The Arctic Centre is a part of the University of Lapland, which focuses on Arctic issues, primarily in the areas of the humanities, social science, law and social welfare. The specific research areas include Arctic law and natural resources, indigenous peoples in the Arctic, northern social welfare services, Arctic design and arts, knowledge and learning environments in the Arctic, as well as northern politics and governance. The Centre conducts high quality local, regional and international research on the Arctic, trains experts on Arctic issues, and conveys information and research results concerning the region. The research blends the perspectives of the natural and social sciences, and the Centre’s multidisciplinary research groups study the social and environmental impacts of global climate change, as well as sustainable development, Arctic anthropology, and environmental and minority law in the region. The research is highly transdisciplinary, and though the focus is the Arctic, research is carried out throughout the rest of Europe, the US and China.
The Arctic Centre also provides environmental and social impact assessment and nature reporting services for business and public administration, particularly in Lapland and Arctic Russia. The Centre’s high standards and up-to-date research results benefit science and administration as well as inform political decision making and management of various social and environmental problems. The Arctic Centre closely cooperates with major research institutes and other organisations, and the Centre’s researchers serve as specialists on many international, national, and local assignments and processes. The Centre has an ongoing dialogue with indigenous peoples, local residents and other partners within the region.
Under the title "Ensuring SLO is adaptive and resilient", MIREU organised its third and final SLO stakeholder workshop in Brussels, Belgium, in June 2019.
The first MIREU Social Licence to Operate (SLO) workshop with the theme Linking SLO and Sustainability: challenges in Europe and lessons from abroad was organised in Rovaniemi, Finland, between 8-9 May 2018.