Arctic ecosystem


Rovaniemi has become a large community of Arctic competence and research, as well as a diverse network of actors that maintain competence in Arctic conditions.

The Arctic refers to the areas around the North Pole. There are several ways to define the Arctic. The region can be defined, for example, according to permafrost, temperature, timberline, sea ice, and various political agreements.

Geographically the border for the Arctic region is the Arctic Circle (66° 33’N), but the cold and the vast fluctuation in daylight hours are features of the Arctic.

People, animals, and plants in the area have adapted to the cold in one way or another. Depending on the method of counting, the Arctic has only 3.5 million inhabitants worldwide, but the oil and gas resources, that have not yet been exploited, are at the heart of the region.

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The importance of northern regions has increased enormously during the current decade. The Arctic region is experiencing a time of big upheavals due to climate change. The thawing of permafrost and frozen northern regions pose a huge threat for the whole world.

Nevertheless, climate change facilitates further enhanced utilisation of the substantial natural resources in the region. The thawing of the northern ice regions opens up new marine connections between Asia and Europe.

Transnational cooperation in the region is led by the Arctic Council. Its origins lie in the Arctic ministerial meeting of environment ministers of the Arctic nations, which took place in Rovaniemi in 1991. The meeting defined the forms of cooperation concerning the Arctic environment. This so-called Rovaniemi Process formed the foundation for establishing the Arctic Council.

In the Arctic strategy, Finland is specified as being an Arctic nation in its entirety. In its demarcation, the southern boundary for the Arctic region is the Lapland region boundary.


Being the capital town of Lapland, Rovaniemi is an international tourism and university town. It is the commercial, administrative, and educational centre of the region, and a town of sports and culture.

Thanks to its excellent location and expertise cluster, our town has created a significant Arctic ecosystem.


The Arctic Centre is an international centre for multidisciplinary Arctic research and communication. The Arctic Centre is located in the grand Arktikum building on the banks of the River Ounasjoki. Arktikum is also home to the Arctic Science Centre and the Regional Museum of Lapland.

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