Statement by Foreign Minister Timo Soini at the seminar "Connecting Meteorology with Traditional Knowledge and Local Knowledge" in Rovaniemi 6th of May 2019.
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Dear President David Grimes,
Secretary-General Petteri Taalas,
Director General Juhani Damski,
Representatives of Permanent Participants of the Arctic Council,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
The Arctic has been one of my priorities as Foreign Minister. The reason is simple. The Arctic is important for Finland – but also beyond our national borders. It is important to our economy, our climate and our security. Today’s event, “Connecting Meteorology with Traditional Knowledge and Local Knowledge” is very well in line with the basic principles of the Arctic Council.
The opportunities in the Arctic are manifold. Finland has Arctic expertise to cope in cold climate. It is not only about ice-breakers. We have “snow-how”. We know how to design services and to build infrastructures for the Arctic communities.
This includes: zero-emission housing, cold climate energy efficiency, smart road traffic, reliable weather services. This is so called Arctic smart. But we need to better promote the Finnish Arctic expertise. Let’s not be too shy. If it works in Finland – it works everywhere. This is a good reference line to start.
Weather and climate do not respect national borders. This is why meteorological cooperation is extremely important. Improving monitoring and observation networks will benefit public safety, maritime shipping and air traffic.
Together with the national meteorological institutes, we have a common goal to enhance climate science, improve observations and provide much needed services in the Arctic region.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
The Arctic is changing fast. Global warming will change the environmental and economic landscapes of the region. New sea-routes and easier access to natural resources will become a reality.
But Climate change will go even further. It may impact the inter-state relations and security in our region. The Artic countries have a special responsibility – and a possibility – to preserve the Arctic as a region of peace and stability.
We, politicians, need to promote constructive cooperation. Stable and economically vibrant Arctic region is in the interest of our people. The Artic climate is sufficiently harsh for our people we should not make their lives even tougher.
Let me finish by thanking the Finnish Meteorological Institute for taking the lead in meteorological cooperation during Finland’s Chairmanship in the Arctic Council. I would also like to thank the World Meteorological Organization for supporting the Finnish Chairmanship effort and allowing the Arctic Council and its Working Groups to benefit from its world-class expertise.