Newsletter: Uncertain Future

Redningsskøyta Ruth Opsahl ved Bodø havn. SAR. Search and rescue
Fingers crossed for smooth waters ahead. (Bodø harbour. Photo: Trine Jonassen)

The pandemic is pulling the Arctic in two directions now, and there is no predicting what the summer will be like. However, this week also offers some  gems from the High North Tour 2021 as well as business, security politics and good interviews.

The Arctic is opening up, slowly yet steadily, as immunization proceeds. In Longyearbyen, Svalbard more than 90 percent of all adults are vaccinated. At the same time, the pandemic is hitting harder in Northern Sweden. (Both in Norwegian only.)

Anyone would have a hard time predicting what life will be like after the summer holidays. But it is safe to say that people are weary now.

Yet one indication that things are going better, is the fact that the border between Norway and Finland – which has been shut for five months – is reopening today.

Gems from the High North

This year’s innovation, The High North Tour 2021, is nearing the end after having crisscrossed across Northern Norway. But our Editor-in-Chief Arne O. Holm still has a couple of aces up his sleeve.

Heidi Angell Strøm.
PhD Candidate Heidi Angell Strøm at UiT Harstad. (Photo: Arne O. Holm)
PhD Candidate Heidi Angell Strøm at UiT Harstad. (Photo: Arne O. Holm)

In Harstad, everything came to a halt for PhD Candidate Heidi Angell Strøm at UiT Harstad when Norway shut down in March last year. Watch the interview where speaks about how her study ended up focusing on something quite different from what she had originally planned.

When the pandemic hit Norway, there was in particular one group at risk that was the concern and worry of many, and that was the group constituted by substance abusers with underlying conditions. What happened when the country shut down? Holm met with Kristian Aagaard, who volunteers at the Virkelig street magazine in Tromsø.

And at UiT Narvik, you can meet something as unique as a concrete enthusiast.

Arctic Cooperation

Store Norske wants to heat the new folk high school building in Longyearbyen using energy from the depths of the earth. The company has also applied for funding for a major cooperation project in energy research.

Major Norwegian and Russian preparedness resources are practicing together in the Barents Sea in a major exercise about rescue at sea as well as oil spill pollution. Read more about it here.

And we congratulate Oulu, Finland with having been selected as a European Capital of Culture 2026. The city won with its concept of cultural climate change, and follows at the heel of Bodø, Norway which will be the first-ever European Capital of Culture in the Arctic in 2024.

This week, we end on a sat note. We have all probably noticed the tragedy in British Columbia, Canada where the remains of 215 children have been discovered at a former boarding school.
Feel free to tip us about what goes on in your region and thank you for following!
All the best for this lovely June weekend!
Kind regards,
Trine Jonassen,
News Editor, High North News

This article has been translated by HNN's Elisabeth Bergquist.