Arctic Strategies & Policies

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					Arctic Strategies and Policies:
         an overview

          Dr. Lassi Heininen
     University of Lapland, Finland
      Northern Research Forum
     The early-21st century Arctic
• A peaceful region with high stability based on a wide
  intergovernmental and regional cooperation
• No conflicts, but disputes on maritime borders and
  asymmetric environmental conflicts
• Major challenges e.g. climate change and long-range
  air and water pollution, and globalization
• Legally and politically divided by national borders
  and internal waters (of the Arctic states)
• Major military structures (nuclear weapon systems)
  and capability for national defence are still there
• Importance of national interests
   The early-21st century Arctic continues..
• A significant multifunctional - environmental,
  geoeconomic and geopolitical - change has occurred
• E.g. growing global interest toward the region and its
  rich natural resources
• E.g. a manifold growth in the geo-strategic
  importance of the region
• Among indicators of the change climate change,
  energy security, sovereignty (Ilulissat meeting),
  globalization
• This is taken as a reality, threat or challenge
                   The Arctic States
• The role and position of the Arctic states was changed due to
  the first geopolitical change – the A8+ was defined
• The five littoral states with their ministerial ad hoc meetings –
  the A5 was defined - and the Arctic redefined?
• A state still the most important actor in the Arctic, but ..
• .. there are new actors (with their interests) and challenges as
  well as threats
• The states emphasize the importance of the AC but have their
  own interests, agendas, priorities and policies
• An example of this is that the states have recently accepted
  their arctic/northern strategy/policy
  --- The post-Cold War period is over!?
                      Canada
• The Northern Strategy ´Our North, Our Heritage, Our
  Future´ (July 2009) (first of all) for domestic policy
  and audience
• Followed by ´Statement on Canada´s Arctic Foreign
  Policy´ (August 2010) to promote the Strategy and
  serve “Government´s Arctic foreign policy”
• Priority areas of the Strategy are:
   – Exercising Canada’s Arctic sovereignty
   – Promoting social & economic development
   – Protecting the North´s environmental heritage
   – Improving and devolving Northern governance
            Interesting findings
• The North is central to Canada´s national identity,
  and said to be “first about people”, but peoples are
  not among the priorities
• Canada´s Arctic (maritime) sovereignty is the
  “...number one Arctic Foreign Policy Priority”, and
  sovereignty over its Arctic lands and waters is
  “undisputed”
• Canada will continue to be a global leader in Arctic
  science
• Economic develop as high priority and shall include
  indigenous participation in relevant processes
• The Strategy reflects a vision about, and for, the
  North in the context of the entire country
           Kingdom of Denmark
• Join draft strategy of Denmark and Greenland (May
  2008) with the twofold goal
  - to support and strengthen Greenland's
  development towards increased autonomy
  - to maintain the Kingdom's position as a major
  player in the Arctic
• Kingdom of Denmark’s Strategy for the Arctic 2011-
  2020 (August 2011)
• Its strategic priority is to maintain a peaceful, secure
  and safe Arctic
  - with self-sustaining growth and development
  - with respect for the Arctic’s fragile climate,
  environment and nature
               Interesting findings
• The (first) joint strategy by Denmark and Greenland indicates
  and emphasizes Greenland’s stronger self-government and its
  new jurisdictional position
• The final strategy also covers the Faroe Islands and aims “to
  strengthen the Kingdom’s status as global player in the Arctic”
• Has a world-wide, global perspective
• Great emphasis on (new) industrial activities, such as
  fisheries, hydropower, mining, tourism and oil exploration,
  and tries to attract industries to come and invest
• Identification of connection between climate change and
  increases accessibility for exploration
• Importance of the Ilulissat “Polar Sea Conference”
• Criticism of the AC as having been “unable to play so
  prominent role on sustainable development in the Arctic”
                      Finland
• ‘Strategy for the Arctic Region’, adopted by Finish
  Cabinet Committee on European Union (June 2010)
• The main substantial sectors of the Strategy:
   – The environment
   – Economic activities and know-how
   – Transportation and infrastructure
   – Indigenous peoples
• Plus, a list of means for to reach these Arctic policy
  goals, and a chapter on the EU and the Arctic region
              Interesting findings
• Comprehensive and with wide perspective
• Emphasizes the Arctic as a stable and peaceful area
• Recognizes the special features and risks of the fragile arctic
  ecosystem; supports research as a basis for decision-making
• Highest priorities of the Strategy appear to be economic
  interests, such as marine traffic and infrastructure
• --- Is there a contradiction?
• Supports indigenous participation in international cooperation
  (no ratification of ILO 169 Convention)
• Emphasizes the importance of the multilateral northern
  cooperation, and supports the AC as the main forum..
• .. and the role (and importance) of the EU in the Arctic region
