Skip to main content

Über dieses Buch

This book presents the latest scientific views on resource use conflicts in the Arctic seas. The main areas of focus are the biological resources of Arctic seas vs. exploitation of oil and gas resources, and the conflicts in between. In addition, climate change is presented as a stressor, which both limits and facilitates the economic availability of resources in the Arctic.

The book is divided into five parts. Part 1 examines Arctic ecosystems, resilience of the marine environment and possible conflicts between industrial sector and biological world. The focus of Part 2 is on transport infrastructure along the northern routes. Issues such as Arctic maritime operations, black carbon and unmanned aerial vehicles are considered. Part 3 focuses on resource use conflicts in Arctic seas and on the most recent threats in terms of Arctic oil and gas exploration, offshore logistics operations as well as transportation of oil and oil products. Discussions in Part 4 of the book are concentrated around social aspects and involvement of local communities. Tourism development, preservation of indigenous culture, engagement of communities on relevant Arctic issues, search and rescue in the cold marine environment are examples of questions raised. The book reviews Arctic-specific petroleum regulations, the state of preparedness to oil spill accidents in the region as well as the latest developments in oil spill response technologies and their limitations. Search and rescue operations are reviewed and how working in this harsh Arctic environment affects the ability of rescue technicians to perform the required technical skills. Part 5 considers the sustainability challenges arising from the marine resource exploitation. The focus is on the vulnerability of Arctic ecosystems to disturbance – both natural and anthropogenic.



Arctic Ecosystems and Sustainability


Chapter 1. Sustainability in an Arctic Context: Resilience of the Arctic Marine Environment

This chapter provides the theoretical basis of the book by outlining the framework of sustainability in an Arctic marine context. The chapter presents the Sustainable Development Goals, especially goal 14 on conserving and sustainably use the oceans, seas, and marine resources, as well as Arctic States’ commitments to goal 14. The chapter explains the sustainability framework conditions and the concept of resilience, in the context of the Arctic marine environment. The chapter further discusses the concerns of cumulative impacts to the Arctic marine environment from multiple and concurrent natural and human perturbations, and the consequent weakening of the resilience of Arctic marine environment. Finally, the chapter summarizes the status of processes that influence the resilience of Arctic marine ecosystems.
Eva Pongrácz

Chapter 2. Thinking Like an Ocean: A Climate Ethic for the Arctic Marine Environment

An appropriate climate ethic has to take into account the collective action problems inherent in most environmental problems affecting the Arctic, like global warming and increasing acidification of the Barents Sea. But as all the environmental degradation is taking place in and through human practices and institutions – especially by isolated individuals and corporations acting strategically in the market – it is the task of citizens of the different Arctic communities to think like an ocean. Thinking like an ocean means overcoming the alienation from our environment by taking responsibility for it, ethically and politically. I start by describing the dire consequences of climate change for the Arctic environment, focusing on ocean acidification, only to confront the supply side of fossil fuel production. After discussing some ethical issues lying at the core of resource governance beyond the state, I outline a critical environmental theory. The recent awakening of green populism, in the forms of school strikes and climate lawsuits around the world indicates environmental democracy having become radical democracy: citizens engaging in communal and democratic practices through which they can build their own environmental futures and energy futures. But it is also an epistemic democracy formed within the context of an epistemic Arctic consisting of different but related epistemic communities.
Øyvind Stokke

Chapter 3. Arctic Marine Ecosystems, Climate Change Impacts, and Governance Responses: An Integrated Perspective from the Barents Sea

Arctic and sub-Arctic marine ecosystems and their living resources are especially sensitive to climate drivers. Under progressing climate change, ocean warming, sea ice melting, changing oceanic currents, and ocean acidification will lead to shifts in seasonal timing, spatial distribution and productivity of fish species, and affect plankton composition, marine mammals and seabirds. Shifts of boreal and sub-Arctic species into the Arctic and ensuing changes in species composition and biodiversity are already impacting a range issues from ecosystem services to human societies, e.g. fisheries, coastal tourism, cultural services, and biological carbon uptake and cycling. Small-scale fishers may be unable to adapt to the occurring shifts. Decreases in seabirds, marine mammals, and iconic Arctic species could have negative consequences for marine ecotourism and cultural values in the high north. Increasing anthropogenic impacts, such as fisheries and pollution, will interact with climate impacts and exacerbate the pressure on Arctic marine ecosystems.
The Arcto-boreal Barents Sea can serve as a model system for understanding future shifts in marine ecosystems, impacts on human users, and marine governance responses in a changing Arctic. Adaptive, ecosystem-based, internationally collaborative and participatory governance mechanisms will help to address the upcoming challenges in climate change adaptation for Arctic marine social-ecological systems.
Stefan Koenigstein

Chapter 4. Oil Vulnerability Index, Impact on Arctic Bird Populations (Proposing a Method for Calculating an Oil Vulnerability Index for the Arctic Seabirds)

