The Northern Forum
The Northern Forum, initiated in 1991 and formalized in 1993, is an association of 24 subnational or regional units of government - provinces, counties, states, okrugs - located in 10 countries (including China, Japan, and Korea). The forum directs attention to economic concerns and more broadly to issues of sustainable development in areas heavily dependent on the extraction of natural resources. It has often served as a venue for subnational governments to compare notes on issues involving relations with national governments and to explore strategies for advancing the interests of the residents of northern regions. The Northern Forum has observer status with the Arctic Council.