Today 28 January is the start of the thematic Arctic Month, which aims to engage the Estonian public with various topics related to the Arctic. Over the course of one month, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs coordinates and cooperates with partners and other state institutions to launch a series of Arctic-themed events and articles. The Arctic month is part of Estonia’s bid to become an observer on the Arctic Council.
“Developments in the Arctic should be a concern for everyone, as the climate change there affects the whole world,” Foreign Minister Eva-Maria Liimets said. “During the Arctic Month, the Foreign Ministry and our excellent partners would like to not only highlight the issues of the Arctic but also offer our expertise to come up with long-term solutions. Estonia’s scientists, companies and polar enthusiasts are ready to help the Arctic with their expertise.”
Estonia is applying for observer status at the Arctic Council in 2021 in order to participate in discussions on the sustainable development of the Arctic at an international forum.
The thematic month is kicked off today, 28 January at 14.00-16.00, when the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Estonian Parliament (Riigikogu) holds a public seminar titled ‘The Arctic Council – why are we applying for observer status?’. The event provides more detailed information about why it is important for Estonia to be more active in finding solutions to the challenges of the Arctic. The seminar is streamed live on the Riigikogu’s website and Facebook page.
Invited guests of the public seminar include Märt Volmer, the Undersecretary for European Affairs; Tarmo Soomere, the President of the Estonian Academy of Sciences; Rein Vaikmäe, the Chairman of the Estonian Polar Research Committee; Aimar Ventsel, Associate Professor of Ethnology at the University of Tartu, and economic expert Raivo Vare.
Events of the Arctic Month (28/01-28/02)
– 28/01 Public hearing at the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Estonian Parliament (Riigikogu) on the application for observer status; public live stream
– 01/02 The Foreign Minister takes part in a panel dedicated to social issues at the Arctic Frontiers conference; public live stream
– 16/02 Polar Forum at the Seaplane Harbour in Tallinn organised in cooperation with the Estonian Polar Club; public live stream
– 27/02 Celebrating the International Polar Bear Day at the Tallinn Zoo
Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Estonia