Collaboration at heart of Arctic research initiative

By Shady Grove Oliver, The Arctic Sounder

As the international eye is focused on climate change in the Arctic, scientists, agencies, and locals are coming together to form a large-scale observing network to get a better handle on when, where, and how the effects will be manifest.

It’s guided in part by the University of Alaska, Fairbanks International Arctic Research Center through a program called the Study of Environmental Arctic Change, or SEARCH.

Inuit-led study looks into Arctic food security

By Shady Grove Oliver, The Arctic Sounder

The environment is changing and indigenous communities need to be part of the decision-making process, locally and internationally, from start to finish, to ensure resource security in the future.

That’s the core of a new report released by the Alaskan arm of the Inuit Circumpolar Council this month addressing the issue of food security in the Arctic.

“You always hear people talk about stakeholders,” said Carolina Behe, indigenous knowledge and science advisor for ICC-Alaska and one of the report’s authors. “But we’re not here to get a piece of the pie. It’s already our home.”


By Paul Pryce, Center for International Maritime Security

Sometimes the best resources are not hidden behind a paywall but are freely made available to researchers. Thanks to the Congressional Research Service’s 114-page report Changes in the Arctic: Background and Issues for Congress by Ronald O’Rourke, released in September 2015, such is the case for those wishing to understand strategic trends in the Arctic from the perspective of the United States. This is especially timely, as US President Barack Obama toured Alaska from August 31, 2015, becoming the first American president to visit America’s Arctic region. On September 4, just days after President Obama arrived in Alaska and the very same day the CRS released its report, five People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) vessels – three surface combatants, an amphibious landing vessel, and a replenishment ship – entered within twelve miles of the Alaskan coastline.

Polar opposites: Time for a 180 turn in Canada’s Arctic policy

By , IPolitics

For some time now, Canada’s approach to the Arctic has been parochial and sovereignty-obsessed. Our Arctic foreign policy is long overdue for some refining and refocusing. It should be reflective of the political, economic and environmental landscape of today’s Arctic, and respond proactively to the challenges and opportunities ahead.

Much can be learned from the early 1990s, when Canada made its most significant contribution to regional Arctic politics by leading the establishment of the Arctic Council and ensuring that indigenous peoples across the Arctic were politically represented in circumpolar affairs.

EPPR (Emergency Prevention, Preparedness and Response) meets in Reykjavik

The Arctic Council’s Working Group on Emergency Prevention, Preparedness and Response (EPPR) met on 1-3 December 2015 in Reykjavik, Iceland. Following their last meeting in Svalbard, EPPR met to discuss the group’s work on issues critical in the Arctic such as search-and-rescue (SAR) and preparedness and response to marine oil spills. EPPR is the Arctic Council’s point-of-contact for implementation of the 2013 Agreement on Cooperation on Marine Oil Pollution Preparedness and Response in the Arctic (MOSPA).

Read full article.

Sweden to share knowledge supporting Canada’s Arctic claims

In this September 23, 2015 photo, ice chunks are seen in the Northwest Passage in the Canadian High Arctic

Canada and Sweden have reached a deal to share data that could help support Canadian claims to a vast swath of the Arctic beyond its natural borders, Ottawa announced Friday.

The two northern nations signed a new five-year “Arctic science cooperation agreement” during a meeting in Stockholm between Canada’s Science Minister Kristy Duncan and Bjorn Dahlback, head of the Swedish Polar Research Secretariat.

Angus King Pushes U.S. To Look North

By Christine Parrish, The Free Press

While leaders of 150 countries met in Paris to struggle with the physical fact of climate change and try to pound out an agreement to address how to slow its repercussions, there was also talk of the economic opportunity that a warming planet offers.
Arctic sea ice is decreasing rapidly, presenting both challenges and opportunities, Maine Senator Angus King told a packed house at Point Lookout in Northport on Friday, December 4, at the monthly meeting of the Midcoast Forum on Foreign Relations.

Governments of Nunavut and Greenland, and Inuit Circumpolar Council issue joint statement on climate change

Press Release | Arctic Journal

PARIS, France (December 8, 2015) – The governments of Nunavut (Canada) and Greenland (Denmark) and the Inuit Circumpolar Council (ICC) released a joint statement on climate change at the twenty-first Conference of the Parties for the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP21) meeting in Paris today.

The Arctic is experiencing acute impacts related to climate change, including permafrost thaw, extreme increases in temperatures, loss of glacier and sea ice, extreme weather events and disruptions to Arctic wildlife. Even slight changes in the temperature cause major disruptions in the way that northern communities live and work.

Go Artic starts with the first Polish business mission to the Arctic region

Press Release | The Arctic Journal

On Monday, 7 December, the first business mission of Polish entrepreneurs to Denmark and Greenland has begun. It focuses on promotion of Polish companies which operate in green technology, high-tech solutions in the energy as well as in advanced industrial processes sectors. The mission will last until 10 December.

In Denmark, Polish and Danish entrepreneurs will attend a various B2B meetings. Representatives of Polish business will participate in the consultation visits with autonomous local authorities of Greenland responsible for natural resources, environment, justice, fishing, hunting and agriculture, construction and infrastructure policies. Participants of the mission from Poland will also meet representatives of the Polish community living in Greenland.

Arctic awakening

By Dan Ritzman, The Hill

Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) recently introduced legislation to protect the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge as wilderness. It’s a move that has long-standing public support and would officially safeguard one of America’s last truly wild places.

Stretching from boreal forests, across the towering mountains of the Brooks Range, down through sweeping tundra to coastal lagoons, the Arctic Refuge is home to a wealth of wildlife found nowhere else. It was designed specifically for wilderness purposes, but that hasn’t stopped the onslaught of dirty fuel development proposals. Following Shell Oil’s announcement that the company was abandoning plans to drill in the Arctic Ocean, Senator Murkowski (R-Alaska) has stepped up efforts to expedite oil and gas leasing in the Refuge.