November 9, 2021
Representatives of the Nordic Council of Ministers and Karelian Research Centre RAS discussed possibilities for future cooperation. The research and project topics of mutual interest for the organizations are climate change, biodiversity conservation, environment, green economy, and neighborhood policy.
On October 19, Jens Nytoft Rasmussen from the Nordic Council of Ministers’ Secretariat visited Karelian Research Centre RAS. The participants of the meeting were KarRC RAS Director General Olga Bakhmet, Head of KarRC RAS Department for International Cooperation Pavel Petrov, Leading Specialist of the Department Alexandra Smirnova, and interpreter Olga Kislova.

Olga Bakhmet told the guests about the Centre’s structure and activities, main research and project areas, international contacts.

– There are several dimensions to the international cooperation of KarRC RAS. This is, first of all, project and expert activities. Karelian Research Centre is represented in international organizations, various commissions and working groups. We host lots of events, conferences, workshops, other scientific fora. Overall, the Centre annually implements some 50 international projects and, despite the pandemic, 2020 delivered the same numbers. Most of the projects are in collaboration with Finland, but we also have partners in 21 countries, including South Africa, Canada, India, i.e., the geography is indeed worldwide, – remarked Olga Bakhmet.

Director General particularly highlighted cross-border cooperation, which makes KarRC RAS stand out among other Russia’s federal research centers. KarRC implements projects under cross-border cooperation programmes Karelia, Kolarctic, Interreg Baltic Sea Region (KarRC RAS is member of the programme’s Russian National Sub-committee), and others. The project themes include ecology and environment, forest issues, tourism, economy, history, etc. Last year, KarRC RAS was the second time re-elected as coordinator of the Green Belt of Fennoscandia.

Senior Adviser at the Nordic Council of Ministers’ Secretariat Jens Nytoft Rasmussen, in turn, related the organization’s vision on the development of international cooperation for the coming decade. The three key vectors for the organization will be “a green region”, competitiveness, and social inclusion. The first one in particular includes research, targeting, among other things, biodiversity conservation, carbon neutrality, and attainment of a sustainable bio- and circular economy and conscientious consumer choices. The work of the Nordic Council of Ministers is arranged through activities of Nordic institutions, strategic partnerships, projects, programmes, and intersectoral initiatives.

Karelian Research Centre’s projects and research resonate with this agenda. E.g., Alexandra Smirnova told about the NordCompostEd project, implemented by the North Centre Association with KarRC RAS as a partner, and financed by the Nordic Council of Ministers. Its aim is to promote public awareness in biowaste management.

KarRC RAS representatives learnt about the specific projects which will be supported by Norden in the coming years and commented on the one’s where Karelian scientists could contribute. They deal with the environment, climate change, neighborhood policy, and science outreach. Jens Rasmussen specifically invited KarRC RAs to cooperate on the Northern Ring project, designed to bring together active young people from different spheres by means of a sea journey on a sail ship.

The participants also discussed the plans for Nordic Days in Petrozavodsk in December 2021. It’s been decided already that an event within Nordic Days at KarRC RAS will be an eco-poster exhibition. This and other organizational issues will be discussed with Nordic representatives shortly.

See also:

May 21, 2021
The international environmental project SUPER, in which Karelian scientists assessed the ability of the environment to withstand high recreational pressure in natural and cultural heritage sites, has come to an end. The project has also built waste management infrastructure in the pilot areas and organized lots of educational events.
April 30, 2021
A new international project entitled “Wolf: Barents predators – managing large carnivores in the Barents region” started at KarRC RAS. In the project, scientists from Karelia and Sweden will share expertise and research results regarding wolf populations.