On February 2, at the Jokkmokk Winter Conference
While people are busy outside getting the Jokkmokk Winter Market ready, inside, the JWC is wrapping up. Ideas are reinforced, connections are settled, networking is exponential.
Important last words are sending off the participants in their home countries; making the expression ‘take home message’ more real than ever. Following are some collected missives;
Guiding lights: Stefan Mikaelsson from the Swedish Sami Parliament said that people living in the European arctic have more similarities with other First Nations in northern Canada and Alaska than with their own capitals. This revives the importance of considering arctic topics for and by the people living in those regions.
“Time is flying… but we are the pilots!” voiced Stefan Mikaelsson. Thus, the Sami Parliament asks other countries in the Arctic to consider the impacts of their actions for the following seven generations; a principle also present amongst indigenous people of North America.
As a scientist ‘producing knowledge’; Ilan Kelman was asking politicians what type of knowledge is needed in order to put into action. He stated that while we should not discard science, it may not be good enough. We need other inputs for more sound decision making.
It is important to put climate change into context; as the whole wheel, not the individual spikes. If we focus on sound and proper social, environmental and economical improvements, adaptation to climate change will be the inevitable byproduct.
Zest of youth: Underlined at the very beginning of the conference, Wolfgang, one of the main organizer, mentioned the need for more youth involvement. Thus many sessions were chaired by younger people.
Also, walking between workshops and roundtables; the common cry is for younger people to get more involved in all spheres of participation. There is much talk about how the youth represents ‘the future solution’. On the other hand though, younger people feel like this is not solely their responsibility. Climate change has been enhanced by past generations and should be tackled from every age group; the mess should be cleaned up all together, not just from the new comers.
Despite the fact that nowadays many political discourse boasts with the ‘have-more-youth-involved’ buzz words, actions must follow from both sides. This means that if the future is really relying on the youth, then more trust most be granted. Space and time must be allowed for listening to the ideas and solutions voiced by the youth. And solutions must be implemented, not just noted in a report. To this, Pierre Hébert at the Embassy of Canada in Sweden asked how we can use social medias to help connecting those actors and strategies.
During an open discussion panel, young Esben Oster Mortensen from Föreningen Nordens ungdom asked a direct question to Eva Vitell from Vattenfall:
“Since Vattefall is earning money on fossil fuels; is there a transition plan in place for when to stop relying on fossil fuels – or the plan is to do so until it runs out?” to which he continued; “if so, this proves that someone else should make this decision”.
Sometimes the young are wiser than we think.