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Arctic Yearbook 2012
State of the Arctic Strategies and Policies – A Summary
the post-Cold War Barents Sea region (ibid: 18-19). The strategy also ties monitoring and
emergency response to oil spills in with maritime safety systems in Northern waters.
The Russian policy declares the “maintenance of the Arctic as a zone of peace and
cooperation” as one of its “basic national interests” and pays attention to the environmental
dimension of security (Rossiyskaya Gazeta, 2009). However, the policy also adopts a
comprehensive approach by aiming to create “a uniform Arctic search and rescue regime”
(ibid). The Swedish strategy refers to the need for maritime security, safe navigation, and sea
and air rescue, which is not surprising due to their locations on both sides of the Baltic Sea
(Government Offices of Sweden, 2011: 28-30). The US policy explicitly mentions safety and
security of maritime transport “to facilitate safe, secure, and reliable navigation” and protect
the environment (White House, 2009: 6-7).
Similarities: All the Arctic strategies emphasize the importance of safety and security of and
in the Arctic, meaning mostly maritime safety. Most of them interpret the vision for the
Arctic as a safe area or stable region.
Since ‘governance’ can be understood to mean almost everything dealing with the
environment and management of natural resources, it is no surprise that governance and
management (of resources) are among, or integrated in, the priorities and objectives of all
the strategies, and explicitly mentioned by most of them.
Differences: There are no obvious differences on safety, search and rescue, and
Human Dimension and Peoples
The Canadian strategy requires supporting healthy communities and human wellbeing in the
North, since “Canada’s North is first and foremost about people” (Government of Canada,
2009: 3). By having the promotion of economic and social development and improvement
of northern governance among the equally important priority areas Canada relates the social
dimension to development, although human dimension is not explicitly among the four
priorities and thus, claims to allocate “more resources and attention to the Northern issues
than at any time” (ibid: Message from the Honourable Chuck Strahl).