Poles Apart – a One-day International Conference to Bring Industry and Science in the Polar Regions Closer Together.
Official Report of the event - notes taken and transcribed by Philippa Morrell of Beaver Technical &Training Ltd.
Mr James Gray MP opened the conference by welcoming everyone and thanking them for attending. He explained that those in attendance represented both scientific/environmental interests in the Polar Regions as well as industry. Mr Gray then introduced the sponsor of the conference, Frederick Paulsen.
Mr Paulsen started by saying that it was generally agreed that climate change was happening – anyone who had visited the polar regions in the last 20 years could attest to the changes that have happened in that short space of time. While climate change was a natural occurrence, the speed and pace of the current changes were man made. Some of these changes – such as the reduction of the ice covered areas of the Arctic Ocean, opened up opportunities but it also opened up lots of terrifying issues too.
He said the conference was designed to bring together for open discussion industry representatives; environmental NGOs and scientists – he hoped that from this the Polar Regions would benefit. Mr Paulsen added that exploration from oil and gas and other minerals was already happening but it needed to be done in a sustainable and nurturing way with rules and regulations and stipulations in place.
Mr Mark Simmonds, MP – Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Foreign & Commonwealth Office: The UK Government’s Approach to the Arctic and Antarctic
Mr Simmonds noted that the Polar Regions were dynamic regions on the frontier of global climate changes such temperatures rising and ice disappearing. These changes were a matter of concern but could also be an opportunity as shipping traffic, in the Arctic, could be increased reducing time to get raw materials and finished goods to market.
While the two Polar Regions were far away from the UK’s own border, the UK was involved with both. It had always been an Antarctic nation having been the first country to ratify the Antarctic Treaty in 1961 and currently maintaining 3 stations for research and now it was recognising the need to become more involved in the Arctic region, which was its nearest neighbour.
Having recognised that much of what happens in the Arctic affects the UK, including things like climate, fishing, energy and international relations: on 17 October the government released its Arctic Policy called Adapting to Change: the UK Policy to the Arctic. The pace and scale of change in the area warranted not just being an observer but also participation, by taking a leading role in trying to mitigate climate change. It would also be advocating an increased level of drilling standards and it was fully supportive of the 2015 legally binding agreement for the marine protection zones.
With regard to the Antarctic, the mining ban that was in place until 2048 was fully supported and it was felt it should remain in place even after 2048.
While in both Polar Regions there was a strong emphasis on the importance of science when making decisions about the region and collaboration between the parties involved, the best possible evidence for international divisions in the Arctic was the proposed marine protection zone.
What worked in one of the regions, may not work as well in the other – the two Regions had very different structures. But with the use of high quality, strong, independent science and collaboration it was possible to have working governance framework in order to balance economic development with care for the environment.
HE Ólafur Grímsson – President of Iceland: The Future of the Arctic
His Excellency began by deploring the lack of business, political and diplomatic interest in the UK in the Arctic. The only interest in the area currently was scientific, which was often leading the way but was not sufficient. The area was changing rapidly and the UK had a duty to be involved particularly as it had the necessary infrastructure of science, politics and the media. Currently ice covered areas were of little consequence however it was being recognised by many of other countries that what happens in these areas affects weather patterns in either place. There needed to be a cultural shift in the fundamental importance of ice covered areas. He likened this cultural shift as to when it was recognised that the earth was not flat.
The Arctic was rapidly becoming the new global playing field with countries that could not be considered as having an interest in the area in the past, such as China, Singapore and South Korea who were now actively engaging in the region. China, for example has two reasons for involvement – scientific and commercial. The China Polar Institute has been involved following the aggressive melting of the ice sheet which resulted in extreme weather in China in 2007-2008 – affecting its food production and infrastructure.
Due to the ice melting, the Northwest Passage and increasingly the Northern Sea Route were becoming more commercially viable as shipping routes. Using these routes saved both time and fuel.
Another example was Singapore which had a special department for the Arctic in its Foreign Ministry – with a special ambassador and engagement was active. Why were they interested? Two reasons, if the glacial ice sheet melts, Singapore at the end of the century will not be as we currently know it – so it was a fundamental threat to the country; and if container traffic started to use the Arctic rather than the Suez Canal, Singapore would no longer be a hub.
Other developments in the Arctic included the recent decision by Greenland to begin to export uranium. Greenland, the conference was told is half the size of Europe and home to 55, 000 people, although part of Denmark it did now have its own parliament.
A decision-making culture had developed with the Arctic Council which was based on science and was more informal. The Arctic Council had not only the 8 Arctic Nations as member but also representatives of the indigenous peoples too who brought with them their own ways of doing things. Several of the leading G20 countries were already taking an active role in the area and the changes that were happening, were happening now and were not for the future.
His Excellency concluded that the UK did not have much time to get involved at the level it should be; the Arctic was already moving and faster than many thought.
Questions and Contributions
The question was asked: was the UK being left behind – it was leading the way scientifically but politically there were not any known leading figures, unlike in France. His Excellency asked if anyone in the audience could name a senior political figure in the UK responsible for the Arctic. No one could.
Mr Gray did point out that there were regular meetings of an All-Party Parliamentary on the Arctic and they were working hard to significantly raise its profile.
The comment was then made – where was the engagement of major British companies in the region?
Greenland uranium: people have lived there for centuries and want to use their resources. Why is mineral development considered in the Arctic but not the Antarctic? It was agreed that no one had the right to tell people how they can use their own resources.
SESSION 1 – CAN WE DO BUSINESS AT THE POLES?
Chairman: Mr James Gray, MP
Professor Klaus Dodds, Royal Holloway: The Antarctic
Professor Dodds started by saying that Imperial ambitions, business and commerce had gone hand-in-hand with scientific curiosity when considering human activities affecting the Antarctic region. In particular, sealing and whaling had been very big business in the Southern Polar region historically and now it was fishing, tourism and science.
Sealing had been industrial in terms of scale and the two species particularly affected were the fur seals and the elephant seals. In the 1820s at the industry’s high point 100s of thousands of seals were being killed. This scale was due to a global market – seal wraps were in demand in New York, London, Paris and Canton. Elephant seals were killed for their blubber which was rendered down and used in food stuffs and for oil lamps.
Then came whaling – again the primary use of the animal was for its blubber and its oil – this time the oil was used to heat people’s homes. It was a huge industry, involving countries like Norway, the UK and the United States. There was even an Anglo-Norway partnership which developed managerial strategies.
