Page 248 - 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
New Directions for Governance in the Arctic Region
The Arctic states have been supportive of the Polar Code. The
Arctic Marine Shipping Assessment
(AMSA), which was commissioned by the Arctic Council in 2004 and approved in 2009, provided
much of the current political impetus for mandatory regulation, having as one of its key
recommendations the mandatory application of the
Guidelines for Ships Operating in Polar Waters
the augmenting of IMO safety and pollution prevention conventions with specific mandatory
requirements for ship construction and operations (PAME, 2009b). The Arctic states further
supported the initiative in the
Nuuk Declaration
of May 2011 “urg[ing] the completion as soon as
possible of work at the International Maritime Organization to develop a mandatory polar code for
ships” (Arctic Council, 2011b). The target date for completion is 2014. The IMO sub-committee on
Ship Design and Equipment, which is tasked with developing the Polar Code, has faced challenges
related to Chapter 15 of the Code – the only one that deals specifically with environmental
protection from pollution that can result from accidents or regular ship operations in polar waters
(Einemo, 2012). However given the political support for such a Code, it seems likely that it will be
approved in some form by 2015, providing an important piece in the puzzle of Arctic governance.
Oil and Gas
The Arctic Council, and various Arctic stakeholders, have taken a strong interest in oil and gas
exploration and exploitation in the region. This is linked to the fact that oil and gas developments
provide the greatest economic opportunity as well as one of the greatest environmental risks in the
Previous efforts to develop multilateral responses to oil and gas activities in the Arctic have stalled.
The Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme (AMAP) provided an assessment of oil and gas
activities in the Arctic back in 1997/98, with an updated report submitted in 2007. The 2007 version
includes several pages of recommendations on how to improve and strengthen regulation of the oil
and gas industry and ensure consideration of local communities and environmental consequences
(Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Program, 2007). While acknowledged by the Arctic Council
(Arctic Council, 2009), it has had limited policy influence.
A more comprehensive document defining recommended practices is the
Arctic Offshore Oil and Gas
issued in 2009, which built on earlier iterations issued in 1997 and 2002. The goal of the
is “to define a set of recommended practices and outline strategic actions for consideration
by those responsible for regulation of offshore oil and gas activities in the Arctic” (PAME, 2009a: 4),