Arctic Frontiers 2023: ‘Moving North’

March 23, 2023

Hajime KIMURA 
Institute of Arctic Climate and Environment Research (IACE)
International Observation Planning Group, Project Office for Arctic Research Vessel (PARV)

 The Arctic Frontier 2023 was held in Tromsø, Norway, from 30 January to 2 February 2023. Tromsø is one of the main cities in the Arctic, located at 69°N and the center of Arctic politics and academia, with the Secretariat of the Arctic Council and UiT (Universitetet i Tromsø), the Arctic University of Norway.

 The Arctic Frontiers is an international conference held annually in Tromsø, where government officials, Indigenous Peoples, business people, and scientists gather to discuss the most urgent issues in the Arctic. Youth and Indigenous Peoples' voices are featured in many of the plenary and breakout discussions. ‘Moving North’ is the theme of this year's conference. Many speakers addressed the impact of the Ukrainian problem upon the Arctic, the Arctic energy shift, and environmental changes in the Arctic.

 On the first day, 28 January, I was fortunate to be on board the RV Kronprins Haakon for a side event: "International Collaboration in the Arctic Ocean: Observations and Science for Societal Needs." Presenters of the event provided insight into how international Arctic research projects are currently progressing and what future collaborations and technological developments are planned. Some referred to the situation of so many research projects in the Arctic as a 'jungle.' Participants exchanged views on how to collaborate with other research projects, how to get continuous research funding, and how to cooperate with Indigenous Peoples in the respective research projects.
Plankton paintings were displayed in the corridors, and I felt that the atmosphere inside the vessel was very bright and full of cheerfulness. The auditorium where the events took place seemed like a small theatre.