Commerce, science and territorial claims were very inter-related. It was happening over 100 years ago although on a different scale and with different countries involved. Sponsorship was used when sending scientific expeditions to the region and this had involved business.
The Antarctic Treaty system came into force in 1961 and when it did it set aside territorial claims of the nations involved – the claimant states, 7 in all, remain the same and no other countries claims have been recognised since, although there are 50 countries who had now signed the treaty.
The major industries in the region now were fishing which was worth multi millions. Although it did consist of two types: illegal and legal. However the authorities in the area were beginning to manage more effectively the fish stocks. And tourism, nearly 40 000 tourists had visited the Antarctic Peninsula, with growing interest further afield.
Professor Dodds noted that Antarctica was being commodified, as it sold, and images of the region could be use to provoke people. He also noted that mineral exploration could also be a possibility in the Falklands and surrounding areas.
Professor Terry Callaghan: The Arctic
Professor Callaghan explained that the Arctic’s environment was under pressure from several drivers including climate change that was occurring at twice the global rate. Changes in the cryosphere – that was ice, snow and permafrost – were dramatic; while changes in ecosystems varied. However changes in both affected infrastructure, provisioning services, such as food and regulatory services such as greenhouse gas fluxes.
Professor Callaghan asked why we were interested in the Arctic now. It was because it had resources and access to them would be affected by climate change. Another reason for the interest was that the Arctic affected global processes and had feedbacks to the climate system. For example, it had cooled the earth by reflecting heat from the sun and regulating greenhouse gases. The Arctic had also redistributed the earth’s heat – warmer North and cooler tropics; it regulated sea level and provided unique habitats for Indigenous people and iconic animals.
However, observations had shown that the Arctic’s climate had been warming twice as fast as the global rate. This had impacted among other things lake and river ice with record loss of sea ice in 2012. The melting glaciers and ice sheets resulted in higher sea level rises that previously estimated by the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change).
Permafrost ground temperature were increasing too, they were typically warming between 0.5 – 2 degrees Celsius. There were changes in hydrology too, with the drying of ponds in many areas, and the creation of new ponds in others. These changes led to damage of infrastructure – the thaw combined with poor engineering led to roads cracking.
Damage to ecosystems had led to the release of methane and increased mid-winter thaw events have led to icing and deaths of animals, for example, reindeer, muskoxen, and lemmings/voles. Another thing was that extreme summer rain events were now more frequent; and tundra fires were more frequent.
Another casualty to the climate change in the Arctic was its overall bio-diversity. Specialist species were at risk through dependence on specific environments, the extinction of some endemic Arctic animal species was highly likely if current trends in sea ice depletion continue.
Professor Callaghan noted that the changes described offered both challenges and opportunities. The challenges for the Arctic residents included insecure travel routes and diminishing traditional food sources and the opportunities were better access to oil and gas resources and new shipping routes. The challenges for the global community was sea level rise and amplified warming which could bring conflict as though in areas affected migrated to those areas less affected. Could the winners be the multi-national industry?
What could be done? There had to be capacity built for monitoring, research, adaptation and education throughout the Arctic via INTERACT. This would provide transnational access to over 500 scientists in the field; data access via the Station Managers Forum; joint research activity and outreach which provided adaptation material for Arctic residents and school resources.
Professor Callaghan concluded that changes in climate, glaciers, permafrost and hydrology in the Arctic was dramatic; changes in Biomass, cover and species varied from dramatic to minor and local factors and events often over-rode long term climatic change do prediction was difficult. These changes would bring opportunities and challenges but everyone would be affected in some way.
Professor Jane Francis, British Antarctic Survey: Polar Science
Professor Francis explained that the Polar Regions were undergoing rapid change, particularly the Arctic, which had the potential to impact the UK and the rest of the world. Understanding what drove the unprecedented changes and its possible future consequences was a scientific challenge of the utmost urgency with important societal implications.
The Polar Regions were the areas on earth most sensitive to climate change. Climate change was happening there first. The Arctic Ocean and the Antarctic Peninsula showed clear evidence of warming and satellite data showed that ice sheets on Greenland and Antarctica were losing mass.
Another issue was the acidification of the polar seas. It was affecting snail-like molluscs which were important in the marine food chain but there were already being affected by the dissolution of their shells by acid waters.
She explained the differences between the two polar ecosystems.
Arctic Food Web Antarctic Food Web
Ecosystem – Marine and terrestrial connections are important – for example the Polar Bear. If the marine mammals it feeds on are not available – or it cannot reach them, then it will starve. Ecosystem – Antarctic krill is a key species. Few fish species with less terrestrial influence.
Drivers of change – sea ice, ocean acidification, transport and traffic, resource exploitation Drivers of change are regional – sea ice, ocean temperatures, ocean acidification, importance of past change
Biodiversity – habitat change, species ranges and potential rapid ecosystem change, connections north-south would be crucial Biodiversity – habitat changes, species ranges and potential rapid eco system change. The polar front is a strong barrier.
Human Communities – national fisheries were important but limited potential for expansion? Human Impacts: important and international fisheries with potential for expansion to more than 10% of total marine landings
Outlook: Integrated analyses of whole eco-systems required for good environmental stewardship and sustainable management
Professor Francis felt that business could be done at the Poles on the basis of rigorous high quality science. The whole ecosystem had to be understood and its resilience to past and future change. Long term monitoring would be required and business would need to act as environmental stewards.
Questions and Contributions
It was noted that work should be done at both Poles and not in isolation, in addition getting more money to fund projects was not necessarily the answer – it was possible, using new technologies to integrate existing data and share it.
Were the risks that were inherent in doing business at the Poles being taken into consideration? In order to make it economically viable to work in the region, had there been studies into the level of consumption that would be required? What about governance issues involved? It was noted that those things were going to happen anyway – so the question was how should it be done now?
It was also noted that risk could be highly politicised and how risk affected the area would vary greatly – so risk must not be generalised. What kind of businesses would be wished for in the future?
SESSION TWO: Polar-Friendly Business?
Chairman: Mr Henrik Normann, President & CEO, Nordic Investment Bank
Mr Normann began by asking the speakers how they served their customers, shareholders, stakeholders and the wider population in business. Did this change if you were doing business in the Polar Regions?
