements for information expressed by end users in the maritime security and Arctic Environmental Monitoring community; demonstrate benefits and utility for a defined set of products and services to a representative group of end users under operational conditions; obtain clear, credible statements from participating end users on the utility of the products and services delivered; compile convincing evidence on the viability of a future operational case for the products and services considered within the target demand sectors.
  • Norway is member at the Barents-Euro Arctic Council, the forum for intergovernmental and interregional cooperation in the Barents region that aims at providing a common platform for promoting dialogue and concrete cooperation as well as strengthening stability and promoting economic integration, competitiveness and sustainable development in Northern Europe. The EU is a principal partner in the BEAC through the Northern Dimension. The Northern Dimension is a policy framework for cooperation involving the EU, its Member States and partner countries Iceland, Norway and Russia
  • The Norwegian Barents Secretariat is owned by the three northernmost counties of Norway: Nordland, Troms and Finnmark. There are three Russian offices: Murmansk, Archangelsk and Nenets office. The Norwegian Barents Secretariat aims at developing the Norwegian-Russian relations in the north by promoting and funding Norwegian-Russian cooperation projects. The Secretariat is also a centre of competence on Norwegian-Russian relations.
  • Soil Atlas of the Northern Circumpolar Region: The The EC Joint Research Centre, with partners from northern EU countries, as well as Norway, Iceland, Greenland, Canada, the USA and Russia produced the soil atlas in 2010 as part of their contribution to the International Polar Year (2010). The project included science communication to a broad group of stakeholders on the characteristics of northern soil, its environmental importance and global significance.


The Northern Dimension is a joint policy between EU, Russia, Norway and Iceland. The ND Policy was initiated in 1999 and renewed in 2006. The policy aims at providing a framework to:

  • promote dialogue and concrete cooperation
  • strengthen stability
  • well being and intensified economic cooperation
  • promote economic integration, competitiveness and sustainable development in Northern Europe.

 In addition to the four ND Partners namely EU, Russia, Norway and Iceland, also participating are:

  • Members States in national capacity
  • Regional Councils, e.g. the Arctic Council (AC), the Barents Euro-­arctic Council (BEAC),
  • the Council of the Baltic Sea States (CBSS) and the Nordic Council of Ministers (NCM)
  • International Financial Institutions (IFIs), e.g. European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), the European Investment Bank (EIB), the Nordic Investment Bank (NIB) and the Nordic Environment Finance Corporation (NEFCO) as well as other financial institutions -­ universities and research centers and business community
  • Canada and the United States as observers
  • Belarus participates in practical cooperation.

To facilitate ND project implementation, four Partnerships have been established to deal with the following thematic issues:

  • environment (NDEP)
  • public health and social well-­being (NDPHS)
  • transport and logistics (NDPTL)
  • culture (NDPC)

An ND Institute (NDI) and ND Business Council (NDBC) have been established to involve academia and business community into ND cooperation


