Arctic Frontiers Science

Session 1 – Pan-Arctic Infrastructure Development

Sustainable development in the Arctic region to a large degree relies on the coupling of governance mechanisms and built infrastructure, which further involves technology and investment. There has been progress along these lines as well with evolving contributions from the Arctic Economic Council and considerations of an Arctic Investment Protocol, introduced by World Economic Forum Global Agenda Council on the Arctic to thoughtfully plan for an Arctic future that balances environmental protection, societal well-being and economic prosperity. The Arctic Infrastructure Inventory coordinated by the Wilson Center is another key step. The session of Pan-Arctic Infrastructure Development is intended to be holistic (international, interdisciplinary and inclusive) in the spirit of science diplomacy with its engine of informed decisionmaking to address questions of common concern, building common interests among stakeholders, rightsholders and other actors to balance economic, societal and environmental considerations across generations with inclusion.

We invite authors to submit abstracts addressing one or more of the following topics and case studies, related to the development of land, ocean, space, social, science, governance, cyber and other infrastructures. We particularly encourage the submission of presentations that consider short-to-long term planning and implications of infrastructure development, particularly with lessons to achieve progress with sustainability development on a Pan-Arctic scale that respects the Indigenous heritage of this globally-relevant region.  More specific examples of topics and case studies include, but are not limited to:

  • Coupling of governance mechanisms (laws, agreements and policies as well as regulatory strategies, including insurance, at diverse jurisdictional levels) and built infrastructure (fixed, mobile and other assets, including communication, research, observing, information and other systems or networks that require technology plus investment).
  • Case studies considering: impacts of thawing permafrost on present and future infrastructures on land; issues, impacts and resource activities associated with diminishing sea ice; inventories, planning, and development with Arctic investment initiatives over diverse time horizons; ocean infrastructure associated with seaways, maritime operations and emergency-response capacities; space infrastructure associated with connectivity and observing systems; characterization of systems and networks associated with sustainable development in the Arctic; or cyberinfrastructure to facilitate knowledge co-creation and co-production.
  • Coordination of existing infrastructure inventories across borders and spatial scales (from local to Pan-Arctic), with considerations of Arctic agreements and governance systems to address science cooperation, maritime emergencies with life at sea and pollution, or precaution with fisheries.
  • The use of observing and monitoring systems beyond research, revealing synergies with public-private partnerships between industry, science, and communities with direct links and input to governance systems (e.g., with applications to sea ice navigation, weather forecasts and ecosystem health);
  • Contributions looking at time horizons of investments and different types and mechanisms of investments, such as public-private partnerships, sovereign wealth funds investments, and others to achieve progress with sustainable development across the 21st century in the Arctic with consideration of the Arctic Investment Protocol and other regional and global recommendations;
  • Applications of science diplomacy to build common interests among stakeholders, rightsholders and other actors in view of Pan-Arctic infrastructure development, especially in view of global initiatives.

Through collaboration with the Science Diplomacy Center (EvREsearch LTD in affiliation with the United Nations Institute for Training and Research) and Springer, presenters at the Arctic Frontiers 2022 conference have a possibility to contribute to the book Pan-Arctic Implementation of Coupled Governance and Infrastructure (Editors: Paul Arthur Berkman, Alexander N. Vylegzhanin, Oran R. Young, Mike Sfraga, and Anu Fredrikson; Springer), which will be the third volume in the Informed Decisionmaking For Sustainability series. Abstract submitters had a chance to indicate their intention to contribute to the book volume. More information about this will be available at a later stage.

Session Committee

  • Paul Arthur Berkman | Associated Fellow, United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) & Associate Director of Science Diplomacy, Harvard-MIT Public Disputes Program, Harvard University, USA
  • Alexander N. Vylegzhanin | Head, The Programme of International Law, MGIMO-University, Russia
  • Oran R. Young | Distinguished Professor Emeritus, Bren School of Environmental Science and Management, University of California, Santa Barbara, USA
  • Mike Sfraga | Director, Polar Institute, The Wilson Center, USA
  • Anu Fredrikson | Executive Director, Arctic Frontiers, Norway

A detailed program of the session is presented below, and is based on abstracts accepted ahead of the Arctic Frontiers 2022 conference initially planned for 31 Jan - 3 Feb 2022. The program is subject to modifications after the registration deadline for presenters, which was set on 11 April. 

All attendees to Arctic Frontiers are invited to the Researcher's Reception, hosted by the Norwegian Polar Institute, on Sunday 8th May at 20:00. Join us in the Fram Centre's Lysgården (atrium) for an evening of light entertainment, food, drinks, professional exchange and socialising. If you want to attend, please email to

Guidelines for oral presentations and posters is available here.

A step-by-step instruction on how to set up your virtual science booth is available here.


The Arctic Frontiers Administration is located at the Fram Centre in Tromsø, Norway. The Administration is responsible for day to day operations and for the organisation of the annual conference, and reports to the Board of Arctic Frontiers.

The secretariat is led by Anu Fredrikson.


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