Mr Sturla Henriksen – Director General, Norwegian Shipowner’s Association: Bulk Shipping through the Arctic
Mr Henriksen explained that the Arctic had been very important to Norway historically and economically. With the changes that were happening there was massive interest in the opportunities that were being presented for shipping.
There was an entirely new ocean opening up – 2/3 of the summer ice had disappeared which meant the formerly ice-bound waters in the Arctic Ocean and neighbouring seas were becoming accessible to international shipping and petroleum exploration and drilling.
These changes in the Arctic also increased its attraction as a destination for tourism – there had already been an increase in the number of cruise ships over the past decade and finally for its fishing. As well as the ice melts, the tundra was thawing too which made the on-shore infrastructure more fragile. The rivers were opening up which enable barges to get the minerals out that were being mined.
While these new opportunities were exciting it needed to be remembered that all of them took place under extremely difficult conditions; the Norwegian Shipbuilders Association felt that it was exceedingly important that responsible governance was put in place before the chase for natural resources began, and before commercially viable trading routes appeared. The Association believed there were three things that were required:
o Regulatory framework based on the IMO and UN conventions and the new Polar Code
o A range of adequate infrastructure, including improved communications; aid to navigation; charts, forecasting of ice and weather conditions; contingencies and search and rescue.
o Industry standards relating to training to cope with shipping in the Region and the use of the equipment needed to operate there.
A step-wise approach was required that was pre-cautionary as there was much of value to the protected as well as challenges to be faced.
Mr Rob McIllree, CEO Greenland Minerals & Energy: An Arctic Success Story
Mr McIllree spoke about the Kvanefjeld project which his company has been engaged in for some time. The project was considered the flagship of how to do this kind of thing had political backing in both Greenland and Denmark.
He explained the background to the project. Greenland, part of the Kingdom of Denmark was granted Self Rule in June 2008 in a national referendum in Greenland. In January 2009, Greenland received from the Crown of Denmark full mineral and hydrocarbon rights. The current Greenland government was pro-mining and issued an uranium exploration license of Kvanefjeld in 2011. There were several other mining projects in the pipeline.
The Kvanefjeld project had ready access to existing infrastructure; it was strategically located central to North America and European markets and with the opening of the North West Passage to Asia. The nearest town Narsaq was located 10km from the project site and woudl provide general labour and services to the project, it was also on the same approximate latitude as Oslo which also facilitated long-established mining regions of Alaska and Northern Canada already being exploited.
The project geography had direct shipping access with an airport nearby. It was easily accessed from the North Atlantic by ship year round and distance from the town to the airport is 45km away. The area was a unique geological phenomenon resulting in a ‘mega’ ore seam extending of 50 km2.
Why was this project so attractive to Greenland Mineral and Energy Ltd? Kvanefjeld was a multi-element project with rare earth minerals, uranium and zinc being the products. It was highly accessible with the bulk orebodies being favourable located in Southern Greenland, near towns, harbours and airports. As it was a non-refractory ore type that was conducive to simple, cost-effective processing with low-technical risk. The feasibility study had demonstrated a long-life, cost-competitive production rare earths and uranium, the starting point of a mining project that would continue to evolve for potentially more than 200 years. Finally Greenland was politically stable and pro-mining and so it was attracting increasing international interest.
The project was built on comprehensive technical foundation, with over 20 years of state-sponsored research and development from the 1960s to 1983, the project was successfully launched but was halted in early 1980s. There had been seven years research and development by the company itself with over AUS$ 100m invested. The research had taken an multi-element approach and it had rigorously developed processing that utilised beneficiation and atmospheric leaching which provided significant technical and economic advantages to all other rare earth options.
The Kvanefjeld project was an emerging project of global strategic significance. It was the world’s largest uranium and rare earth resources, with potential for even further growth. It had direct shipping all year round; large outcropping ore bodies allow for simple, open-pit mining; it had a unique and highly favourable ore-type conducive to simple, cost-competitive processing, it will be one of the largest producers of ‘critical’ rare earth elements globally in time. Low political risk as it is a stable democracy which is looking to mining as being a cornerstone of its economic development.
Greenland Minerals and Energy had worked closely with the local community – it had worked with those who worked in the original mine and it was involved in the community too, by sponsoring the sports teams and building a museum that houses the Illimaussaq Complex rock collections for tourists – highlighting the minerals available in the area. It also had a number of comprehensive stakeholder engagement events – where they held open days and road shows explaining what was going on and the plans for the area. And the company was highlighted by the European Environment Agency for a company working in a high-risk industry who was doing it correctly. Please see http://www.eea.europa.eu/highlights/rio-20-2013-time-to which is link to a film that was shown at the G20 Rio 20/20 meeting earlier in the year.
It was recognised that with the exploitation of one of the last remaining frontiers in minerals exploration there were a number of key challenges, these were:
o Environmental management and consequence
o Social aspects – the traditional culture vs the new Greenlander, the youth
o Maintaining the opportunities generated by the mining opportunities
o Monetising the resources for the benefit of all
The key risks and rewards moving forward were seen as:
o Vast untapped mineral wealth
o Correct utilisation of things like sovereign wealth funds which create an annuity for future generations
o Attractive destination for investments capital in an increasingly risky business due to low political risk
o Potential to become the richest nation on earth versus one of the most corrupt and poorest
Mr Robert Blaauw – Senior Adviser Global Arctic Theme, Shell: Energy
Mr Blaauw said that the specific challenges of the Arctic to development there required comprehensive science. He explained that was why Shell was investing heavily in its Arctic science programme. All the data from scientific exploration by Shell was independent, peer-reviewed and publicly available.
It was critical that the scientific building blocks were in place – not just to understand what was happening the Arctic today but to better measure historical trends and assess how oil and gas activity could safely and responsibly co-exist with Arctic communities that had thrived for centuries.
Oil and gas exploration in the Arctic did not get the same reaction from the public in many cases as science did yet it must be acknowledged that the worldwide population was increasing and the traditional sources of oil and gas were reducing. What was needed was responsible exploration in order to enable economic development of the indigenous people.
The intense scrutiny that was placed on the work being undertaken was welcomed and there was considerable investment in prevention because it was recognised that accidents could and did happen. However oil & gas exploration in the Arctic was no gold rush – there was a significant amount of investment before any return may be realised. There was a huge cost involved in actually testing to see if the oil was present – zero test drills have been sunk in the High Arctic despite what some in the media would have you believe.
