Arctic indigenous leaders speak up about the dangers of increased shipping

Ship-technology posted an article online titled, “Arctic indigenous leaders speak up about the dangers of increased shipping.” The article reads in part as follows;

“The Arctic is often used as a poster child for some of the most extreme consequences of climate change, as the environment here warms at a faster pace than any other region in the world.

In November last year, the Arctic Resilience Report, produced by an international team of researchers under the auspices of the Arctic Council, identified the 19 tipping points that had occurred in Arctic marine, freshwater and terrestrial ecosystems.

Despite the numerous red flags, the rapid melting of sea ice has been seen as a valuable commercial opportunity to increase Arctic shipping via new routes. Vessels travelling via new northern pathways can cut days off their journey times between the Pacific and North Atlantic ports.

In September last year, researchers from the University of Reading found that by 2050, opportunities to transit the Arctic will double for non-ice strengthened vessels.

As the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) points out, the Northern Sea Route is already in use by commercial ships, while the Northwest Passage could shorten travel time by two weeks compared to transit via the Panama Canal.

In light of these threats, leaders of native Arctic communities have come forward to stress the importance of protecting the sensitive waters, which have represented a critical lifeline for generations of indigenous people.”

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