In September 2019 the final 8th conference within the project “MARPART: Maritime preparedness and International Partnership in the High North” took place at Nord University in Bodo, Norway.
Since 2014 experts from Norway, Russia, Iceland, Denmark (Greenland), and Sweden have conducted research to enhance cooperation efficiency in international joint response to emergencies at sea and to improve professional education and training. Its first stage focused on research activities designed to make forecasts and risk assessment of the economic activities in the Arctic; provide a clearer picture of emergency response systems and resources available in different countries. The Stage I research outcomes had formed the basis for the second stage of MARPART, which focused more on describing and analyzing the rescue training system for the Arctic states, as well as on recommendations on how the quality of training could be increased.
The MARPART team consisted of more than twenty organizations. Among the project’s key research and academic institutions were High North Centre of the Business school (Norway’s Nord University – the Lead Partner); University of Tromsø – the Arctic University of Norway; University Centre in Svalbard (Norway); University of Greenland; University of Iceland; World Maritime University (Sweden); Northern (Arctic) Federal University named after M.V. Lomonosov (Russia); and Murmansk State Technical University (Russia). The project largely benefitted from the cooperation among universities and practicing professionals working in the field of emergency prevention and response in the Arctic.
The MARPART team has participated in regional, national, and international exercises, analyzed Arctic maritime accidents, statistical data and cases, followed by interviewing the key personnel of shipping companies and emergency services. The project experts have come up with analytical reports focusing on various maritime emergency response issues and gaps of maritime emergency preparedness; and joint research publications. Also, a GIS map is in place featuring the accidents that occurred within the Arctic. A number of conferences have been held as part of the project in Norway, Russia, Greenland, and Iceland, being additional platforms for dialogs between researchers and professionals and the presentation of the project outcomes, which will be summarized in the book «Crisis and Emergency Management in the Arctic. Navigating Complex Environments». The joint studies of the MARPART research team will be published in 2020 in the British publisher Routledge. The University of the Arctic has welcomed MARPART’s initiative to set up a thematic network dedicated to Arctic safety and security, which currently involves 22 universities in 8 countries.
Being a partner to the cooperation with emergency services and lead researchers in the Arctic states, the experts of NArFU have benefitted from MARPART by enhancing their competence and expanding their line of research. The outcomes of MARPART are seen as valuable assets and new training concepts for implementing by NArFU’s training professionals. This project has demonstrated the importance of further inter-disciplinary studies into emergency preparedness; joint development and implementation of rescue training programmes; expanded access to simulator training, labs and international emergency exercises for quality coverage of the Arctic areas with response operations.
Department of International Cooperation