Oil and gas exploration in the Arctic was a long-term investment and co-operation was the key for business in the Arctic between governments, academia, and NGOs.
Mr Felix Tschudi, Tschudi Shipping Management AS: Shipping
Mr Tschudi began by giving a brief background to his company, Tschudi Shipping Group, which had roots back to 1883 and was a shipping, off-shore and logistics group with a particular focus on the east-west trades of cargoes and project involved the Baltic, Russia and CIS countries including Northern Regions of Russia and Norway.
Climate change and the technological developments related to resource extraction and operations in harsh conditions combined with high commodity prices had accelerated resource development in the Arctic. However for this to realised good transport solutions were needed.
He explained that the Northern Sea Route was turning a transport disadvantage into a transport advantage during the ice-free season. Over the last three years it had been used by an increasing number and types of vessels and cargoes. For example in 2010 there were 4 passages; in 2011 34 passages; and 2012 – 46 passages. These ranged from large tankers, bulk and LNG (Liquid Natural Gas) carriers, reefers and off-shore vessels.
Using the route generated savings in time, cost and emissions. Another potential cost saving was having return cargoes. By creating two-way trade, significant freight and emissions savings could be achieved.
However new shipping opportunities also brought new operational and environmental challenges. What those challenges were, were not always that clear. Mr Tschudi felt that Arctic development was suffering from ‘myths’ and misunderstandings based on a lack of knowledge, emotions and sometimes, political intent. He believed that the real environmental risks from activity in the Arctic must be identified, understood, defined and then addressed in a holistic, balanced and integrated way through the IMO Polar Code and other measures taking into account seasonal and geographical variations.
He suggested that the environmental risks that should be evaluated included:
o Double hull protection of bunker tankers
o Discharge of rubbish/garbage and pollutants
o Use of heavy oil vs. the implications of a ban
o Black carbon vs. other emissions reductions
o Ballast water
o Emergency response
o Routing measures and speed restrictions
o Particularly sensitive areas and places of refuge.
With regard to emergency preparedness and co-operation, Mr Tschudi felt that a joint arctic infrastructure was necessary. He pointed out that the best safety measure against accidents was the Russian mandatory ice breaker escort and regulatory requirements. He added that the Arctic Council had agreements on developing a joint framework for Search and Rescue (SAR) and on oil pollution prevention and these were important as the member countries of the Council were the ones with an interest in developing the resources of the region while keeping potential negative effects at a minimum. He further added that increased economic activity in the region would improve the general preparedness to respond to potential accidents due to higher availability of vessels, equipment and people provided the necessary co-ordination was facilitated.
In the medium term, it was believed that regional destinational shipping serving the development in the Arctic; in particular Russia would be the most relevant activity in the Northern Sea Route. This would take the form of transport of oil, gas, minerals and equipment by:
o Specialised shutte multi-purpose vessels
o Shuttle tankers
o Shuttle LNG carriers
o Shuttle bunkers
o Purpose built off-shore vessels
o Seasonal liner services
It was noted that the Russian rivers also provided logistical solutions for Siberia, the Kola Peninsula and Northern Norway constitute an ice-free wedge into the Arctic which could serve as a platform for year-round activity. Arctic logistics was a chain which required cross border regional solutions to joint regional challenges. An example of a cross border logistics chain: ship to ship trans-shipment of Russian oil products in Norway offers trading opportunities to Asia via the NSR.
He concluded that the future Arctic was an area of industrial opportunities that brought with them unique challenges both in terms of sustainable development in a fragile environment and from logistics of getting product to customer.
Mr Tom Paddon, President and CEO, Baffinland Iron Mines Corporation: Resource Extraction and Indigenous Peoples
Mr Paddon explained that resource extraction in the Canadian arctic was intimately tied to the indigenous people for whom the arctic had long been home. The Arctic was a complicated place: in terms of its harsh conditions; the cost of living - a 3litre bottle of an orange juice cost CAN$37.99 (approximately £25.00); and the traditional ways of the indigenous peoples who could have a very different concept of land and its value.
This meant that developments in the region were capital intensive and required long term, stable operation in order to realise the expected return on investment.
The Inuit of Northern Canada have broad, legally recognised rights that include an involvement in consideration of any proposed industrial development in the region. It can take up to 7 years for a project to get approval and it goes through a number of very stringent tests. Because of the intimate involvement of the Inuit in the process, what had evolved was a framework that allowed for the reconciliation of their interests to ensure responsible development that was seen by all stakeholders as ‘successful’.
For example, many of the companies that now provide services to the local mines or even regionally were Inuit created, owned and run. Some of the money that the mines have created has been gone back to the local communities to fund health-initiatives; and cultural activities and education. The mines also provide a living which means the young do not need to leave but they also do not have to rely on the traditional ways to make a living.
Questions and Contributions
Did the darkness that was prevalent for much of the year have an effect on productivity? Mr Paddon replied that it did not although there was a different approach to Health & Safety. He added that the lowest temperature that had been recorded at the mine he was currently involved with was -51 degree C! He noted that tried and tested methodology was used to cope in those conditions.
Mining is finite – was there a chance that in order to keep the community going the life of the mine would be spun out longer than it needed to be? Mr Paddon explained that in one instance, the panel they had worked with had asked if the mining rate could be changed so that it would last longer but everything was done with sustainability in mind. And the communities took a long term view on the development. In addition the development was often the catalyst for new infrastructure or it used and improved existing infrastructure.
With the increase in shipping in the Arctic what needed to be done with regard to search and rescue? A Coastguard ship might be able to rescue 20 people, yet cruise ships carried 200 or sometimes more. What would happen if there was an accident? Should cruise ships in the Arctic be made to travel in twos? It was agreed that at present there was a lack of infrastructure.
Given the costs and time involved in development in the Arctic – could only big business survive up there? Big business may be the pioneers but they soon supported smaller and local companies.
SESSION 3 – THE POLAR ENVIRONMENT
Chairman: Dr Morten Rasch – Leader of Greenland Ecosystem Monitoring
Professor Roger Scruton, Philosopher: Green Philosophy – How to think seriously about the planet
Professor Scruton invited the attendees to consider how to think about the environment which was something that we all shared. He first asked the attendees to consider the habitat in general and the idea of sharing. Under the market economy basis of supply and demand, individuals would use rational self interest to manage the shared resources. However rational self interest had also become the problem because of the ‘tragedy of the commons’ where the depletion of a shared resource by individuals acting independently and rationally, according to their self interests, despite understanding that depleting the commons resource would be contrary to the population’s best interest.
