#WIMG is a PERMAGOV campaign designed to celebrate the role of women in marine governance. Case studies take the form of short interviews where participants share their background, interests, ideas and recommendations for improving the way in which ocean affairs are managed. Each story is unique. By spotlighting our WIMG stars, we hope that readers from all walks of life will be inspired to make their contribution in support of a sustainable ocean. Featured in this case study is Nina Kivijervi Jonassen, Project Director at Arctic Energy Partners.
I’m a Project Director at Arctic Energy Partners (AEP) and also a team leader for our Hammerfest office in Norway. The team is very independent, but I guide and advise them when necessary. AEP has gone from being a petroleum oriented network to a broad network in the energy industry. The shift is reflected in the diversity of my projects: offshore wind, the sustainable supplier industry, the green transition, renewables and other new forms of energy. I'm a member of various boards and program committees linked to the business policy. All this work requires extensive communication and collaboration, not to mention travels. No day is the same, something I find to be not just exciting but also fulfilling.
Study and career path
I come from the supplier industry where I worked as a leader for petroleum suppliers in the north of the country. I have an MBA (Master of Business Administration) from the Nord University Business School in Bodø, North Norway, and I used to be a teacher earlier on in my career. My work experience also includes a stint as an incubator consultant for startups, plus several board positions held locally and nationally.
Participation in PERMAGOV
We provide energy expertise and access to a wide stakeholder network on different levels (locally, regionally, nationally) and policy-wise. AEP is mainly involved in case study #7 (offshore wind in Norway) which focuses on the application of the ocean multi-use concept in Helgeland.
We see marine governance as something much bigger than governance alone. We need to influence it in the best possible way to achieve harmonious coexistence between humans and oceans. AEP is active in business policy where we have an influential, coordinating role.
Thinking about the required improvements, I have some concerns about offshore wind as there is a lack of regulation. We must get clear policies in place and establish more efficient processes to achieve desired outcomes. An important question in this regard is: should the Oil and Energy Department take the lead and overall responsibility?
Offshore wind is a crucial industry for sustainable development, which gives my region a significant opportunity. As much as 80% of Norway’s sea areas lie in Northern Norway. Norway also plays a leading role when it comes to global effort of promoting clean and healthy oceans. Our little country manages oceans six times the size of its land mass, so all the governance and politics regarding the world’s oceans are of explicit importance to us. I believe it also has a lot to do with the history of our country and people.
Marine governance is definitely an exciting career field! It’s still a male-dominated career field, but it’s exhilarating and attracts more and more women. It's an encouraging trend and I expect to see more of this positive movement.
I want to encourage more women to educate themselves about the ocean, its opportunities, marine biology, and how the ocean plays a powerful role when it comes to our lives, the planet’s future, and climate change. Study the ocean’s history, what it offers, how marine biology adapts, and how we can collaborate to utilise the resources in a sustainable way and coexist. It’s truly a meaningful and fulfilling career field with many great job positions, especially in Northern Norway.
The shallow Barents Sea which is rich in nutrients and has been a source of biological production for many years. Developments in this region will be influenced for many decades by exploiting these valuable resources. Large oil and gas reserves are thought to exist under the sea floor here in the north, which opens up new opportunities.
Offshore wind is another example. It’s a large field with a high energy potential that can help us reach climate goals. Not to mention the seafood industry. All of it is connected to marine governance, and we must look at the bigger picture with the entire planet in mind.
To conclude, Norway has lived off and with the ocean for centuries. Our long coastline filled with residents, businesses, old monuments, schools, and hospitals, shows clear signs of this relationship. The fishing/seafood industry, oil, gas, minerals, and energy from hydropower plants all come from the sea. From important shipping routes, seafood, electricity, and the “oil adventure” to the Vikings and famous historical explorers such as Roald Amundsen and the Kon-Tiki expedition with Thor Heyerdahl: the ocean is basically engraved in our DNA.
The ocean has been and will always be a large and important part of Norway, which is why it must always be in our best interest to take care of it and continue to learn from it.