Preparing for and Responding to Disturbance

Arctic Lessons for Sweden

Carina Keskitalo, Department of Social and Economic Geography, Umeå University

The project Preparing for and Responding to Disturbance: Arctic Lessons for Sweden takes its departure in that both climatic and socio-economic changes strongly influence the Arctic region. The Swedish part of the Arctic is largely comprised of boreal forest, including industries such as forestry and significant infrastructure. As a result of climate change and globalization, both economic changes and disruptions resulting from storms, flooding and forest insect pests may increase. This will have implications both for industry and the public sector.

Within this research project we are evaluating how these different types of disruption – both in the socio-economic sphere and in relation to climate change – may influence the northern regions of Sweden. Researchers in the project are in particular analyzing the development of policy and crisis preparedness in response to events that have already taken place, both in Sweden and, comparatively, other Arctic countries, and how preparedness could be strengthened.

Aiming to improve the knowledge base in support of policy development and to increase society’s ability to respond to future change, the study is being carried out in collaboration with project partners at the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon, Canada, and the University of Lapland in Rovaniemi, Finland.

E-mail: carina.keskitalo@geography.umu.se

Read an interview with Carina here (in Swedish)