Yet there were examples where shared resources combined with customary law enabled sustainable development and management. Customary law referred to traditional common rules or practices that had become an intrinsic part of the accepted and expected conduct in a community that they were treated as a legal requirement. The political scientist, Elinor Ostrom had argued that most common resources are well-managed when those who stand to benefit are close to the resource and to each other.
Professor Scruton noted that the difference between local resources and global resources needed to be considered: a global resource being the ocean which was much less clear when it came to its management.
When reflecting about the environment and its management it was also important to keep in view the idea of home. He termed this oikophilia – literally the love of home, which was where an individual starts from and was also their goal. An individual was far more inclined to care about the places where they actually live. So the best stewards of the Polar Regions were those who lived there whose home it was.
He then moved to the contradiction that humans love what was wild; but our presence there tames it. It was the paradox of tourism – the search for the ‘unspoiled place’, which was spoiled by the search for it. He said that for explorers and scientists, knowledge was their friend but curiosity an enemy. He believed that commerce was more controllable that adventure but it depended on private property and did we want to divide up the wilderness? And if we did how would it be done?
What was at stake when looking at management of the Polar environment? A fragile ecosystem and a place, more or less without humans: so why should we care? What was in it for us? It was a place with resources that we could use, and that was why more and more people are beginning to get interested in the Polar Regions. There was also an opportunity to manage those resources from the beginning: and this was independent of any need there might be, to become independent of those resources.
Professor Scruton concluded by asking was there a solution? He felt that there was a problem with treaties because not everyone see the same way as, the UK, for example, who obeys and follows them. Other countries like Russia and China did not. But what was the alternative? The Arctic Council had worked.
He suggested that any effective solution must give people a motive to pursue it and to enforce it against interlopers. It needed to be a solution that all with an interest could adopt and minimal cost to themselves. If the poles become open to invaders – how are the invaders going to be controlled? From the place that they came from – punishing interlopers: could it be done?
Rear Admiral Tom Karsten, UK National Hydrographer, United Kingdom Hydrography Office: Arctic Charting
The Rear Admiral began by explaining that he would be concentrating on the challenges of undersea mapping in the Arctic region. The increased use of the Arctic by commercial shipping was facing many challenges which included the limitation of present chart coverage.
He explained that the United Kingdom Hydrography Office (UKHO) straddles the issues of the environment and commerce as both required the best level of knowledge in order to determine opportunities and weigh risks. He added that this was true in all the world’s oceans not just the Arctic.
What is hydrography? It is the measurement and description of the physical features of oceans, seas, lakes and rivers, as well as the prediction of their change over time; related specifically to the Arctic the key change was the exposure and the access wrought by the receding ice.
Why does hydrography matter? It supported Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS), international trade – the ‘blue economy’, environmental protection, maritime defence and security, marine science and geo-spatial data – in short it aided decision making. The UKHO had been in business a long time and was a leading provider of data and it therefore recognised the value of accurate information – in order to provide this there was a need for innovation. The UKHO was not resting on traditional routes for global shipping there was regular analysis of maritime trends. These trends show that there was particular interest in the Arctic – although traffic was still fairly limited, it was likely to grow. The Arctic shipping opportunities included hard minerals, maritime tourism, major fisheries, oil & gas exploration, and research.
Reduced sea ice enabled new routes: the Nortwest Passage was opening. In September, for the first time, a cargo ship used it as an international shipping route. It was felt that Canada through which the route passes was woefully unprepared for this development. Whereas Russia had 16 deepwater ports on its Arctic coastline, and was building ten more search & rescue stations in the Arctic to bolster the ones it already had. To protect sovereignty, the game needed to be raised.
It was noted that Arctic shipping was taking off faster than the other big economic prospect of the Polar region, oil exploration. A Chinese cargo ship was attempting the country’s first ever commercial transit of the Northeast Passage above Russia, as a changing climate opened a short-cut that promised to reduce shipping times between China and Europe. The voyage between Dalian in China and Rotterdam using the Suez Canal and the Mediterranean Sea takes 48 days. By sailing the Northeast Passage, it was expected to reach its destination in a transit time of only 35 days saving approximately $100, 000 in fuel.
Another example was provided where the standard route through the Panama Canal, using the Northwest Passage through the Arctic the journey was shorter, and it allowed the ship to operate at capacity. An ice-strengthened sea freighter had become the first bulk carrier to use the Northwest Passage through Canada’s Arctic waters. The Arctic route allowed the company to load the commercial bulk carrier with 25% more cargo that would be possible through the shallower Panama Canal, where freighters must sail higher in the water.
Was the Arctic ready for these changes? The challenges of charting the Arctic included the need for modern data and closer co-operation. The Antarctic experience could be a useful guide particularly with regards to pollution which affects all. The Rear Admiral gave a further example of the challenges – a chart that was currently in use in the Arctic for the route between Nordkapp and Myskanin was published in 1959, had inaccurate positioning and used fathoms and feet as measurements. The coverage for the current charting of the Arctic was based on sporadic passage sounding and 19th century surveys, this meant that the hydrography, topography and navigational information was sparse, inaccurate and unreliable. Digital charting also experienced difficulties as lots of areas a full search had not been achieved. This lack of accurate information led to a serious navigation risk and even in seemingly clear waters and good conditions accidents could occur. The MS Polar Explorer hit an iceberg in the Bransfield Strait near the South Shetland islands in November 2007. All 154 passengers and crew abandoned ship and were successfully rescued after 5 hours adrift in lifeboats so navigation in the Arctic can catch out the most careful.
What could be done to solve the need for data? The UKHO was working with international partners to improve polar charting through:
o Crowd Sourced Bathymetry (a hydrographic survey that measures the depth of the water and determines the shape of the seabed.)
o Satellite Derived Bathymetry
o Modern multi-beam surveys
o Bi-lateral agreements and greater international co-operation
Working with partners to develop an International Technical Standard for Satellite Derived Bathymetry to allow it to be used in marine charting with the aim that wherever a ship sails it coild rely on the best, most authoritative data – but there was a long way to go.
The future for data was multi-spatial data infrastructure that was – layers of data which included all types of marine surveys – by continuing to work together with international partners this would become a reality.