  • Western Norway Research Institute and Sogn og Fjordane County Governor are partners to Clim-ATIC (Climate Change — Adapting to The Impacts, by Communities in Northern Peripheral Regions), a project aime at Supporting rural peripheral communities to adapt to the impacts of climate change. Clim-ATIC is partially financed by the EU by the Northern Periphery Programme.
  • Kongsberg Satellite Services, Norway Northern Research Institute, and Norwegian Computing Center are partners to CryoLand, a project aimed at developing ,implementing and validating an operational sustainable service for monitoring snow and land ice. CryoLand is financed by the EU within Copernicus, 7th Framework Programme.
  • Nofima Marin AS, Norsk Polarinstitutt, and Norway Meteorologisk Institutt, Sintef Fiskeri og Havbruk, Stiftelsen Sintef, and Cicero Senter for Klimaforskning are partners to to ACCESS (Arctic Climate Change, Economy and Society /Climate Change and the Arctic environment WG), a project aimed at evaluating the Arctic climate change scenarios and their impact on specific economic sectors and human activities over the next decades.
  • University of Tromsø is lead partner to Arctic Tipping Points, a project aimed at Identifying the elements of the Arctic marine ecosystem likely to show abrupt changes in response to climate change, and establish the levels of the corresponding climate drivers inducing regime shift in those tipping elements. In addition, determine the effect of crossing those thresholds for the Arctic marine ecosystems, and the associated risks and opportunities for economic activities dependent on the marine ecosystem of the European Arctic. Arctic Tipping Points is partially financed by the EU by the 7th Framework Programme.
  • UNIVERSITETET I BERGEN is partner to EPOCA (European Project on Ocean Acidification) a project for advancing the understanding of the biological, ecological, biogeochemical, and societal implications of ocean acidification. EPOCA is partially financed by the EU by the 7th Framework Programme.
  • Nansen Environmental and Remote Sensing Center is lead partner to MONARCH-A (Monitoring and Assessing Regional Climate Change in High latitudes and the Arctic), a project aimed at generating a dedicated information package tailored to a subset of multidisciplinary essential climate variables and their mutual forcing and feedback mechanisms associated with changes in terrestrial carbon and water fluxes, sea level and ocean circulation and the marine carbon cycle. MONARCH-A is partially financed by the EU by the 7th Framework Programme
  • The University Centre in Svalbard Norway, is partner to Page21, a project aimed at understanding and quantifying the vulnerability of permafrost environments to a changing global climate, and to investigate the feedback mechanisms associated with increasing greenhouse gas emissions from permafrost zones. Page21 is partially financed by the EU.
  • Norwegian Institute for Agricultural and Environmental Research (BIOFORSK), Norwegian Polar Institute (NPI), and the University of Oslo (UO) are partners to INTERACT, (International Network for Terrestrial Research and Monitoring in the Arctic) a project aimed at build capacity for identifying, understanding, predicting and responding to diverse environmental changes throughout the wide environmental and land-­‐use. INTERACT is partially financed by the EU by the 7th Framework Programme.
  • The Research Council of Norway is lead partner to SIOS, (Svalbard Integrated Earth Observing System) a project for the creation of an optimized observational infrastructure which can match advanced Earth System Models with observational evidence and provide near--‐real--‐time information on Arctic Change to relevant stakeholders. SIOS is partially financed by the EU by the 7th Framework Programme. Also The Norwegian Polar Institute, and the University Centre in Svalbard, Norwegian Ministry of Trade and Industry -­‐ Norwegian Space Centre, University of Bergen, University of Tromsø, Norwegian Meteorological Institute, Nansen Environmental and Remote Sensing Center, Institute of Marine Research, Norwegian Institute for Air Research, Andøya Rocket Range, Research Organization of Information and Systems are partner to SIOS, while the Norwegian Institute of Water Research, University of Oslo, Kings Bay AS NORSAR, Akvaplan-­‐niva AS. , Norwegian Institute of Nature Research, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Kongsberg Satellite Services AS, Northern Research Institute Tromso AS Norwegian Directorate of Energy and Water Resources, Norwegian Ministry of Education and Research the Governor of Svalbard, are associated partners to SIOS.
  • Norwegian Society for Sea Rescue (NSSR), is partner to SMACS (Small Craft Emergency Response and Survival Training for Arctic Conditions) a project aiming at developing of a safety and survival training programme specifically focused on the needs of small-­‐craft Arctic mariners. SMACS is partially financed by the EU by the Northern Periphery Programme.
  • Troms Fylkeskommune, Finnmark Fylkeskommune, Nordland Fylkeskommune, are partners to „The Barents Freeway, a project for the integration of the current transport strategies, plans and projects of each participating country into a common Barents Region Transport Strategy. The Barents Freeway is partially financed by Kolarctic ENPI CBC ..
  • Det Norske Veritas AS is partner JOULES (Joint Operation for Ultra Low Emission Shipping), a project aimed at significantly reducing the gas emissions of European Built ships. JOULES is partially financed by the EU by the 7th Framework Programme.
  • Nansen Environmental and Remote Sensing Center is lead partner to NETMAR (Open service network for Marine Environmental Data), a project that aims at developing a pilot European Marine Information System (EUMIS) for searching, downloading and integrating satellite, in situ and model data from ocean and coastal areas. NETMAR is partially financed by the EU by the 7th Framework Programme.
