The 2013 shipping season on the Northern Sea Route (NSR) commenced on June 28 when the Russian-flagged vessel Varzuga, carrying 13,658 tons of diesel entered the NSR at Cape Zhelaniya north of Novaya Zemlya.1 Over the course of 154 days a total of 49 vessels transported 1.35 million tons of cargo. A further 22 vessels transited the NSR unladen carrying 507,000 tons of ballast. The shipping season concluded on November 28 when the Russianflagged vessel Bukhta Slavyanka exited the NSR at Cape Dezhnev in the Bering Strait. Traffic on the NSR connected ports as far west as Ammassalik (Greenland) and as far east as Vancouver (Canada). In total, vessels traveling along the NSR called at 47 ports in 14 countries. The port of Murmansk (Russia) represented the key hub for shipping on the NSR with 24 vessels, carrying 492,000 tons of cargo, either departing or arriving here. The port of Pevek (Russia) located near the eastern entrance of the NSR, counted 18 vessels with a total of 311,000 tons of cargo. Other important ports were Rotterdam (Netherlands), Mongstad and Hammerfest (Norway) in Europe accounting for six ships and 408,000 tons. In Asia, the ports of Yosu and Ulsan (South Korea) and Chiba (Japan) totalled six ships and 421,000 tons. About 286,000 tons of cargo, representing 21 percent of traffic departed from or arrived in Chinese ports.
The Arctic Ocean is one of the last oceans of the planet, along with the Southern Ocean, not to be crisscrossed with fiber optical cable, information highways that carry the lion’s share of global communications. These cables are the spinal cord of the Internet and are a critical link with the rest of the world, increasingly so in our global village where instantaneous communication is expected. Today, there are nearly 300 submarine optical fiber cables on the ocean floor which carry, according to Alan Mauldin, research director at Telegeopgraphy, 99% of global communications (CNN, 2014). The remaining communications are via satellite for areas not yet connected to the global cable network. This is notably the case in the Canadian Arctic,1 where transmission is much more expensive and bandwidth much more limited as compared to optical fiber cable. In the coming years, with the melting of the polar ice and thanks to Canadian and Russian projects, Arctic residents may soon be linked to the global network and thus benefit from high-speed Internet connections. This offers great promise to northerners, especially in terms of education, health and economic development. These projects do face challenging weather conditions and require significant investment: cost estimates range from $650 million (USD) to nearly $1.9 billion.
The briefing note “Tourism Safety and Security: Findings from Tourism Intensive Finnish Lapland” describes the topic of tourism safety and security and then presents successful best practices that were developed in Finnish Lapland to tackle the challenges of tourism safety and security systems, describing the main actors on the regional, national and international levels.
The published briefing note is a deliverable of the European Dimension on Tourism Safety and Security project (ESF, 2012-2014) and has been co-created with partners in the project as well as the regional, national and international network of Tourism Safety and Security System in Lapland.
“The tourism safety and security network model, developed in Finland, is utilised in developing safety and security throughout the whole of the Arctic region”
- Arctic Strategy of Finland 2013 (50), translated from Finnish Introduction
Biodiversity conservation in the Arctic is on the international agenda at the United Nations (UN). Greenpeace International calls upon the UN and governments for an immediate moratorium to save the Arctic Ocean from industrial development. The Arctic Ocean has historically been covered by sea ice, which has today suffered a significant reduction due to climate change. According to Greenpeace, the long term solution is an inter-governmental agreement to a permanent, equitable and overarching treaty or multi-lateral agreement that protects the Arctic Ocean’s environment and ecosystems and the peoples who depend on them (http://www.greenpeace.org/international/en/). The International Association of Oil and Gas Producers (OPG) is working on a Joint Industry Programme (JIP) for technological innovations in oil drilling in Polar Oceans to develop new technology for the emergency planning and management of large oil-spill disasters in ice conditions (Øvrebekk Lewis, 2013). This article presents the Norwegian solution to the oil and gas exploitation and biodiversity conservation of large sea areas in the Barents Sea, which is a part of the Arctic Ocean (Figure 1). In accordance with international UN agreements, the Norwegian state has implemented an ecosystem based management plan for large areas in the Barents Sea (Ministry of Environment, White paper nr.8, 2005-2006). This initiative is linked to the international conventions of biodiversity conservation and the Malawi convention of ecosystems (Sandstrøm, 2008). These international guidelines are based on user management at the lowest democratic level, the conservation of a large ecosystem and the use of local knowledge and natural science in the governance of nature.
Larissa Riabova & Vladimir Didyk
This paper presents research notes discussing the theme of social licensing of the mining companies in one of the mining regions in the Russian Arctic. The paper is the outcome of the authors’ participation in the research project “Sustainable Mining, local communities and environmental regulation in Kolarctic area” (SUMILCERE).1
The project is funded by the Kolarctic European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument of Cross-Border Cooperation (ENPI CBC) Programme and is carried out by researchers from several institutions in Finland, Norway, Russia and Sweden: University of Lapland, Northern Research Institute (NORUT, Tromsø), Institute of North Industrial Ecology Problems and the Luzin Institute for Economic Studies of the Kola Science Centre of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Luleo University of Technology. The lead partner of the project is University of Lapland; the project period is 2013-2014. The research within the project is carried out through 3 thematic research sub-projects. The authors of the paper were involved in the Working Package 1 (WP 1) lead by Dr. A. Buanes from NORUT. The thematic task of the WP 1 is “Current practices on the participation and relationships between mining projects and local mining communities in order to develop the suggestions for the social licensing”.
According to the main documents on Russian Arctic development, the Arctic is considered as the strategic resource base of Russia. Under the conditions of increasing economic activities and global climate changes, preservation and protection of the Arctic environment, and also elimination of ecological consequences of economic activities, are the main goals of Russian state policy in the field of ensuring environmental safety of the Arctic. For minimization of negative impact on the Arctic environment, an increase in enterprises’ responsibility for environmental pollution is required. At the same time, in order to implement the state policy in the field of socio-economic development of the Russian Arctic, state support is provided to economic agents, which are carrying out their activities in the Arctic Zone, primarily in the field of development of hydrocarbon resources, other minerals and water biological resources.