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Kogalym Forum Addresses Public Initiatives To Develop Northern Regions

21 November 2022
Общественные инициативы для развития северных регионов обсудили на форуме в Когалыме

Participants in the plenary session that took place in Kogalym as part of the ‘Social and Cultural Initiatives and Best Non-Profit Projects in Creative Entrepreneurship’ at the ‘Civil Initiatives of the 60th Parallel Regions’ International Humanitarian Forum discussed ways to improve social practices and improve the efficiency of public projects. Discussions on this issue are being organized by the Innosocium Foundation, the social platform of the Roscongress Foundation. The business programme is part of the plan of events of Russia’s chairmanship of the Arctic Council in 2021–2023, which are managed by the Roscongress Foundation.

One of the key discussion topics at the plenary session was the successful experience of the Khanty-Mansi Autonomous District in interaction with non-profit organizations. The activities of these organizations are improving people’s quality of life, as this region is a leader in the ratings for this indicator, Presidential Grants Fund Deputy General Director Innokenty Dementyev said.

“We support the approach of civil activists who are in constant motion and highly active. This year, we received more than 1,100 initiatives from Yugra residents and non-profit organizations. Developing civil society is our priority and what we need to be working on. In this regard, we are creating an eco-system that is suitable for this, including regulatory support,” Khanty-Mansi Autonomous District–Yugra Governor Natalya Komarova said. 

The plenary session participants discussed the most successful social innovation practices in Russia, the potential and capabilities of non-profit organizations, a partnership between the government and citizens, and the requirements for ensuring participation in social projects in each region.

“The largest special economic zone has been created in the Arctic. Only the effective joint work of the government, business, and society can produce impressive results. In particular, 519 companies are registered as residents in the Arctic zone of the Russian Federation, and RUB 52 billion have already been invested. The decision to invest part of the money that is returned from taxes into social development was fundamentally important. The practice of providing a new inter-budgetary transfer to support centres of economic growth has already been spreading this year. By the end of this year, RUB 2.6 billion will be sent to five regions, and this practice will continue for the next three years,” Deputy Minister for the Development of the Russian Far East and the Arctic Marat Shamyunov said.

In addition, Association of Indigenous Peoples of the North President Grigory Ledkov spoke about his organization’s activities to support the sustainable development of ethnic groups. He said a substantial portion of his association’s work is of a legal nature.

“We have good support in the regions to achieve our goals. We appeal for grants. We have created our own support fund, a large public state organization called the Assembly of the Peoples of Russia. Grants, sponsorship, and funds currently aim to implement public initiatives in our country. This is an enormous state-sponsored national policy, and we, for our part, are very glad that the Indigenous Peoples are part of it,” Ledkov said.

Federal Agency for the Commonwealth of Independent States Affairs, Compatriots Living Abroad, and International Humanitarian Cooperation Deputy Director Dmitry Polikanov moderated the plenary session ‘BE TOGETHER. Public Initiatives for the Development of the Northern Regions’. The session was attended by Knowledge Society General Director Maxim Dreval, Timchenko Foundation General Director Maria Morozova, Northern Forum International Organization of the Northern Regions Director Vladimir Vasilyev, and Russian test cosmonaut Sergey Kud-Sverchkov.

The ‘Civil Initiatives of the 60th Parallel Regions’ International Humanitarian Forum is taking place on 21–22 November. The forum aims to unite the efforts of socially oriented non-profit organizations to support a humanitarian dialogue, maintain civil peace and harmony in Russian society, as well as develop private civil initiatives for the sustainable development of the country in the current conditions. The main theme of the business programme as part of the track ‘Social and Cultural Initiatives and Best Non-Profit Projects in Creative Entrepreneurship’ is how to improve the quality of life in the natural and climatic conditions of the northern territories as one of the most important priorities of the government’s policy in the Arctic. The discussions will focus on the organization of public spaces, the use of scientific achievements to develop territories, the establishment of points of attraction in the regions, and the improvement of living conditions in the North.

Russia is the chair of the Arctic Council in 2021–2023. One of Russia’s main priorities is to develop human capital in the region, including the Indigenous Peoples of the North. Russia devotes special attention to maintaining the sustainability and viability of the peoples of the North, promoting measures to adapt them to climate change, improving people’s well-being, health, education, and quality of life, and ensuring sustainable socioeconomic development throughout the region. The Russian side has initiated projects to digitalize the cultural and linguistic heritage of the Indigenous Peoples of the North, develop renewable energy sources, create an international Arctic research station that runs on carbon-free energy, and ensure biosecurity in the Arctic. In addition, Russia is preparing draft proposals on the traditional medicine of Indigenous Peoples and the development of creative industries in the Arctic, and is working on an initiative to create Digital Museums of the Arctic.