Professor Tony Martin, South Georgia Habitat Restoration Project Director – South Georgia: A Case Study
Professor Martin began by saying that the sub-Antarctic island of South Georgia, a UK overseas territory was a historical example of how not to do industry in the Polar Regions. When it was first discovered by Captain Cook in 1775, it had a rich marine eco system which became the focus of unsustainable marine harvests for more than two centuries. First seals, then whales and fish all yielded huge profits for adventurous seafarers and latterly governments, but the catches vastly exceeded what the famously rich seas could withstand.
Professor Martin noted that if resources were to be maintained sustainably then regulation was required and the South Georgia government had begun to do this. He further noted that when species of fish for example were overfished there was often collateral damage for other species. Such as the Patagonian Toothfish which was a very profitable fish to catch had been caught using baited lines –which attracted the attention of the albatrosses – who would then become entangled on the hooks and quickly drown.
With regulation that was being enforced, for example, illegal fishing was taken very seriously – boats being blown up – there was a promising future. Although both fur seals and whales had become commercially extinct now that they were protected their numbers were growing.
Professor Martin explained that along with the over-exploitation of the native species, the industries had wreaked unintentional havoc on the bird population and ecology, by introducing rats which consumed millions of chicks – part of the project he was running was to eradicate the rats on South Georgia. This work was having results because the sea bird populations were recovering.
He concluded that by learning from the lessons of the past sustainable harvests and profits with as little collateral damage as possible were possible.
Mr Stanley Johnson, Former MEP & Vice Chair, European Parliament’s Environment Committee – Wildlife
Mr Johnson said that the Polar Regions were home to some of the world’s most iconic mammals, including polar bears, seals, beluga whales, and many others. In addition more than 100 species of fish were in the waters including Arctic cod, herring and other commonly eaten fish. And millions of migratory birds and resident birds, including more than half the world’s shorebird species and 80 percent of goose populations were found in the Arctic.
Yet documented climate-change, the resulting ice-melt and other changes to the eco-systems, the exploration and eventual exploitation of oil, new industrial shipping routes and the accompanying noise were all having an profound and potentially, devastating effect on Polar wildlife.
He acknowledged that international measures were already in place to safeguard the Antarctic environment, including wildlife, and these should be maintained and strengthened. He urged that similar measure were devised and enforced in the Arctic regions as well so as to manage the risks and ensure the sustainability of the Polar eco-systems.
Questions & Contributions
Given the quality of current maps – should increase shipping even be allowed in the Arctic?
In an ideal world no there would be no shipping without much better data – but that would never happen. And increased shipping is happening already. All those who did use the rudimentary charts that currently existed were entering at their own risk and should proceed with caution.
What about the issue of human error in the event of an incident in the Arctic? Operations should have proper training and knowledge of the area before they enter it. The Arctic was a completely different place to operate. It was acknowledged that training was not as good as it could be and it was noted that the International Maritime Organisation’s (IMO) new Polar Code was being devised to raise the standards so that the quality of those operating in that region was the same as those working in other regions of the oceans.
Insurance for shipping in the Arctic – the insurance industry was doing a lot of research and took the advice of experts when considering underwriting any shipping in the area.
It was noted that as well as introducing rats to South Georgia, reindeer had been introduced to provide a food source for the whalers. What had their impact, as a non-native species been on the eco-systems? They had had a profound impact and the government had authorised the removing of several herds of reindeers with a view to eradicating all invasive non-native mammals. 2 herds had already been culled.
It was further noted that funding for these projects – non-native mammal eradication and habitat restoration was an issue. The amount of money for polar research was less than it should be given the impact of global warming. The habitat restoration work would normally be funded by government but they did not have the funds, so the work was being funded by one of the world’s largest private funds.
SESSION FOUR – GOVERNANCE OF THE POLES
Chairman: Mr Neil Carmichael, MP
His Excellency Michel Rocard, Ambassador of France in charge of International Negotiations on the Arctic & Antarctic – The Antarctic Governance
His Excellency began by saying that the two poles were very different in a number of ways – the only thing they have in common was that they were cold and harsh environments. He explained that the Arctic was an ocean – a body of water that was bordered by 5 countries: USA, Canada, Denmark/Greenland, Norway and Russia: these coastal states were free to run their surface area as they wished and through the Arctic Council unanimous decisions for governance were reached. Whereas, the Antarctic was a continent surrounded by an ocean, a continent covered by ice; it was managed by the ‘world’ – or the 50 countries that were now signatories to the Antarctic Treaty.
M Rocard then gave a brief history of the Treaty itself. The Treaty was signed on 31 December 1959 and was officially put into place in June 1961 and finally ratified in 1963. The Antarctic treaty was a ‘non-armament’ treaty. It was unique, particularly considering it was agreed upon amidst the political tensions of the ‘Cold War’. The treaty de-militarised the Antarctic and did not acknowledge the claims of the seven countries that claimed sovereignty over Antarctica previous to the treaty formation.
The 12 original signatory counties of the treaty were:
o New Zealand
o South Africa
o Soviet Union
o United Kingdom
o United States
The three main objective of the treaty were to:
o Demilitarise Antarctica, the establish it as a zone free of nuclear tests and the disposal of radioactive waste, and the ensure that it was used for peaceful purposes only;
o Promote international scientific co-operation in Antarctica
o Set aside disputes over territorial sovereignty.
The Treaty was augmented by Recommendations adopted at Consultative Meetings, by the Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty (Madrid, 1991), and by two separate conventions dealing with the Conservation of Antarctic Seals (London 1972), the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (Canberra 1980); and the Convention on the Regulation of Antarctic Mineral Resource Activities (Wellington 1988), negotiated between 1982 and 1988.
Despite the fact that under the Treaty there were no territorial claims on Antarctica, it was noted that there were now 82 different research stations on the continent and all of these stations were nationalised. Yet there were no common programmes or common logistics – each country supplied and maintained their own stations and not only in isolated areas but also in areas where clusters of national facilities are located. Surprise was expressed that given the potential advantages of pooling logistics and efforts and costs, and the reduced environmental footprint, the situation existed. It was felt more should be done to solve it.
