Kamilla Nørtoft, Sidse Carrol, Anu Siren, Peter Bjerregaard, Christina Viskum, Lytken Larsen, Merete Brædder, Lise Hounsgaard & Tenna Jensen

This article focuses on the methodology of the project Ageing in the Arctic (AgeArc) – Wellbeing, Quality of Life and Health Promotion among Older People in Greenland, and how the use of a collaborative approach aims at integrating ageing research, practices and policies to the benefit of the Greenlandic society. Thus, the aim of the article is to discuss how collaboration between research and practice can be an important factor in sustainable development of welfare solutions for older people in Greenland. In the project we study ageing policy, homecare, institutions, professional practices and municipal administration of these as well as older people’s health, well-being, everyday life and historical perceptions of the roles of older people in Greenland. Moreover, researchers and municipalities collaborate on developing policies, initiatives within municipalities and civil society as well as creating network across the municipalities and between municipal administrations and civil society. In addition to this, we develop educational material for healthcare workers and professionals and work to create more public awareness about ageing in Greenland. We present three examples of our collaborative methods and discuss how the approach influences development and implementation of specific co-creation projects involving researchers, professionals and citizens on equal terms.

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Elizabeth A. Kirk

This section of the Arctic Yearbook has its roots in a network established with the support of the UK Arts and Humanities Research Council: The Science Based Governance and Regulation of Arctic Energy Installations Network (SciBAr Installations) (www.scibarinstallations.org.uk). The network and this section of the Yearbook are designed to develop an overview of the potential risks and impacts associated with the construction and operation of offshore installations in the Arctic drawing on expertise from a range of disciplines. Thus we have contributions from law (Basaran, Vinogradov & Azubuike, and Kirk & Miller), environmental science (Kirk & Miller) management (Andræsen, Borch & Ikonen) and politics (Poppel).

The papers give some indication of the range of relevant disciplines and issues to be addressed if we are to ensure a 360 degree review of the regulation of offshore energy installations in the Arctic. Thus Vinogradov & Azubuike take a traditional legal approach in assessing the current global and regional regulations relating to pollution from offshore petroleum operations in the Arctic and propose solutions to identified gaps in the existing Arctic regime in the form of a regional intergovernmental framework or an industry-wide compensation scheme. Kirk & Miller provide an interdisciplinary analysis of the ways in which gaps in scientific understanding of the potential impacts from oil and gas installations on the marine environment may raise legal questions such as what “significant transboundary pollution” means in the Arctic context. Poppel’s paper also directly links to oil and gas activities, but focuses more on the impacts or potential impacts on the political discourse in Greenland.

Two of the papers range slightly more widely, in that they address topics which encompass issues pertaining to Arctic offshore energy installations as well as broader issues. Thus Basaran’s paper on civil liability for oil pollution has potential implications for the transit passage of oil tankers as well as pollution from shipping transporting oil from Arctic installations. Similarly, Andræsen, Borch & Ikonen’s analysis of Arctic marine emergency response draws out how Arctic operational conditions add to inter-organizational coordination challenges in delivering emergency response to all maritime operations, not just those relating to offshore energy installations.

In this collection of papers we begin then to demonstrate the breadth and depth of research needed if we are to fully understand the issues that regulators must address if we are to attend to all threats and impacts from and to offshore installations in the Arctic. As the papers demonstrate these range from socio-political impacts, to impacts on human health and safety, to impacts on the marine environment. The responses required range from the development of monitoring and management techniques, to changes in law.