                      Iceland
• ‘Iceland in the High North’ by the Icelandic MFA
  (September 2009) with six highlights:
   – International cooperation
   – Security through international cooperation
   – Resource development and environ protection
   – Transportation
   – People and cultures
   – International coop on research and monitoring
• ‘Parliamentary Resolution on Iceland’s Arctic Policy’
  approved by the Parliament (March 2011) with
  twelve principles
              Interesting findings
• No emphasis on sovereignty, but rather on international,
  multilateral and regional cooperation
• Stability and security as well as maritime safety through
  international and scientific cooperation
• Emphasis on the importance of resource development, incl.
  renewable energy and fishing industry; less emphasis on
  environmental protection
• One of the principles asks “to prevent human-induced climate
  change and its effects”
• Visions and strong expectations of global trans-arctic shipping
  routes, and aviation – a potential trans-shipment hub
• Emphasis on inter coop on research and higher education
• Iceland located “entirely within the Arctic region” and thus is
  included the Arctic Ocean – “to side firmly against the so-
  called five (litoral) states meeting”
                        Norway
• ’The Norwegian Government`s High North Strategy’
  (December 2006) and its follow-up strategy ’New Building
  Blocks in the North’ (March 2009)
• Seven revised strategic priorities of Norway’s Strategy:
   – to develop knowledge about climate change and the
     environment
   – to improve monitoring, emergency response and maritime
     safety in northern waters
   – to promote sustainable use of off-shore petroleum and
     renewable marine resources
   – to promote off-shore business development in the North
   – to further-develop the infrastructure in the North
   – to continue to exercise sovereignty firmly and strengthen
     cross-border cooperation (with Russia) in the North
   – to safeguard the cultures and livelihoods of indigenous
     peoples
                 Interesting findings
• Unusally comprehensive and integrated into long-term Norwegian policy
  in the North – growing recognition of its importance for Norway
• The follow-up strategy: the High North as one of the most important
  priorities of the Norwegian Government
• The term ‘the High North’ is used (stubbornly) as a broad concept
• The Strategy is built on the perception that the main feature of the arctic
  geopolitics is stability and peaceful cooperation, not a ‘race’
• Concrete proposals for the building of a partnership with Russia in the
  BEAR and a strong call for active engagement of Russian cooperation
• Consequently, Norway defines the importance of regional coop and
  business development in foreign and security policy in terms of
  comprehensive security, economic growth and knowledge-building
• The High North is a “new petroleum province” and Norway “the best
  steward of resources” – strong emphasis on management and utilisation
  of marine resources, in cooperation with Russia
• Identifies both energy and climate change as security issues
• Emphasis on strengthening Norwegian state sovereignty in the High North
                                    Russia
•   ‘The Fundamentals of State Policy of the Russian Federation in the Arctic in the
    Period up to 2020 and Beyond’ adopted by President D. Medvedev (September
    2008)
•   The strategy priorities are:
     – active interaction of Russia with sub-Arctic states in regards to delimitation of
        maritime areas on the basis of international law and mutual arrangements
     – creating a uniform Arctic search and rescue regime
     – strengthening of bilateral relationships within regional organizations (AC and
        BEAC)
     – assistance in management and effective use of cross-polar air routes and the
        NSR for international navigation
     – contributions to international Arctic forums through the Russia-EU
        partnerships
     – delimitation of maritime spaces in the Arctic Ocean and maintenance of a
        mutually advantageous presence of Russia in the Spitsbergen archipelago
     – improvement of state management of the social and economic development
     – improvement of the quality of life for indigenous peoples
     – development of the Arctic resource base through improved technology
     – modernization and development of Russia’s Arctic infrastructure
                 Interesting findings
• Comprehensive state policy for Russia´s Arctic zone and the entire region
• Reflects the basic national interest:
    – using the Arctic resources as strategic resource base providing a
        solution to problems of social and economic development
    – maintaining the region as a “zone of peace and cooperation” as well as
        “the sphere of military security”
    – preserving unique ecological systems
    – using the NSR as a national single transport communication of Russia
        in the Arctic
• This new Arctic state policy is keenly linked with and supported by other
  federal policies and strategies
• It is possible to interpret the Policy as a pragmatic means for domestic
  politics and development of the Federation, esp. in terms of Russia´s
  infrastructural challenges
                      Sweden
• ‘Sweden’s Strategy for policy in the Arctic Region’
  (Sveriges strategi för den arktiska regionen), adopted
  by the Swedish Government (May 2011)

