Achieving food security has been a varying challenge across diverse Arctic communities, but Covid-19 has laid bare particular challenges associated with supply chain disruption and access to food and conveyed the urgency of addressing these issues within a larger resilience framework.

Through brief presentations and discussion this session will highlight the unique challenges and opportunities for producing and ensuring access to high-quality, culturally relevant food for Arctic communities, as well as examine innovative case studies. Specific topics to be featured include Aleut perspectives, Russia’s new Food Security Doctrine, Iceland’s use of geothermal energy in food production, local food system resilience in Finnish Lapland, innovative research at Northern (Arctic) Federal University in Arkhangelsk on bio-monitoring and agroforestry, and more.

To watch the full session recording visit the SDWG YouTube page. 

Russian translation is available for this and all Arctic Resilience Forum sessions, thanks to the support of the Icelandic Chairmanship of the Arctic Council.

Many imagine the Arctic as a place of harsh climate and scarcity, but the region is home to a strong food culture built on 10,000 years of knowledge and experience. Arctic food industries are challenged by a plethora of rapidly changing climatic, social, economic and logistical constraints. But the Arctic – a region characterized by constant change – shapes inherently resilient peoples. Innovation is ripe throughout the region; the right links just need to be made.

Prominent food industries identified in different Arctic regions include fisheries and aquaculture, agriculture, herding, hunting and gathering. The Arctic Council’s Sustainable Development Working Group’s Arctic as a Food Producing Region report found that the Arctic is already a considerable producer of commercial foods. In 2016, the total export volume exceeded 5.6 billion kilograms and generated an estimated value of $24.8 billion USD. While food production opportunities and consumer demand are promising for Arctic communities, it is not without challenges. Lack of infrastructure, available raw material and skilled workforce, as well as environmental issues and food security are some of the main challenges to food production in the Arctic.

This session of the Arctic Resilience Forum will discuss a variety of pilot projects across the Arctic and explore how food innovation clusters can increase communication, provide a framework for capacity building, and maximize opportunities for innovation, development, and diversification. To explore a few of the projects which will be discussed please review the below links: 

Krebs, Martine Lind. "She wants to ignite a diet revolution: 'In Greenland we eat from nature.’” FiveMedia. 

Raheem, D. 2020. Digitalisation in a local food system: Emphasis on Finnish Lapland

Agenda for ARF Food Security Session:

•    Introductory remarks, Joel Clement, Senior Fellow, Arctic Initiative, Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center 

11:35am PANEL 1: Russian Perspective on Food Security
•    Video message on Russia’s Food Security Doctrine from Irina Bazhanova, Minister for Agriculture and Trade, Arkhangelsk, Russian Federation 
•    Vladimir Pushkarev, Deputy of the state Duma of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation of the seventh convocation; Deputy Chairman, The State Duma Committee for Regional Policy and Issues of the North and Far East 
•    Georgiy Sukhanov, PhD, Northern Arctic Federal University (NArFU) Business School; Russian legislation and governmental support of Food Industry Sector/ RF Food Security Doctrine 

11:50am Q&A

12:00PM PANEL 2: Local Perspectives on Food Security
•    Liza Mack, Director, Aleut International Association 
•    Anders Oskal, Secretary General, Association of World Reindeer Herders 
•    Dele Raheem, Senior Researcher, Arctic Centre, University of Lapland, Finland; Strengthening the local food system to withstand disruptions – focus on Finnish Lapland 

12:15pm Q&A

12:25pm PANEL 3: Innovation in Food Security Research and Monitoring
•    Tatiana Sorokina, PhD, Head of the Arctic Biomonitoring Laboratory, Northern Arctic Federal University (NArFU); Biomonitoring in the Russian Arctic: First results and forward steps 
•    Mr. Petri Juhana Muje, AGROFORE   Project Manager, Lapland University of Applied Sciences
•    Kelley Uhlig, Project Coordinator, Arctic CoObs 

12:40pm Q&A 

12:50pm ET
•    Reflections from Discussant, Marisol Maddox, Arctic Analyst, Polar Institute, Woodrow Wilson Center 
•    Reflections from Moderator, Jennifer Spence, Executive Secretary, Sustainable Development Working Group, Arctic Council 
•    Concluding remarks, Joel Clement, Senior Fellow, Arctic Initiative, Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center 

1PM ET event concludes 



Marisol Maddox, Arctic Analyst at the Polar Institute of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, DC.

Her research considers an array of topics related to the security implications of an opening Arctic, including the evolution of U.S. military and homeland security strategy in the region, polar geopolitics, transnational crime, transparency, climate change risk mitigation, food security, and opportunities for enhanced international collaboration on shared security concerns.



Lyubov Zarubina, Head of International Cooperation Department, Northern Arctic Federal University, Russia, Arkhangelsk 

Ms. Zarubina has over 20 years of experience in the field of international cooperation, international projects management, higher education management. She takes responsibility and coordinates the work on internationalization process and international cooperation development of the university.  She has been engaged as a project developer, project coordinator, project steering committee member in over 25 large-scale international projects in such thematic fields as higher education, ecology, culture, tourism, safety, agriculture and others. She acts as international project assessor in EU cross-border cooperation program and external evaluator in other programs.  

Polar Institute on Twitter: "#FulbrightArctic Scholar Todd Sformo from  Barrow, Alaska arrives in #Iqaluit with the other 17 scholars to begin work  in this northern Inuit community…"                              Northern (Arctic) Federal University - Wikipedia


For any questions about this session, please reach out to the session organizer Marisol Maddox, Arctic Researcher at the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington, DC: