Arctic Yearbook 2012
element of a wider whole”, and “must be taken into account in all activities in the region”
(Prime Minister’s Office, 2010: 13-14). The strategy also gives special attention “to measures
that would support the adaptation of livelihoods dependent on the Arctic environment”, and
aims to support the development of regional climate models, and recognized biodiversity
For Iceland “ecological issues” are among the issues calling for a special response. The
environment is discussed as “an intrinsic element of security” understood in a
comprehensive sense: on one hand, its protection is to take place through international
cooperation (Althingi, 2011: 1), and on the other hand, it is tied together with resource
development which is of high importance for Iceland (Utanrikisraduneytid, 2009: 31-39).
The Icelandic document also refers to the new shipping routes which are expected to be
open as a result of decreasing sea ice (ibid: 42-46).
The Norwegian strategy characterizes the Arctic both as “The region of opportunity”, but
also as “vulnerable”, where increased traffic and petroleum activities have posed risks and
challenges to Norway as a coastal state (Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 2009).
According to the High North strategy, Norway is a leading nation as regards environmental
policy and its determination to be “the best steward of resources in the High North”
(Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 2006: 13 and 55).
In the Russian policy the preservation of “unique ecological systems” of the Arctic is defined
to be as a “basic national interest”. Further, “preservation and maintenance of the Arctic
environment”, as a part of environmental security is seen as one of the main challenges
which requires a solution, and consequently it is one of the basic objectives of the state
policy. (Rossiyskaya Gazeta, 2009)
In the Swedish strategy climate and the environment are defined as one of the three major
thematic areas, where Sweden commits to strengthening the efforts to combat
environmental degradation in the Barents region and elsewhere in the Arctic (Government
Offices of Sweden, 2011: 19-24). In order to achieve its goals, “Sweden has contributed to
greater global understanding of climate change” via long measurement series, and in order to
increase knowledge about the effects of global warming “current research cooperation and
network-building need to move towards more integrated research” and to strengthen joint
efforts through international forums, such as the EU and the UN bodies, and sensitive areas