SCIENCE DIPLOMACY IN THE ARCTIC

Center for International Maritime Security published an article titled, “Science Diplomacy in the Arctic.” The article reads in part as follows;

“As icecaps melt and access to natural gas and oil reserves increase, the Arctic rises in importance on the geopolitical stage. In addition to the various groups of indigenous people who reside in the Arctic, eight countries Russia, Finland, Sweden, Norway, Iceland, Denmark, Canada, and the United States have claimed interest in the Arctic. Diplomacy between the different groups is required for cooperation and organization in the complicated region. Due to its importance in environmental security, sizable natural resource reserves, and remote location, the Arctic incentivizes cooperation through science diplomacy.

How the Arctic Council Sets the Tone for International Cooperation

World Policy Blog published an article titled, “How the Arctic Council Sets the Tone for International Cooperation.” The article reads in part as follows;

This week, Arctic Yearbook managing editor Joël Plouffe interviews Camille Escudé, a Ph.D. candidate in international relations at Sciences Po-CERI, France, and author of “The Strength of Flexibility: The Arctic Council in the Arctic Norm-Setting Process.” Escudé explores the central role of the Arctic Council in Arctic norm setting by examining the instruments of and documents produced under the Council, international agreements, and scholarly work on the Council in regional and international affairs. Her findings are also based on a series of interviews with members and Working Groups of the Council, as well as individuals working at the Council’s Secretariat in Tromsø.   

Government outlined measures for implementing arctic policy

The Arctic Journal posted an article titled, “Government outlined measures for implementing arctic policy.” The article reads in part as follows;

“The Government has outlined measures for implementing Finnish arctic policy. Finland will reinforce its foreign and EU policy in the Arctic region, utilise its Arctic know-how, promote sustainable tourism and support transport and other infrastructure projects in the region. The objectives are included in the action plan for the updated Finnish Arctic Strategy adopted by the Government last week.

Norway, Finland talk Arctic with China

The Independent Barents Observer published an article titled, “Norway, Finland talk Arctic with China.” The article reads in part as follows;

“While Finland for years has cooperated closely with the Asian superpower on a number of key issues, the Norwegian state visit to China marks the start of a new era in bilateral relations.

The high level meetings were the first of their kind following six years of political stalemate between the countries.

Norwegian PM Erna Solberg had meetings with key Chinese decision makers, among them both President Xi Jinping and Prime Minister Li Keqiang. The visit also included meetings on foreign ministry level and trade and economic cooperation.

Beijing aspires to bigger Arctic role

Ecns.cn posted an article titled, “Beijing aspires to bigger Arctic role.” The article reads as follows;

“China is willing and able to play a bigger role in Arctic development and cooperation, said Vice-Premier Wang Yang during the Fourth International Arctic Forum, which ended in Arkhangelsk, Russia, on Thursday.

China is an important stakeholder in Arctic affairs, and it has been participating in these affairs for a long time in accordance with laws, said Wang, adding that China upholds the spirit of respect, cooperation and sustainability.

Switzerland seeks for observer status in the Arctic Council

The Maritime Herald published an article titled, “Switzerland seeks for observer status in the Arctic Council.” The article reads as follows;

“Switzerland hopes to get observer status in the Arctic Council after the meeting of the foreign ministers of the member countries, which will be held May 10-11 in Fairbanks, Alaska. The Arctic Council is an intergovernmental organization of the Arctic states, but latest disputes and increasing interest of operations in the Arctic shelf raised concerns of the world to p[roper exploration and development of the resources. During the international forum “The Arctic – Territory of Dialogue” participated the Swiss Ambassador in Russia, as well as business officials interested in operations of the zone. The observers of the Arctic Council participate in the work at the level of working groups and can make scientific and financial contributions to all projects of the organization.

Nordic Day

The Arctic Journal posted an article titled, “Nordic Day”. The article reads in part as follows;

“Even if you apply a liberal defintion and include Greenland as a Nordic country, most of the Arctic is not Nordic. Much of the Nordic region (whether you include Greenland or not) on the other hand, is Arctic.

And, for that reason, no celebration of Nordic Day, on March 23, would be complete without a discussion of the role Nordic institutions play in the region. Chief among these is the Nordic Council of Ministers, the official body for inter-governmental co-operation among the five member states and three associate countries.

Arctic: ban oil drilling and mitigate tensions, urge MEPs

European Parliament published an article online titled, “Arctic: ban oil drilling and mitigate tensions, urge MEPs.” The article reads in part as follows;

“Climate change is bringing new environmental and security challenges in the Arctic, as the melting ice cap opens up new navigation and fishing routes, and competition for its natural resources heats up, say MEPs in a resolution voted on Thursday. They call for measures to protect the vulnerable Arctic ecosystem, ban oil drilling there and keep it a low-tension and cooperation area.

The EU Finally Awakens to Reality

The Center for Regulatory Effectiveness (CRE) has for a number of years opposed admitting the EU as an observer to the Arctic Council. CRE opposition is based primarily on the EU acceptance of the precautionary principle as an operating norm.  CRE’s opposition has been in one way reinforced by a recent action of one group of EU legislators and in another way negated by the actions of another group of  legislators.

More specifically, Reuters reports:

Trump presidency leads Finland to worry about Arctic Council’s future

NunatsiaqOnline posted an article titled, “Trump presidency leads Finland to worry about Arctic Council’s future.” The article reads in part as follows;

“Finland appears to have some worries about what will happen to the Arctic Council after May, when the United States passes the chair of the circumpolar organization to Finland.

That’s because the overall Arctic policy environment has become more uncertain, particularly with respect to security, a recently-released document on the Arctic Council and Finland says.

The 95-page report, written in Finnish and entitled Finland’s chairmanship in the Arctic Council (2017-2019) in the age of change and uncertainty, reveals unease about Russia’s military intentions in the Arctic.