Going local! - Arctic future strategies from a local perspective

Organized by: Institute of the North, Alaska, and CONOW (Centre for International Relations) 7. September 2017

Nearly four million people live in the Arctic – less than 1% of the world’s population in 400 communities that span an area that is 15% of the world. Local and regional governments, who deliver essential services, represent these communities’ perspectives and priorities and advocate to the eight Arctic states the needs, challenges and opportunities of the region.

The region’s communities are faced with the direct impacts of climate change and globalization – the lessening of sea ice extent, the increase in marine shipping and tourism, thawing permafrost and coastal erosion, lack of modern infrastructure and essential services, and new economic opportunities. In this dynamic and changing environment, it will be local communities who adapt, manage risk, and work to deliver benefits to community members.

To address these challenges and opportunities, the Arctic region needs new forums of cooperation, learning from- and sharing best practices, and to rethink global partnerships.

This breakout session brings together representatives from an historic Arctic Mayors Roundtable conducted in Fairbanks (May 2017) and the UN Habitat’s Urban Resilience Programme concept for the Arctic Resilient Cities Network to explore new and innovative approaches to cooperation, and to continue the development of pan-Arctic regional capacity building.


  • Dan Lewis, Nairobi, Chief Risk Reduction Unit UN Habitat

Representatives from the Arctic Mayors Forum established in Fairbanks on May 11, 2017:

  • Mayor Ida Pinnerød, Bodø, Norway
  • Mayor Asii Chemnitz Narup, Sermersooq, Greenland
  • Mayor Eiríkur Björn Björgvinsson, Akureyri, Iceland


  • Christin Kristoffersen, Oslo, former Mayor of Svalbard, partner Conow & AAG
  • Nils Anderssen, Fairbanks, Director Institute of the North