Dear friends and colleagues,

It is my pleasure to welcome you to the inaugural UArctic Congress held in Russia and hosted by St. Petersburg State University.

St. Petersburg University has gathered here both the world-famous scholars and young researchers whose work is devoted to the Arctic. They study and protect the Arctic ecosystems and communities from external impact, help preserve local cultural traditions, support trade, tourism and transportation development, and so on. I am sure that the UArctic Congress will be an effective venue for the collaboration not only between scientists but also between government officials, international communities and civil associations. This will give a new impetus to research and development in this region, which is of great importance to the humanity.

Scientists and experts will present their research results; sessions devoted to the Arctic studies, policies and education will be held. We are also going to organize a Rectors’ Forum, a UArctic Council Meeting and, of course, a Student Forum. I hope our Congress will demonstrate to everyone the unique educational opportunities based on our powerful partner network as well as results of the most demanded research. The students and staff of St. Petersburg State University will be glad to present to their colleagues our educational programmes devoted to polar and marine sciences and integrated development of the Arctic as well as our state-of-the-art Research Park offering its research facilities to scientists from all over the world.

The Arctic can be studied and developed only under the conditions of international cooperation, that being the specific character of this region. Our first UArctic Congress is one more step made by the international consortium in the exploitation and development of this region of the world.

Nikolay Kropachev,
Rector, St. Petersburg State University