Arctic Yearbook 2012
State of the Arctic Strategies and Policies – A Summary
All the strategies discuss Indigenous peoples, and take into consideration and underline their
rights, or traditional cultures and languages.
Differences: Canada’s Strategy requires supporting healthy communities and human
wellbeing in the North, and the Kingdom of Denmark’s Strategy emphasizes Arctic
cooperation on human health and social coherence.
Indigenous peoples are explicitly emphasized in the priorities of the Finnish, Norwegian and
Russian strategies. Interestingly, the Kingdom of Denmark and Norway have ratified the
ILO 169, while Finland and Sweden have not (though the Finnish strategy discusses that);
and in Iceland there are no indigenous peoples.
Research and Knowledge
Research including international cooperation on research (and monitoring) is explicitly
mentioned as a highlight in the Iceland report and a priority in the US state policy to
promote “international scientific cooperation” (White House, 2009: 5). Correspondingly, the
strategy of the Kingdom of Denmark and that of Norway emphasize knowledge on climate
change and its impacts. In the Canadian strategy “Arctic science”, including the International
Polar Year and the aim to remain “a global leader in Arctic science”, is keenly connected
with the priority areas of “Protecting our Environmental Heritage” (Government of Canada,
In the rest of the strategies, research is implicitly integrated: the Finnish strategy mentions
“technology-based expertise” and “Finnish know-how” and integrated them with economic
activities (Prime Minister’s Office, 2010: 18-21). One of the priorities of the Russian state
policy is “technological capabilities” (Rossiyskaya Gazeta, 2009). Finally, the Swedish
strategy has research on climate and the environment as one of the sub-priorities under
“Climate and the Environment”, and “Climate and environmental research” (Government
Offices of Sweden, 2011: 19-24). A few reports of the AC, such as the ACIA, the AHDR
and the AMSA, are mentioned in the Arctic strategies of Canada, the Kingdom of Denmark,
Finland, Iceland and Norway. In the cases of Iceland and Sweden the University of the
Arctic, and higher education, is mentioned.