Page 225 - yearbook pdf

This is a SEO version of yearbook pdf. Click here to view full version

« Previous Page Table of Contents Next Page »
Arctic Yearbook 2012
Finger-Stich and Finger
the indigenous and local communities. Beyond the contribution to the cultural diversity of the region
for better adaptation, it opens perspectives for transforming institutions, making resilient what is
sustainable. Recognizing, respecting and titling Indigenous Peoples’ rights to land, freshwater and
marine resources, in biodiversity conservation, protected areas as well as in climate change policies,
in particular to favor adaptation, is yet only in an early stage, with great differences in policy amongst
the states of the Arctic (Heinämäki, 2009).
It is far from obvious what responsibility nation-states will concede to the Arctic Council in terms of
Arctic governance in the near future. The Arctic’s regional identity and governance structure could
be a good means for avoiding disempowering core/periphery relations (Young, 2012). However, this
would require more decision-making power and resources. It is unlikely that the Arctic states will
concede greater power to non-Arctic States, which may in fact not be necessarily so helpful to the
Arctic environment. Granting them, as well as some additional NGOs, an observer status may be a
better option. The democratic legitimacy of the Arctic regional institutions needs also to be
We also note that the Arctic Council has been increasingly adopting and developing methods to
apply an ecosystem based management approach, which gives greater decision-making power to
regional and local actors in matters of natural resources governance and management.
This could
give an enhanced role to regional sub- and trans-national governmental institutions, non-
governmental users’ associations, indigenous peoples and local communities. These approaches are
key for supporting diverse forms of knowledge and local institutions, and therefore for maintaining
resilient communities. In fact, the cultural aspects still need to be more embedded in conservation
and environmental protection policies, including protected areas, terrestrial as well as marine. The
definition of areas of “heightened cultural or ecological significance” to prevent shipping and
extractive industries to penetrate some sensitive areas will be an important, but not sufficient way to
set limits (Arctic Council, 2011). Time is indeed running out, as the Arctic Ocean continental shelf
will soon be divided among the five Arctic rim states.
Whether we realize it or not, we are all – from within and beyond the Arctic region – agents in
finding a way out of the tragedy of the global and the Arctic commons. This tragedy is not a destiny
of all resources of common concern. There are many well-documented cases of common resource
management institutions that prove to be able to sustain socio-ecological systems and adapt to
change (Brower et al., 2002). Communities may indeed be capable of facing climatic and other socio-