During a visit to the Svalbard archipelago this summer I got the chance to visit the former mining town Pyramiden, which provides an interesting example of sustainability challenges to single industry towns. The settlement was found in the 1920s by Swedish miners and sold to the Soviet Union in 1927. Built to solely serve coal extraction, the settlement got evacuated in 1998 after the Russian government acknowledged this endeavor was no longer economically viable.
Regarding economic development in the Arctic there is the widely spread interpretation that some places may be able to benefit from extractive industries activities, while others may not. During the UArctic PhD- and Masters course “Resource governance between global theories and local approaches”, which was held from 16th to 22nd of February 2016, we visited Mirny in the Sakha Republic (Russian Federation), which many may perceive as one of such places where the benefits are preponderant.
Development of Mining in Mirny
Two weeks ago I joined this year's edition of the annual traveling symposium Calotte Academy. It was already my fourth participation in this event. The Calotte Academy is a great venue to discuss ongoing research of the participants. One of the characteristics that makes it so grand is that there is plenty of time reserved for discussions, putting the participants presentations a little bit into the background. This is a refreshing alternative to conferences, where usually only very limited time is available to discuss the findings of the presenters.