Tromso, Norway. Photo: iStock
Tromso, Norway. Photo: iStock
This year’s conference will focus on the theme “Power of knowledge” and takes place from 26-30 January 2020.

The Arctic Frontiers is an annual conference held in Tromsø, Norway, at the end of January. This year’s conference will focus on the theme “Power of knowledge” and takes place from 26-30 January 2020. The conference started out in 2006 assembling a global scientific summit on economic, societal and environmentally sustainable growth in the Arctic region. Arctic Frontiers has a pan-arctic perspective and builds new partnerships across nations, generations and ethnic groups. Participants from more than 35 countries joined the gathering in Tromsø in January 2019.

Located in the hometown of the Arctic Council Secretariat, the Arctic Council has an active presence at the conference, including a side event on blue bioeconomy, a movie screening of THE GRIZZLIES, and a media tour. Here is a list of Arctic Council related events during Arctic Frontiers.

Media tour during Arctic Frontiers

Journalists attending the Arctic Frontiers Conference 2020 in Tromsø, Norway, are invited to an exclusive tour of the FRAM - High North Research Centre for Climate and the Environment, and a selection of the institutions located within the Fram Centre building – including the Arctic Council Secretariat, the Arctic Contaminants Action Program, and the Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme. The FRAM Centre is Tromsø’s hub for polar matters and offers an interdisciplinary environment for researchers and practitioners to address some of the main challenges affecting Arctic ecosystems and communities.

Co-organized by the Arctic Council Secretariat and the Fram Centre

Dates: Monday, 27 January 13:00-15:00, and Tuesday, 28 January 13:00-15:00
Location: Fram Centre

Arctic Resilience Side Event and Panel

Arctic countries and their northern communities are facing rapid changes and disruptions driven by political, natural and economic forces. There is wide variability among these changes across different regions in the Arctic, and resilience and adaptation have been extensively explored by the Arctic Resilience Report and Adaptation Actions for a Changing Arctic reports in the Arctic Council, resulting in a number of recommendations for adaptation to change. The Arctic Resilience Action Framework (ARAF) was subsequently adopted by the Arctic Council to help Arctic stakeholders track progress on resilience and adaptation actions in the Arctic, but there is no Arctic-wide resource or consortium to help develop or inform adaptive capacity or actions. Learn more about the side event.

Convened by Joel Clement and Alf Håkon Hoel, with involvement of the Sustainable Development Working Group

Date: Monday, 27 January 16:15-17:45
Location: Clarion Hotel The Edge

Arctic Cities and New Partnerships For Sustainable Development

The peoples, cities and communities of the Arctic face many challenges, but also new opportunities. The impact of climate change is in some places existential in character. At the same time the melting of the Polar ice represents prospects for economic diversification, innovation and local value-creation. The UN Sustainable Development Agenda represents an important frame for Arctic societies in order to adapt and transform to the new reality of climate change and globalisation more generally - be it in the Russian, North American or European Arctic. The objective of the side event is to convene mayors from the Arctic, global stakeholders and civil society to highlight some of the challenges and opportunities in the Arctic seen from the point of view of mayors. The purpose is also to facilitate dialog and possible future cooperation between the UN Human Settlements programme (UN Habitat), the Arctic Council and the Arctic Mayors’ Forum. More more about the side event.

Organized by the Arctic Mayor's Forum and Habitat Norway, with involvement of the Sustainable Development Working Group

Date: Monday, 27 January 18:15 – 19:15
Location: Clarion Hotel The Edge

The Use of Arctic Science – The Case of the Arctic Council

To understand how international cooperation in the Arctic works, we need to understand the Arctic Council. All the Arctic states describe the Council as the most important international forum for dialogue and cooperation on Arctic challenges and opportunities, and as a significant arena for developing knowledge and learning about a changing region. However, knowledge of this forum, how it works, and its potential has remained limited and fragmented. More information about the side event.

Organized by the Fridtjof Nansen Institute

Date: Monday, 27 January 18:15 – 19:15
Location: Clarion Hotel The Edge

A source for Arctic optimism: The Blue Bioeconomy

The blue bioeconomy has the potential to be a major contributor to achieving sustainable development in the Arctic and beyond. The term “blue bioeconomy” refers to sustainably maximising the value and use of aquatic bioresources using innovative processing methods. It is a source for great optimism for the circumpolar region. Today, estimates reveal that up to 43% of captured fish and shellfish resources end up either as wastage or discarded material. This means that companies are throwing away 43% of the biomass that could potentially generate substantial profits by developing methods for turning “waste” into high value products for food, feed, bio-products and bioenergy sectors. The blue bioeconomy is a kind of back to basics thinking in the sense that it revolves around making the most of available resources, and maximizing the value of and revenue from marine catches while minimizing waste and negative environmental impacts of marine operations.

Co-organized by the Arctic Council, the Icelandic Chairmanship of the Arctic Council, and the Sustainable Development Working Group

Date: Tuesday, 28 January 16:15 – 17:45
Location: Clarion Hotel The Edge, The SkyBar

Indigenous Leaders’ Vision for the Arctic - Organized by the Indigenous Peoples’ Secretariat and the Arctic Council Permanent Participants.

The side event will begin with a summary of the 6th Arctic Leaders’ Summit (ALS), which took place in November 2019 and provide a panel of Indigenous leaders introducing their vision for the future of the Arctic. There will be interactive discussions and opportunity for questions from the audience. The ALS is a high-level political gathering in which Indigenous Peoples from across the Arctic meet to identify their priorities and discuss the future of their Arctic homelands, including cooperation, language and culture, environmental changes, living conditions, economies and sustainable development. For more information about the 6th ALS and its declaration, visit:

This side event is co-organized by the Indigenous Peoples’ Secretariat and the Arctic Council’s Indigenous organizations with Permanent Participant status. The Permanent Participants are Aleut International Association, Arctic Athabaskan Council, Gwich’in Council International, Inuit Circumpolar Council, Russian Association of the Indigenous Peoples of the North and the Saami Council.

Date: Tuesday, 28 January 18:15 – 19:15
Location: Clarion Hotel The Edge

THE GRIZZLIES - movie screening and panel discussion on mental health in the Arctic

The Arctic Council, its Sustainable Development Working Group and Global Affairs Canada are pleased to invite you to a screening of the movie THE GRIZZLIES, which was shown as part of this year’s Tromsø International Film Festival. The drama is based on a true story and depicts a youth lacrosse team that was set up to engage and motivate young people in the community of Kugluktuk, Nunavut – a community suffering under an epidemic of youth suicides. The movie tackles a sensitive topic that is important for Northern communities across the Arctic – and has been an important focus area of the Arctic Council for several years under the leadership of its Sustainable Development Working Group (SDWG). In cooperation with SWDG and Global Affairs Canada, the Arctic Council thus has decided to raise awareness about elevated suicide rates in the Arctic – especially amongst young people –during Arctic Frontiers.

Co-organized by the Arctic Council, Global Affairs Canada and the Sustainable Development Working Group

Date: Wednesday, 29 January 17:30 – 20:00
Location: Fram Centre Auditorium

Ságastallamin – Telling the story of Arctic Indigenous languages

More than 40 Indigenous languages are spoken in the Arctic. Learn more about linguistic diversity in the region by viewing the exhibition «Ságastallamin – Telling the story of Arctic Indigenous languages», displayed at the Fram Centre in January and February 2020. This exhibition was designed by UiT – The Arctic University of Norway Library and the Arctic Council Indigenous Peoples’ Secretariat in 2019. Learn more about the exhibition on its dedicated website.

Date: January - February 2020 08:00 - 16:00
Location: Fram Centre