Rt Hon Dr Liam Fox, MP, former UK Defence Secretary – The Arctic: Military Risks and Potentials
Dr Fox noted that discussion surrounding military risk or potential in the Arctic was contentious. The opening up of summer shipping routes, increased focus on energy resource exploration and its abundant fish stocks made the Arctic an attractive place for investment. New challenges such as China’s interest and Russia’s increased military presence in the High Arctic needed to be seen both from the perspective of its immediate neighbour countries and those of the wider Arctic sphere of influence. It was in everyone’s interest to avoid conflict in the region whilst at the same time remaining mindful of its potential.
The Arctic territory included the most northern parts of the eight Arctic states: the United States, Canada, Denmark (Greenland), Norway, Sweden, Finland, Iceland and Russia. While all eight countries were represented on the Arctic Council, the Council did not have specific powers to deal with boundary or resource disputes. The legal vehicle for resolution of these potentially inflammatory competitive interests had increasingly been the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).
The five nations who have coastline on the Arctic Ocean – Russia, the United States, Canada, Denmark and Norway had 10 years, from the date of ratification to make claims to the extended continental shelf and to begin to determine what were national, internal and international waters. To date the United Stated had not yet ratified the treaty, preferring to determine its maritime borders on a bi-lateral basis outside the framework. Successful claims to extend the continental shelves would give the nation state concerned, exclusive rights to the seabed and any resources under the sea bottom.
The process had potentially significant consequences. It was estimated that up to 30% of the world’s technically recoverable natural gas and 13% of the technically recoverable oil lie above the Arctic Circle, as well as vast reservoir of rare earth minerals, coal and uranium. This did not include the potential treasure trove of fish, diamonds and shipping lanes at stake. It was suggested that the five coastline nations were unlikely to forego their potential in these resources easily.
National claims to the Arctic were not new. As early as 1903 Canada established a Northwest Mounted Police detachment on Herschel Island off the Yukon Territory, hoping that it would give it sovereignty over the Western Arctic. More recently Canada, on 7 November 2003, ratified the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea and according to reports officials were in the final stages of preparing the country’s submission, due this year. The proposal was likely to claim roughly 1.75million square kilometres, which would be equivalent to around 20% of Canada’s land mass.
The Canadians had publicly clashed with the Russians over Arctic issues on a number of occasions and had shown the seriousness of their intention to defend their territorial claims by operating a number of new Arctic patrol vessels, completing a new army training centre in Resolute Bay and refurbishing the Nanisivik deep water port. They had also come into dispute with the US, claiming the Canadian Arctic archipelago as internal Canadian waters.
The territorial battles have continued with Russia in December 2001 making an official submission to the UN commission on the limits of their continental shelf. They claimed that an underwater mountain ridge, the Lomonosov Ridge that passes close to the North Pole – and another ridge, the Mendeleev Ridge, on the Russian side of the Pole are extensions of the Eurasian continent. In doing this, Russia had claimed nearly one-half of the Arctic Ocean, including the North Pole. Yet the Danes argued that the Lomonsov ridge was an extension of Greenland and the US maintained that the Lomonosov Ridge was oceanic and thus not an extension of any State’s continental shelf. Research projects had sought to establish the geology of the region to clarify the claims.
The Norwegians had also made an official submission claiming extension beyond their 200 nautical mile limit in areas of the Barents Sea, the Western Nansen basin in the Arctic Sea and in the Norwegian Sea.
Despite these issues, a 40-year dispute between Russia and Norway over the maritime boundary between the two countries was ended in September 2010, bringing renewed fisheries co-operation agreements, and the cooperative exploitation and management of hydrocarbon deposits. But would this be repeated or were we at the beginning of version of the ‘Great Game’, when, in the 18th and 19th centuries, Britain, Russia and Persia fought politically and militarily for mastery of Central Asia?
Many countries have begun to assert their claims to the Arctic, and it potential abundant resources, with increased economic and military activity. China’s increased presence in the High North has raised suspicions that it was trying to muscle in on the region. Ulterior motives had been attributed to the establishment of an embassy in Iceland for its 238 nationals, and its bid to build an ‘eco-golf course’ and luxury resort on a 300 km square section of Iceland’s desolate north-east corner. Yet their trading and research interests had been seen as having more legitimacy. The navigation of the Northern Sea Route had cut some 9 days off a journey that conventionally runs through the Straits of Malacca or the Suez Canal. It had increased its funding for Arctic research, opened a Polar research institute in Shanghai and had procured a second ice-breaker with a view to launching three research expeditions to the Arctic from 2015.
Russia appeared to be of most concern to those with a stake in the High Arctic. In 2008 and in February this year, military force to protect Russia’s Arctic territories was not ruled out by the government. In October 2013, Russia launched a task-force led by its nuclear-powered guided missile cruiser, including two large amphibious assault ships and a variety of other support vessels, taking part in exercises around the New Siberia Islands, where a military based had been reinstated.
Russia’s actions perhaps explained why less than a year ago, the US and Canada signed the Tri-Command Framework for Arctic Co-operation, with its stated goals of “promot(ing) enhanced military co-operation in the Arctic and identify specific areas of potential Tri-Command co-operation in the preparation for and the conduct of safety and defence operations.”
But were we at risk of escalating tension in the Arctic prematurely and unnecessarily? Where did the balance lie? There was little doubt that climate change had occurred in the Arctic although the rate was still widely disputed. However not everyone believed that current projections about exploitation were likely to realised in even the middle term. The inhospitable nature of the Arctic makes cashing in on its resources a difficult and expensive business. The effective operation of oil rigs required air strips, roads, electricity and pipelines, and the mining operations would require effective port facilities and both technology and workforce capable of withstanding the harsh Arctic winters. It would remain a dangerous trading route for much of the year and the regional authorities could offer little support and rescue capability in the event of an emergency. In addition the rising temperatures may lead to other disadvantages, such as extensive damage to existing infrastructure as a result of the permafrost melt.
Russia’s 2009 statement of intent that the Arctic would become its main source of oil and gas within the next decade – required us to remain mindful of the increasing instability and risk that this may bring. Whilst there was co-operation on search and rescue, environmental protection and disaster response, there was no current standard operating procedure for policing. The world’s reaction to the recent detention of the Greenpeace activists by Russia was testament to the differing views on law enforcement in this largely ungoverned zone. It also raised the question whether the Arctic Council was the correct body to deal with what was already evident militarisation of the High North.