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Elizabeth A. Kirk & Raeanne G. Miller

The Arctic Ocean’s physical environments and ecosystems are some of the most fragile and least well understood on Earth. They are characterised by extreme light and dark cycles, shortened food chains, and slow ecosystem recovery from disturbance. The Arctic seabed also holds promise of lucrative oil and gas resources, whose future exploitation could have substantial environmental impacts. Arctic jurisdictions must weigh environmental conservation and global agreements to reduce carbon emissions against the social implications and potential economic gain of offshore oil and gas projects in the Arctic, and must do so in the face of substantial scientific uncertainty around the impacts of climate and environmental change in the Arctic. We know, however, that major projects such as oil and gas projects have the potential to lead to transboundary environmental harm. We have some understanding of how any pollution may be carried by sea ice or on the ocean currents which flow around the Arctic Ocean. Even so, we have little understanding of how such pollutants might affect the Arctic ecosystem. Substantial gaps remain in scientific understanding of Arctic ecosystem functioning, particularly as it changes rapidly with the advent of climate change. These gaps in scientific understanding raise legal questions about how, for example, the law’s obligation not to cause significant transboundary environmental harm applies in the Arctic. In particular one may ask what actions are required by a state to show that they have acted with due diligence. Is it sufficient, for example, to show that they have complied with existing international treaties?

This paper draws out key legal and scientific issues on which greater understanding is required. In essence it presents a roadmap for further research and negotiation.

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Natalia Andreassen, Odd Jarl Borch & Emmi Ikonen

Emergency response operations include a range of agencies who collaborate closely together. This is especially true in the Arctic regions where resources may be scarce. The participants within emergency response include a range of institutions such as: mission coordination centers, fire and rescue services, police, coast guard and military forces, private organizations, companies, and volunteers. In this paper, we illustrate the managerial roles of the incident commanders who coordinate and control emergency response, and the organizational mechanisms supporting the incident commanders. The purpose of this paper is to explore how the operational conditions found in the Arctic add to the inter-organizational coordination challenges. We build upon several illustrative cases to demonstrate how the managerial roles are influenced by their context. The key operational challenges in the Arctic region include harsh weather conditions, long distances to resource bases, and limited infrastructure. We argue that role flexibility, re-planning capability and authority delegation are critical prerequisites for an efficient crisis response in the Arctic. The capability for role switching is important for all key personnel involved in the maritime incident response. Results from in-depth case studies of maritime emergency operations in Norway are presented in this paper.

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Ilker K. Basaran

As the Arctic Ocean is becoming a busier place for shipping due to an unprecedented sea ice retreat and integration of the regional resources with the world economy, regulatory challenges for the protection and safety of the region become the top priority. According to the Arctic Council’s Arctic Marine Shipping Assessment (AMSA) report “the greatest environmental threat presented by the marine shipping industry pertains to the release of oil into the Arctic waters” (AMSA, 2009). Given the magnitude of the threat and the lack of technology to clean up the spilled oil in the Arctic Ocean, it is not surprising that the prevention measures become the highest priority in Arctic marine environmental protection efforts. To this effect, the Arctic states, through Arctic Council, have already agreed on several legal instruments regionally. The IMO Polar Code has also brought various precautionary measures to avoid oil spills in the Arctic Ocean. However, the civil liability scheme in oil pollution has not been properly examined yet. Civil Liability regimes are not drafted in light of the Arctic’s unique environmental conditions and risks; therefore, they require adjustments according to the Arctic shipping realities that we face today.

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Sergei Vinogradov & Smith I. Azubuike

The Arctic has enormous hydrocarbon potential which is attracting international oil companies to invest, explore and exploit its reserves. Drilling in this region presents infrastructural, technological and environmental challenges with high accidental pollution risks involved. In the wake of the Deepwater Horizon incident of 2010 in the Gulf of Mexico, there are serious concerns about the effects and legal consequences of a possible major oil spill. This calls into question the adequacy of existing global and regional regulatory frameworks governing accidental pollution, particularly in such important area as oil pollution damage liability and compensation. It is important that an international regime is in place that provides prompt and adequate compensation to the victims of pollution and remedial measures necessary to protect the Arctic environment and innocent third parties. This paper examines and evaluates global and regional regulations pertinent to pollution resulting from offshore petroleum operations in the Arctic, focusing especially on accident pollution liability and compensation from offshore facilities. A regional intergovernmental framework or an industry-wide compensation scheme would be among the most obvious options in addressing the apparent gap in the existing environmental regime of the Arctic.

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