The updated strategic plan “To Live in the North! 2.0” and the “New Murmansk” project as instruments of restraining the outflow of the population from the Arctic Circle were presented by the Governor of the Murmansk region Andrey Chibis to the participants of the IV international session “Cooperation in the Arctic”. The event was organized with the support of the Government of the Murmansk Region under the auspices of Russia's chairmanship of the Arctic Council in 2021-2023.
The session was held in Murmansk on November 24 in a hybrid offline-online format. The hall of the congress hotel “Meridian” was attended by Andrey Chibis, Consul General of Norway in Murmansk Astrid Nærum, representatives of the regional government, the regional Duma, federal structures, heads of enterprises and organizations of the region, scientific and educational institutions, heads of municipalities, students of MASU and MSTU. Representatives of the Government of the Russian Federation, the Federation Council, the International Barents Secretariat and the regions of the Barents cooperation, foreign diplomats took part in the discussion via video communication channels.
Welcoming the participants in the session, Governor Andrey Chibis called the fight against the outflow of population from the North as key Arctic activity.
During the presentation of the updated strategic plan “To Live in the North! 2.0” Andrey Chibis noted that the government of the Murmansk region considers it as part of the overall strategy for the development of the Arctic zone of the Russian Federation, and the ultimate goal of the plan is to reduce the outflow of population from the Arctic. The head of the region emphasized that the plan “To Live in the North! 2.0” formed based on the opinions of the northerners themselves.
“Our common position is that people are the main thing in the Arctic. We will not be able to implement large Arctic projects without people. We proceed from the fact that what worries people, you need to ask them themselves. That is why in 2019 we conducted a very large-scale survey of residents of the Murmansk region - what should be done first of all? In the summer of this year, we repeated this poll, and received almost half a million specific proposals, and 23 thousand people took part in the poll itself. Among the key challenges, questions and needs of people are a comfortable environment for life, healthcare, the possibility of self-realization - jobs and economic development, education, quality and affordability of housing,” the governor explained.
Among the pillars of the plan, Andrey Chibis mentioned Arctic preferences for business, the implementation of large investment projects in the region, the development of the Northern Sea Route, the expansion of the Far Eastern Hectare program into the Arctic, and the revival of housing construction. In addition, the implementation of environmental programs and the introduction of green technologies, digitalization, tourism development, support of indigenous peoples, international cooperation in the field of education and culture became important aspects of the regional development strategy.
The central place in the work of the section “Stronger Together: Northern Cities” was taken by the presentation of the “New Murmansk"” project. Presenting the project for the renovation of the port territory in the regional center, Andrey Chibis noted that the renewal of the urban environment is one of the most important tools for changing the quality of life in the region.
Summarizing the results of the session, Andrey Chibis called the Murmansk region a real development area.