Race for Resources: Deciding the Arctic’s Future Behind Closed Doors

As the Arctic changes dramatically, Canada, Russia, Denmark, Norway, and the United States met last month to discuss and plan its future. Melting ice has created new border disputes along with opportunities for mineral extraction, the latter exacerbating tensions as countries stake rival claims. Still, all five agree on one thing: no guarantees of expansive environmental protection for the region, a consensus disturbing to environmentalists who are distraught at the change already occurring and, given the intention of the countries, the likelihood of its acceleration. Indigenous groups and members of the Arctic Council, a broader multinational group that typically settles questions in the Arctic, are furious at their exclusion from the talks, reflecting both the myriad effects of change in the Arctic on disparate people and the increased interest the region now elicits in countries far from its waters. Governance of the Arctic presents serious new questions, but their ambiguous and changing international dimension the most difficult of which is deciding who has the right to make these decisions. Sadly for the Arctic and the peace of the countries it adjoins, it appears things are really beginning to heat up. – YaleGlobal

Race for Resources: Deciding the Arctic’s Future Behind Closed Doors

Christoph Seidler
Wednesday, April 7, 2010
© Spiegel Online 2010

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