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Arctic Yearbook 2012
The strategies of Finland, Iceland, Russia and the US, all list increased transportation among
their priorities or objectives. Of those, Iceland and Russia emphasize the use of (cross-polar)
air routes.
Sustainable and Regional Development
In many cases the rhetoric used indicates a more comprehensive and sophisticated method
to link the utilization of natural resources to sustainable use of natural resources, particularly
renewable resources. This linkage can be found for example in the Kingdom of Denmark’s
strategy which promotes that “[A]ll living resources must be developed and exploited
sustainably based on an ecosystem management” and aim to use renewable energy resources
(Kingdom of Denmark Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 2011: 32). The Icelandic report
emphasizes “sustainable” and “long-term economic” development, particularly in terms of
ensuring their full share in sustainable fisheries (Utanrikisraduneytid, 2009: 31-39), and the
Icelandic Arctic policy outlines the aim of sustainable utilization of resources to safeguard
long-term sustainable development (Althingi, 2011: 2). Norway’s strategy intends to be the
best steward of environmental and natural resources in the High North, and therefore, high
environmental standards will be set for all exploitation of natural resources with a particular
emphasis on the protection of “vulnerable areas against negative environmental pressures
and impacts”. And, the US State policy also asks to ensure that natural resource management
and economic development are environmentally sustainable (White House, 2009: 8-9).
Correspondingly, the Canadian strategy mentions “promoting social and economic
development” and to build and improve “self-sufficient, vibrant, and healthy Northern
communities” (Government of Canada, 2009: 14). Russia intends “to modernize and
develop the infrastructure of the Arctic transport system and fisheries” (Rossiyskaya Gazeta,
Concerning regionalism, meaning regional economic development and regional
infrastructure, Finland’s strategy includes the development of regional transport,
communication and logistic networks of North Finland (Prime Minister’s Office, 2010: 24-
25). The Icelandic report emphasizes the role of Akureyri and the importance of the
University of Akureyri. Correspondingly, in addition to Svalbard – which has a special status
and role in Arctic research due to its unique position in, and access to, the Arctic – the