The Circle

Youth in Action


Today's young people will be disproportionately affected by what we do to our planet. But what issues matter most to youth in the Arctic, and how can we move forward together?

In this issue

In this issue, we examine what matters to youth in the Arctic and how they think we can move forward.

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I should not have to feel guilty about getting a degree

I am making the difficult decision to go to school instead of helping my reindeer-herding family.

Russian climate activists find strength in numbers

Arshak Makichyan, 25, and Asya Fomina, 16, are Russian climate activists from Moscow and the northern city of Arkhangelsk, respectively. Operating under a regime where unapproved protests by more than one person are illegal—as are protests of any kind by youth under 18—isn’t easy. But they are powered by the strength of their convictions and the bonds they have formed.


Climate action is not whole without climate justice

What image comes to mind when you think of climate action in Canada? Maybe it’s leading change, emphasizing inclusivity and being ethical. But when it comes to the Indigenous Peoples who have called the land now commonly known as Canada home for millennia, this is far from the truth.

Emma Lim

We need to stop putting off difficult decisions

Canadian climate activist Emma Lim details the frustration youth feel in the face of constant delays on climate crisis action by the world’s decision-makers.

Ólafur Már Björnsson

In Iceland, young environmentalists’ pleas are falling on deaf ears

Controversial plans to build the Hvalárvirkjun power plant in Iceland’s West Fjords—a large peninsula in the country’s remote northwest—have alarmed youth activists. The plans involve damming three different rivers near the municipality of Árneshreppur to produce 55 megawatts of power.

hugovk, CC,

Kicking up an Indigenous storm one pop culture reference at a time

When democratic means of achieving Indigenous rights prove futile time and again, what can be done? One group, tired of dealing with a seemingly rigged system, has turned to witty works of art and poignant pop culture references to unleash their Indigenous ire.

Selawik resident, 2019

Bye, you poor Eskimos, you’re our last worry!

Many people in Alaska’s Native Village of Selawik feel abandoned by the federal and state governments in their struggles with climate change. Tuva Nerral Volden is a young academic who went into that community to document their stories about—and thoughts on the reasons for—government neglect.

Niina Jyränen

The importance of dialogue in the Arctic: Observations from a trip to Unalaska

The island of Unalaska is a part of the Aleutian island chain, located between Russia and Alaska where the Bering Sea and the North Pacific Ocean meet. In 2019, Finnish environmental activists Niina Jyränen and Anna-Katri Kulmala visited the island to learn about its environmental issues.

The Circle is a magazine produced by the WWF Global Arctic Programme. Our goal is to inform decision-makers, scientists and the interested public about Arctic environmental and development issues.
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