Arctic Council Kiruna Ministerial Meeting: Strengthened role of the Arctic Council in a globalized Arctic – China in, the EU on hold

The Swedish Minister for Foreign Affairs, Carl Bildt hands over the chairmanship of the Arctic Council to Leona Aglukkaq, Minister for the Arctic Council, Canada. Photo: Martina Huber/ Swedish Government Offices

On the 15th May 2013, the 8th Ministerial Meeting of the Arctic Council was held in Kiruna where Sweden handed the Chairmanship to Canada until 2015. At a time when the Arctic is changing at a fast pace, this Ministerial meeting echoed and amplified the main challenges faced by the region in terms of the issues featuring on its existing economic and geo-political agenda, as well as new issues raised on the occasion of the Meeting. The Declaration sets out four priorities: improving economic and social conditions, acting on climate change, protecting the Arctic environment and strengthening the Arctic Council.  Read more…

Ruling on the EU Seal Products Trade Ban: Commentary on the Ruling of the European Court of Justice – General Court, Case T-526/10, of April 27, 2013

Commentary by Nikolas Sellheim, Arctic Forum Foundation Research Fellow specialized in seals issues and Phd student at the Faculty of Law at the University of Lapland.

Illustration photo: Morguefile

In its judgement on the application for annulment of Regulation 737/2010 laying down detailed rules on the implementation of Regulation 1007/2009 European Parliament and the Council on trade in seal products, the General Court reaffirms the legality of the seal products trade ban (basic regulation) and its implementing regulation.  It dismissed the pleas brought forth by individual Inuit hunters from Greenland and Canada, hunting and fur trapping organizations, seal traders and seal processors. Read more…

Setting up International Arctic Governance

Drawing by Alexey Yorsh.

By our Senior Adviser Lev Voronkov, Moscow

The Arctic zone is extremely rich in mineral, hydrocarbon and biological resources. The U.S. Geological Survey states the “extensive Arctic continental shelves may constitute the geographically largest unexplored prospective area for petroleum remaining on Earth.” The survey also estimates that the Arctic holds 30 percent of the world’s natural gas and 13 percent of its oil. Most of the resources in the area are under the control of the Arctic coastal states. The 1982 U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea assigned Denmark, Canada, Norway and Russia part of the Arctic shelf and an ex clusive economic zone extending 200 nautical miles from their borders. No country outside the Arctic officially denies the legal rights of the Arctic coastal states, yet neither do such countries readily accept the current state of affairs. Read more…

Tipping Over into 2013

Source: www.imbie.org

The ice is melting quickly, a global political sclerosis on climate change issues is being offset by a massive influx of newcomers of the state and non-state variety, and the Asians are on the scene.  In 2012 we have witnessed some significant developments in the Circumpolar North, and Arctic Forum Foundation (AFF) has been engaged throughout.  With the addition of new actors, and the realization that the Arctic era is almost upon us, the AFF role as advocate and facilitator in the Arctic arena becomes ever more necessary. Read more…

No Licenses for Arctic Oil & Gas? European Parliament’s Environmental Committee voting on “Offshore safety regulation’s” affecting the Arctic

European Parliament

This week the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI) in the European Parliament voted on an opinion on the regulation on safety of offshore oil and gas prospection, exploration and production activities which are dealt with in the report by the leading Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE). Read more…


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