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Arctic Yearbook 2012
25 Years of Arctic Environmental Agency: Changing Issues and Power Relations
Still, the ministerial meeting of the Arctic Council meeting in Nuuk (2011) launched a task force
to develop a legally binding Arctic agreement on marine oil pollution response, to be proposed
by the end of 2012, which gives some prospects.
In fact it is the G8 Global partnership program against the Spread of Weapons and Materials of
Mass Destruction that has been attempting to get rid of some of the worst accessible military
and nuclear waste from the Cold War legacy, mostly along the Northwestern Russian borders, in
the seas of Kara and Barents. According to information given at a Rosatom-Bellona seminar on
the progress of the Global Partnership, held in Moscow in February 2012, over the 10 years
period 47 submarine reactors have been removed and placed for storage at Sayda Bay, 50 tons
of nuclear fuel has been removed and 23 nuclear installations dismantled in North West Russia,
a new nuclear waste processing installation at Andreyeva bay is being built and the naval base of
Gremikha on the Kola Peninsula, south of Murmansk, is being cleaned. But there is still much
to do, including the safe dismantling of one of the most threatening spent nuclear fuel vessel,
the Lepse, moored at atomflot in Murmansk. The Bellona Foundation recently announced that
still much nuclear reactors and radioactive waste are reported to be still lying in Arctic Seas and
that Russians have sent an alarming demand for help to Norway for searching for their location
in fear of drilling for oil and gas in their proximity. Digges, C. (2012).
Russia announces enormous
finds of radioactive waste and nuclear reactors in Arctic seas
. Bellona. Retrieved (08.28.12) from,
The social impacts of setting ambitious targets of protected areas as well as more or less
transparent partnerships or alliances with extractive industries and multilateral organizations,
such as the World Bank, have raised contestation and conflicts within the great ENGOs, and
between them and civil society and indigenous peoples’ organizations starting from the mid
nineties on (Colchester, 1995; Ghimire & Pimbert, 1996).
The introduction to the World Conservation Strategy (WCS, 1980) co-signed by IUCN, UNEP
and WWF, is entitled “living resources conservation for sustainable development”.
Indigenous peoples’ participation was effective in shaping the concept of the
ecosystem approach,
approved by the Conference of Parties to the CBD in Malawi 1998, including Principle 2 on
subsidiarity, promoting decentralized modes of management and the Principle 11 according to
which management should be based on multiple forms of knowledge (UNEP-CBD, 1998).
The authors are grateful to the anonymous referees and editors for their comments and suggestions
of improvements.
ACIA (2005).
Impacts of a Warming Arctic:
Arctic Climate Impact Assessment
. Cambridge: Cambridge
University Press.
AEPS, 1991, Arctic Environmental protection strategy, Declaration on the protection of the Arctic
Environment, Rovaniemi, Finland.