  • Bodø University College (lead partner), AFNn and Norwegian Institute for Agricultural and Environmental Research – Bioforsk, are partners to EcoFish (Environment friendly fish farming and use of cleaner fish), a project aiming at developing methods and technology required to rear cleaner fish for use by the cod and salmon farming industry. EcoFish is partially financed by the EU by the Northern Periphery Programme.
  • Nofima Marine is partner to Northcharr (Sustainable Aquaculture of Arctic char), a project for a secured and expanded national breeding programs; coordination of the farming industry in all participating countries initiated; input to the governmental inquest “Sweden, an Aquaculture nation in the making”; advice services and help to farmers.; establishment of the Aquaculture Centre North. Northcharr is partially financed by the EU by the Northern Periphery Programme.
  • Finnmark County Governor´s office, Norwegian Institute of Nature Research, and Institute of Marine Research are partners to Kolarctic Salmon, a project aiming at merging modern science with traditional knowledge to improve the future management of the Atlantic salmon. Kolarctic Salmon, is partially financed by the EU by the Northern Periphery Programme by the Kolarctic ENPI CBC.
  • Nansen Environmental and Remote Sensing Center is lead partner to MARIES, a project for the development of methodologies for satellite monitoring of Arctic glaciers, sea ice and icebergs. MARIES is fully financed by the EU, Copernicus, 7th Framework Programme; and partner to SIDARUS (Sea Ice Downstream Services for Arctic and Antarctic Users and Stakeholders), a project for the development and implementation of a set of sea ice downstream services in the area of climate research, marine safety and environmental monitoring. SIDARUS is partially financed by the EU through the European Earth Observation Programme Copernicus, 7th Framework Programme. Also Norwegian Meteorological Institute is partner to SIDARUS.
  • Vagan commune and Lyngen region vid Storfjord commune are partners to North Calotte Network for Sustainable Tourism Development, a project aimed at increasing cooperation between those involved in tourism in the Arctic area and raising awareness of sustainable tourism in the Arctic. North Calotte Network for Sustainable Tourism Development is partially financed by the EU by Interreg IV A North.
  • Bioforsk Svanhovd, County Governor of Finnmark, Finnmark County Authority, Nordland Research Institute, are partners to ABCG Heritage (Arctic Biological, Cultural and Geological Heritage), a project aiming at increasing regional knowledge, particularly where schoolchildren are concerned, but also for tourists, local residents and nature tourism operators; to increase the sustainable use of protected and recreational areas create new, innovative co-­‐operative networks along the Green Belt of Fennoscandia, which do long-­‐term nature conservation work and establish sustainable nature tourism. ABCG Heritage is partially financed by Kolarctic ENPI CBC. Geological Survey of Finland, and Lapland Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment are partners to the project.
  • University Hospital North Norway, Norut Alta As, and SINTEF are partners to MineHealth, a project aimed at providing long-­‐term sustainability of well-­‐being, health and work ability among workers in the mining industry by increased knowledge on how to cope with the environment and to adopt preventive measures for working in the mining industry within the Barents region. MineHealth is partially financed by Kolarctic ENPI CBC.
  • Northern Research Institute, Tromsø, is partner to SUMILCERE (Sustainable Mining, local communities and environmental regulation in Kolarctic area), a project aimed at supporting public-­‐private collaboration for achieving the sustainable development; enhance the using of developed practices and recommendations for sustainable social licensing, environmental regulation; contribute to the diminishing risks in global mining investments; sustain research network collaboration. SUMILCERE i sfinanced by Kolarctic ENPI CBC.
  • GRID--‐Arendal is lead parnter to the ARCTIC NGO FORUM, an initiative that aims to provide a consistent way for non-­‐governmental organisations (NGOs) concerned with Arctic environmental issues to get together, exchange ideas and perspectives and provide advice to the global Arctic community
  • The Norwegian Institute for Nature Research is partner to HUNT, a project aimed at assessing the social, cultural, economic and ecological functions and impacts of hunting. HUNT is partially financed by the EU by the 7th Framework Programme.
  • BarentsObserver is partner to Barents Mediasphere, a project aimed at improving cross-­‐border communication and information flow within the Barents region. The Barents Mediasphere project aims to create flexible cooperation mechanisms for media in the Barents region, and increases its visibility in media both inside and outside the region. Barents Mediasphere is partially financed by Kolarctic ENPI CBC.
  • Barentssekretariatet is partner to Young Innovative Entrepreneurs, a project aimed at the creation of a region wide support system that will enhance the development and implementation of innovative business ideas across the borders by young entrepreneurs. Young Innovative Entrepreneurs is partially financed by Kolarctic ENPI CBC. Rovaniemi Municipal Federation of Education/RUAS Länsipohjan yrittäjät are also partners to the project.
  • Research Council of Norway is partner to BOREAS, a coordinated programme of research on the North to enable the humanities to collaborate more effectively and to offer synergies between social, natural and medical sciences through innovative collaboration between Europe, the US, Canada And Russia. BOREAS is partially financed by the EU by the 7th Framework Programme.
  • Hordaland County Council is lead partner to Craft International, a project to use integrated visitor/local sales/e-­‐sales activities to improve chances of survival for selected and badged artisan businesses. Craft International is partially financed by the EU by the Northern Periphery Programme.

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