• The three areas, which are defined as the priorities:
  - Climate and the environment
  - Economic development
  - The human dimension
               Interesting findings
• Adopted and launched at the same day, when Sweden started
  its chairmanship of the AC
• Shows, even emphasizes, many ties which connect, have
  connected, Sweden to the Arctic
• Among the three priorities economic development and
  interests, such as mining, petroleum, tourism, is the most rich
  and multifunctional, even some sort of top, priority of the
  Strategy
• Also climate and the environment, and ‘resilience’
• The Strategy also clearly states that multilateral cooperation
  in, and dealing with, the Arctic is the main priority for Sweden
  - this is much along the tradition of Sweden’s foreign policy
                The United States
• The US ’Arctic Region Policy’ by the President Bush’s
  Administration (January 2009)

• Interpreted objectives of the United States’ Arctic Policy:
   – National security and homeland security interests in the Arctic
   – International governance, largely through the AC
   – Boundary issues including extended continental shelf
   – Promotion of international scientific cooperation
   – Maritime transportation (incl. maritime safety and
     environmental protection)
   – Economic development, particularly energy
   – Environmental protection and conservation
               Interesting findings
• Strong emphasis of national and homeland security and borders, for
  “to project sea power throughout the region”
• Supports and proposes the US ratification of the Law of the Sea
  Convention
• High priority to international governance in the context of the AC,
  as well as continued cooperation with other countries
• High priority to scientific research, esp. international scientific
  cooperation, and the White House takes the responsibility
• The US shall continue to cooperate on Arctic issues through the UN
  and its agencies as well as int. treaties (e.g. UNFCCC)
• the USA is identified as “an Arctic nation, with varied and
  compelling interests in that region”
                European Union
• The European Union’s ‘Commission’s Communication
  on the Arctic Region’ was launched in November 2008
• It was followed by the European Council’s Conclusions
  on Arctic issues (March and December 2009)
• The main policy objectives of the Communication are:
   – Protecting and preserving the Arctic environment and its
     population
   – Promoting sustainable use of resources
   – Contributing to enhanced Arctic multilateral governance
               Interesting findings
• The main message is that the Union has growing interest in
  the High North and would like to become (again) present in,
  and implement its interests within, the region
• Indications that the EU is going to create its own arctic policy,
  and this is done via this ‘emerging’ policy
• The three main policy objectives indicate that the EU would
  like to emphasize its ‘soft’ values and policy in the region
• These can be interpreted to represent EU’s new geopolitical
  discourse with an aim to enter the North for to control
• The ND policy plays a weak role in the Communication
• The EU is seen as “inextricably linked to the Arctic region”:
  this is perceived as weakening the Union – there is real need
  for strengthening the Union’s position and presence there
The Arctic / the North defined by each strategy

  – Canada: “Own North” is Canada’s far North, and “Canada’s
    North is about people”
  – Denmark: “The Arctic in recent years become a central
    location on the world map”
  – Finland: Can be defined by several ways (e.g. the Arctic Circle)
  – Iceland: The country is located “on the periphery of the Arctic
    in the center of the North Atlantic Ocean”
  – Norway: Means more or less the Barents Sea region, and “the
    High North has been placed firmly on the map of Europe”
  – Russia: Is defined as consisting of the five littoral states of the
    Arctic Ocean
  – Sweden: There are several definitions of the Arctic
  – USA: The Arctic is with ”a matrix of issues”
Self-identification and (re)definition as an Arctic /
              Northern country / state
  – Canada: “the global leader in Arctic science; “The North is
    central to the Canadian national identity”
  – Denmark: “to strengthen the Kingdom’s status as global
    player in the Arctic”
  – Finland: as an “Arctic country is a natural actor in the
    Arctic region”
  – Iceland: “the only country located entirely within the
    Arctic region”
  – Norway: “the High North is gradually becoming more
    synonymous with the Arctic”…“a Norwegian perspective”
  – Russia: to “maintain the role of a leading Arctic power”
  – Sweden: “there are many connections to tie Sweden to
    the Arctic”
  – USA: an “Arctic nation”
  Arctic states: main priorities / objectives

      Sov/S      Econ/      Trans      Envir      Gov        Peo/       Scien
Can   x          x+x                   x          x                     x
Den   x          x+x                   x          x/x
Fin   /x         x+x        x          x          x              /x     x
Ice    /x        x          x          x          x+x        x          x
Nor   x          x+x                   x          x+x         /x        x
Rus   x          x+x        x                     x+x         /x        x
Swe              x                     x          x          x/x
USA   x          x          x          x          x                     x

      (Heininen, Arctic Strategies and Policies: Inventory and Comparative Study, 2011)
Arctic states: summary of the priorities
  - Sovereignty and national defence: Five littoral states
  - Comprehensive security: Finland, Iceland, Sweden
  - Economic development: All the strategies
  - Regional development and infra: Most of the strategies
  - Transportation: Finland, Iceland, Russia, USA
     -- Aviation: Iceland and Russia
  - Environment: Almost all the strategies
  - Governance: All the strategies
     -- Safety/Rescue: Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway,
     Russia
  – Peoples/Indigenous peoples: Most of the strategies
  – Science/Scientific coop: Most of the strategies
 Reflection/response to the change(s)
• Canada: yes
• Kingdom of Denmark: yes and no (self-governing)
• Finland: yes
• Iceland: yes
• Norway: not really (Russia)
• Russia: no (pragmatic means for domestic policy)
• Sweden: yes
• USA: yes
-- Global perspective: Denmark and Finland

				
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posted:10/1/2012
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