Exchange with experts at the meeting held in Norilsk, Russia

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On November 14th and 16th, 2019, a series of events on the theme of economic and social issues in cold climate regions were held in Norilsk city in Russia, which were jointly organized by Norilsk City, Norilsk Development Bureau, Norilsk State Industrial Institute, Sapporo City and Hokkaido University. A Lecture and workshop session (14th Nov) and a talk show and a meeting, “North for Work and Life”(16th Nov) were held as side events of the World Winter Cities Association for Mayors Working Meeting (WWCAM–2019), which was taken place for the first time in Russia (at Norilsk as one of the member cities). The office for WWCAM is located in Sapporo City as part of activities of Hokkaido Regional Consortium.

At the lecture and workshop on the 14th, Assistant Professor Juha Saunavaara of Hokkaido University Arctic Research Center and Senior Researcher Olga Tutubalina of the Department of Geography of the Moscow State University made presentations on the communication infrastructures in cold climate regions and environment observation using remote sensing technology.

On the 16th, participants from Hokkaido University (5 members including Professor Natsuhiko Otsuka and Assistant Professor Juha Saunavaara of the Arctic Research Center, Associate Professor Taro Mori of the Faculty of Engineering, Assistant Professor Ram Avtar of the Graduate School of Environmental Science, and Professor Jeffrey Gayman of the Research Faculty of Media and Communication), a Japanese company (3 members from North Plan Co., Ltd), and Russian Universities (7 members from Moscow State University, North-Eastern Federal University in Yakutsk, Ural Federal University and Khabarovsk State Academy of Economics and Law) attended the panel discussion. They exchanged views on infrastructure development for improving energy efficiency in winter, logistics issues, development challenges facing cold climate regions, protection of traditional culture and lifestyle of ethnic minorities, and more. Council members of the Taymyr Dolgano-Nenets Autonomous Okrug, a director of the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, and indigenous peoples in the district, also joined in the research presentation session on Ainu people. They made presentations on related themes from their perspectives and participated in the discussion. Norilsk municipalities and local companies also participated in some sessions during the event. In addition, the Japanese company North Plan Co., Ltd. and large local metal mining companies explained about their snow removal and windbreak measures, and had active discussions on the topic.

Furthermore, Associate Professor Mori appeared at a talk show featuring “Making winter city life better” as an expert in academia and human resource development on 16th November. He addressed on the improvement of the housing environment in Sapporo City as a winter city.

It is expected that these events will lead to internationalization of universities in northern Russia, and contribute to the development of exchanges between Japanese universities and Russian universities.

Click here to view the Panel discussions program

Participants of the meeting “North for Work and Life”

Professors and a HaRP staff who participated in WWCAM-2019  (from right: Associate Professor Mori, Professor Otsuka, Coordinator Lomaeva)