It could be that economic interests of Russia would keep them in line with international norms. The influence of NATO could ensure that conflict was deterred – after all the Arctic frontline states, with the exception of Russia, and five of the 8 Arctic Council states, were members of NATO. Those with the most optimistic view have argued that opening up the Arctic could, by 2030, see around 100 million tons or more of transit freight traversing northern sea routes. There could even be environmental advantages as a result of reducing shipping times between Europe and Asia by as much as 50% and that the ability to use larger ships and barges might see diminished pollution in the region and beyond.
Perhaps mutual self-interest would bring this vision about but Dr Fox counselled we would do well to have something other than hope as the only policy.
Dr Heike Deggim, International Maritime Organisation – The IMO and the Polar Code
Dr Deggim told the conference that over the last 20 years or so, the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) had developed a number of requirements, guidelines and recommendations addressing navigation in polar waters. These related to maritime safety, for example construction, search and rescue, navigation, and life-saving; marine pollution prevention, such as designation of special areas and carriage of heavy fuel oil; as well as certification of seafarers on ships operating in those areas.
The IMO Sub-Committee on Ship Design and Equipment was in the process of developing a mandatory International Code of Safety for Ships Operating in Polar Waters – also known as, the Polar Code. Currently much of global shipping was regulated under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) which was a legal framework governing the rights and responsibilities of nations in their use of ocean space. It had been in force since 1994, and to date had been signed by 162 countries. Under Article 234, coastal states have the right to adopt and enforce non-discriminatory laws and regulations for the prevention, reduction and control of marine pollution from vessels in ice-covered areas within the limits of the exclusive economic zone.
The IMO had issued a number of guidelines relating to polar navigation, but guidelines were not legally binding and with the potential increase in the Arctic of shipping for a number of reasons – including mineral and oil exploration and exploitation and general cargo shipping, the IMO now had a new instrument under development – a mandatory Polar Code.
The Polar Code’s structure consisted of two parts – one related to Safety Measures, such as a Polar Water Operational Manual; Machinery, Fire Safety; Crewing and Manning and Contingency; the second part was pollution prevention and included, oil pollution, pollution from noxious substances, sewage and garbage.
Part of the Polar Code dealt with international standards to support Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) requirements which included different classes of ice in the Polar regions and only ships with Polar Class designations, should operate in polar waters. At the moment there was no one standard for ice – there was a Russian standard and a Swedish/Finnish one. The Polar Code would have a mapping table between those and its classes. The Code had three categories of ships that would be allowed to operate in polar waters – the categories were based on how the ship operated within the different ice classes. It was noted that the ship categorisation could change again as it was proving contentious.
Dr Deggim highlighted the current environmental protection requirements of the Code – several were awaiting outcomes of other Committees; however discharge into the sea of oil and oily mixtures was prohibited; the discharge of food waste into the sea was allowed under certain conditions; a proposal to prohibit shipboard incineration had not been supported; grey water was not to be considered at this time and it had been felt premature to regulate the use of heavy fuel oil for the Arctic. She pointed out that the Code was an organic and would change as the requirements of shipping and the Polar Regions changed.
His Excellency, Alan Kessel, Deputy High Commissioner of Canada: The Arctic Council
His Excellency started by saying that the ‘rush for resources’ that had been referred to in previous presentations was not true in the Arctic, there was an infrastructure in place to prove that there was not this rush. With regard to the extension of the continental shelf for the 5 coastal nations, overlapping territories had been recognised and science was being used to work out what belonged to whom and these nations had a legal right to extend the continental shelf under UNCLOS.
The Arctic Council was only 16-years old and was adapting to the changing demands placed upon it and the shifting realities of the circumpolar region. The Arctic Council was a high-level intergovernmental forum consisting of eight states, six indigenous organisations (permanent participants and accredited observers. The Council’s mandate was to address issues of sustainable development and environmental protection.
Canada assumed the Chairmanship of the Arctic Council in May 2013 at the ministerial meeting in Kiruna, Sweden. The Honourable Leona Aglukkaq was Minister for the Arctic Council and Canada’s Arctic Council Chair. She was also a Member of Parliament for Nunavut; a Minister of the Enviromment, the First Inuk in Canada’s cabinet and the First Indigenous person to Chair the Council.
The Council’s work was conducted in six working groups and each working group was composed of representatives at expert level from sectoral ministries, government agencies and researchers. Their work covered a broad field of subjects from climate change to emergency response.
In it 16-year history the Council had evolved into a policy-shaping and policy-making body. Minister meet every two years and the Arctic states have concluded two legally-binding agreements: Search and Rescue in the Arctic in May 2011 and Oil spill preparedness and response in May 2013.
The priorities for the Council that had been identified under the Canadian Chairmanship were an overarching theme of development of the people of the North with three sub-themes of responsible Arctic resource development; safe arctic shipping and sustainable circumpolar communities. Among the initiatives being launched was the Circumpolar Business Forum which would be launched in January 2014 Northern Lights Conference in Ottawa. The Forum would provide and venue for industries and indigenous businesses operating in the Arctic to advance Arctic-oriented business interests, share best practices, forge partnerships and engage in deeper co-operation. Another initiative was an Action Plan to prevent marine oil pollution in the Arctic which was crucial as oil and gas activities increase over the coming decades.
The Council would encourage the benefits of tourism bring to Northern Communities while reducing the risks associated with increased activity. It would do this through a set of voluntary Arctic cruise ship guidelines which would complement the IMOs efforts to develop a mandatory polar code for the Arctic Ocean.
Short-lived climate pollutants such as black carbon and methane contribute to Arctic climate change and addressing these pollutants offered the potential for health benefits as well as climate benefits. The Council would be pursuing ‘arrangements on action’ to reduce black carbon and methane emissions.
Promoting traditional and local knowledge – the Council recognised and celebrated the importance of traditional ways of life for Northern Communities. This included everything from preserving languages to conserving hunting and fishing grounds to celebrating different cultures and values.
Questions and Contributions
Could something be done in the Arctic like the Antarctic with the treaty? It was clear that the two Poles were completely different in terms of their geography/geology, and how they were organised and administered.
Was the Polar Code going to be good enough for the Arctic? It was too important not to have the Code and issues related to shipping needed to be resolved. It would be the first legally binding document for a delicate area like the Arctic.
Business interests in the Arctic – huge activity would create political legitimacy but companies needed to create own set of standards on how to business in the region.
When it came to development in the Polar Regions, the scientific and environmental changes must be taken into account. The development needed to be done correctly because the changes would happen. It was possible to predict possible futures and the governance structures needed to be in place to meet those changes.