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The Arctic: A New Model for Global Cooperation

26/03/2012 | By | 3 Replies More

The Arctic

In recent years the Arctic region has indeed moved centre stage, becoming crucial to the future of the world, to developments in energy production and global transport, to the monitoring of climate change and the future well-being of those who rely on the ice and the oceans for their very survival.

the arctic

Political Cartoon by Kevin KAL Kallaugher, The Economist,

The Arctic

Arctic-wide inter-governmental cooperation protecting the Arctic environment formally began in 1991 with the establishment of the Arctic Environmental Protection Strategy (AEPS), which was later transformed into the Arctic Council in 1996. The Arctic states created the Arctic Council to provide a mechanism to address the common concerns and challenges faced by the Arctic governments and the people of the Arctic with the adoption of the Declaration on the Establishment of the Arctic Council (Ottawa Declaration).

The Arctic Council consists of the eight Arctic States: Canada, Denmark (including Greenland and the Faroe Islands), Finland, Iceland, Norway, Russia, Sweden and the United States. Six international organisations representing Arctic Indigenous Peoples have permanent participant status.

The main objective of the Arctic Council is to promote environmental protection and sustainable development in the Arctic. Climate change has seriously affected this objective, however, and has become a central concern within Arctic-wide cooperation. Therefore, two years after its establishment, the Arctic Council began addressing the issue of climate change. In general, the council provides important information to policy-makers and other actors by conducting a number of projects to mitigate the impacts of climate change on the ecosystems and inhabitants of the Arctic. The council has also issued a comprehensive policy document regarding climate change in the Arctic.

The adoption of the Arctic Environmental Protection Strategy and the establishment of the Arctic Council provide a useful opportunity to develop new legal arrangements and institutions to govern an ecosystem which transcends national boundaries and requires international cooperation for its adequate protection to be assured. The soft law approach currently envisaged provides a first step; ultimately, it will be necessary to establish appropriate institutional arrangements and substantive rules, perhaps similar to those applied in the Antarctic, to ensure that agreed obligations are respected and enforced.

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the arctic

Presdient Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson at Bessastaðir – Photo by Páll Stefánsson

President of Iceland, Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson has during his Presidency became a strong spokesman for a New Model for Global Cooperation of the Arctic. Monday, March 26. he visits the Fletcher School at Tufts University, in United States, a graduate school of international affairs, to attend a conference where he will be the opening speaker.

The President words:  “The Arctic and the North can now be seen as a laboratory of new ways of solving problems. In global terms it is highly democratic, allowing citizens and scholars, students and activists, entrepreneurs and business leaders to come forward with ideas, propositions, projects and plans. Political innovation in the North has produced a framework for cooperation and dialogue that offers many opportunities for initiative and progress, no longer hindered by the boundaries of old diplomatic rules.”

As we all know the future of the Arctic signifies the fate of the world: our destiny is also that of others.”

It is paradoxical : new venues for economic progress and the well-being of our nations are being opened up, while at the same time we are reminded that the threat of climate change has become urgent. A failure to reach international agreements on carbon-emission reductions will expose us to the possibility of man-made disaster on a catastrophic scale.”

In galvanising all nations to join forces to prevent irreversible climate change, we in the Arctic must prepare constructively for the future. While the ice will continue to melt, we must hope that humanity will come to its senses, saving planet Earth so that children not yet born will be able to rejoice in the majesty of creation.”

See more by President speech in the International Polar Foundation held in Brussels, October, 12. 2011, by the issue of ARCTIC FUTURES SYMPOSIUM.

This article is publish here as a platform for discussion by every human being in the entire world, to be open about the growing awareness, regarding the Global Warming, on planet Earth. What is your opinion?


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