The Centre of Excellence for Resources, Extractive Industries and Sustainable Arctic Communities (REXSAC) is a NordForsk Center of Excellence hosted by KTH Royal Institute of Technology, in collaboration with Stockholm University, the Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI), and a number of additional partners.
REXSAC will focus on the study of extractive resource industries in the Arctic as cultural, social, economic, and ecological phenomena - from analysis of why resource extraction commences, what consequences it has for communities in the Arctic and beyond, and what opportunities exist for transitioning toward post-extractive futures. The cultural footprint of a mine is just as real as its environmental and economic footprint, and both must be considered as related (often inseparable) parts of a single whole. No program or centre with this mission currently exists anywhere in the world.
REXSAC will initiate, facilitate and coordinate innovative research while developing research capacity, including substantial training of a new generation of scholars and scientists through PhD education, and contributing to knowledge for community development, policy-making, and concerns of interest for indigenous populations and other Arctic residents. Our mission is to study extractive industries in the Arctic in a comparative and interdisciplinary manner, bringing together insights and tools from across geographic and disciplinary boundaries to develop new tools and support best practices and processes. Our vision is to build a world-leading centre for interdisciplinary research and training that identifies pathways to sustainable futures for Arctic communities. To do this we will recode and renew Arctic research while building on past work - not least the legacy from the International Polar Year 2007-2009. While REXSAC's main focus is on mining, its research will add significant value to related discussions concerning oil and gas extraction, the role of climate change for community development, or for the large-scale harvesting of renewable resources (such as fishery or forestry) that involve the reshaping ecological and social relations.