Arctic Five Research Team Promoting Green Transition

Arctic Five Chair Tanja Joona was appointed chair in Just green transition earlier this year, and now she led a research group that focuses on a sustainable and equitable green transition in the Arctic. She is also a senior researcher and docent in International Law at University of Lapland. 

The JustNorth project, funded by the EU Horizon 2020 programme, studies economic development and inclusion in the Arctic from a legal and ethical perspective. The new Arctic Five research group is a natural continuation of the work done in the project. 

A deeper partnership between the Nordic universities, bringing together a broad and complementary range of expertise, will add real value to the promotion of sustainable development in the region and will also better enable our common views to be heard in international arenas, says Joona. 

Arctic Five Chair Tanja Joona
Arctic Five Chair Tanja Joona

The research group focuses on issues of green transition, i.e., the shift towards an ecologically sustainable economy and growth that is not based on overconsumption of natural resources and fossil fuels. They consider the implementation of the green transition as causing significant changes in land use in northern Finland and, more broadly, in northern Fennoscandia in the near future. These changes could be either positive or negative.

The research team will look at the phenomenon from a particular equity perspective. 

We will explore how the green transition can be implemented in the Arctic in a way that is widely accepted, sustainable and equitable. Our international research team conducts multidisciplinary research on issues such as mining, wind power, reindeer husbandry, fisheries, tourism and indigenous peoples’ rights, says Joona. 

The need for research on land use change caused by the green transition will increase significantly. 

Given our location, it is important and natural that the University of Lapland and its Arctic Centre play a key role in this work. We are here among the people and communities affected by these changes.

Joona sees the Arctic Five Chair appointments and the establishment of research groups as an important step in deepening cooperation between the five northern universities. She has identified many concrete benefits for both the University of Lapland and her own work.

– Networks like this are really important for a small university. Through them we get invitations to new cooperation projects and, for example, this Arctic Five research group creates new opportunities for young researchers,” Joona emphasises. 

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Original article in Finnish

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