In recent decades, political and commercial interest in the Arctic’s resources has increased dramatically. With the projected increase in shipping activity and hydrocarbon extraction, there is an increased risk to marine habitats and organisms. This comes with concomitant threats to the fragile Arctic environment especially from oil, whether from shipping accidents, pipeline leaks, or sub-surface well blowouts. Seabirds are among the most threatened group of birds, and the main threats to these species at-sea are commercial fishing and pollution. Seabirds are vulnerable to oil pollution, which can result in mass mortality events. Species are affected to a differing extent, therefore it is important to objectively predict which species are most at risk from oil spills and where. Assessing the vulnerability of seabirds to oil is achieved through establishing an index for the sensitivity of seabirds to oil – Oil Vulnerability Index (OVI). This incorporates spatial information on the distribution and density of birds as well as on species specific behaviours and other life history characteristics. This chapter focuses on the threat of oil to seabirds, especially in the Arctic, and how an OVI can be used to highlight which species are most at risk and where within the Arctic region.
Nina J. O’Hanlon, Alexander L. Bond, Neil A. James, Elizabeth A. Masden

Chapter 5. Conflicts Between Arctic Industries and Cetaceans

As in many oceans around the globe, there is extensive and increasing interactions between cetaceans and industries in the Arctic. The Arctic hosts 16 cetacean species (whales, dolphins, and porpoises), some of which are seasonal visitors while others are year-round inhabitants (CAFF 2017). This chapter focuses on six cetacean species on which extensive research has been conducted, exemplified by: baleen whales; blue whale (Balaenoptera musculus) and humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae), large toothed whales; sperm whale (Physeter macrocephalus) and orca (Orcinus orca), and small toothed whales; white-beaked dolphin (Lagenorhynchus albirostris) and harbour porpoise (Phocoena phocoena). These can be used as representatives of all Arctic cetacean species. The industries which have the most conflict with cetaceans in the Arctic include shipping, oil exploration, and commercial fisheries. This chapter will explore the interactions between the six example species and these industries, and the impacts these interactions can have on both. It will also touch on some further conflicts between other Arctic activities and cetaceans as industries expand and human presence in the Arctic Ocean increases.
Charla J. Basran, Marianne H. Rasmussen

Transport Infrastructure


Chapter 6. Social Responsibility Practice of the Evolving Nature in the Sustainable Development of Arctic Maritime Operations

This qualitative single-case study aims to explore how supply chain operations incorporate the social responsibility aspect in response to contextual influence and what possible effects does the implementing of social responsibility principles bring into SCM.
The study presents the implementation of social responsibility into SCM practices in the Russian Arctic context. Data from 22 semi-structured interviews, personal observations and archival materials are interpreted through the institutional logics approach.
The study reveals how social responsibility principles evolve in the existing SCM practice and enable supply chains to contribute to the needs of local communities in terms of the values of the society. The findings show that social responsibility initiatives in the existing SCM practice became possible after the satisfaction of economic and environmental concerns of cargo transportation in the Russian Arctic. Further, the case study indicates how contextual challenges make a company reconsider its core competencies and the role of supply chain practices to be more resilient and socially responsible. The findings reveal that social responsibility initiatives gain a more fertile ground for further development when they contribute also to strengthening financial performance in the supply chain.
More empirical studies on social responsibility in achieving SCM sustainability are suggested.
Antonina Tsvetkova

Chapter 7. Miles and Meters Matter: Political Effects on the Shipping Routes of Measurement Techniques in the Arctic

States sought sovereignty over the Arctic Region by discovering the vastness of this uncharted territory. Coastal states developed measurement techniques to take the biggest share of the region. One of these measurement techniques is the Sector Principle that the Canadian senator Pascal Poirier introduced in 1907. Other Arctic states, such as the United States of America and Norway, objected to this technique. However, Russia also adopted and started to use this principle in order to draw Arctic borders in 1926. Before the Sector Principle was introduced, the Median Line Principle had been used and is still in use. Therefore, this new technique created political disputes on the controversial areas in the Arctic. Thus, another problem occurred apart from the unsolved disputed regions; the states also argued their way of measuring and calculating while preparing their Arctic claims to the UNCLOS. The Law of the Sea (1982) brought rules for gaining sovereignty for the 5 coastal states in the Arctic. On the other hand, currently, climate change threat increases the immense geopolitical importance of the region regarding petroleum, oil & gas and especially new shipping routes opportunities. Therefore, sovereignty rights in the region became much more significant for littoral states. Accordingly, this paper will try to see how technical systems have impacted on political claims – especially on shipping routes – and will analyse the history of acquisition of the sovereignty in the Arctic by two measuring techniques. The focus will be on Sector Principle within the sovereignty concept and geopolitical framework.
Eda Ayaydın

Chapter 8. Black Carbon, Maritime Traffic and the Arctic

Maritime transportation covers approximately 90% of the global traffic volumes. The global fleet consists of approximately 100,000 diesel ships, around 250 LNG ships, and a smaller number of methanol or even electric ferries. When it comes to maritime transportation, the Arctic sea route is becoming more and more interesting for the shipping industry as it has been estimated that the Northeast Passage can shorten the travelling distance significantly compared to Suez Canal.
Black Carbon (BC) is the second largest contributor to climate change emissions after carbon dioxide (CO2). BC particles spread out from different sources and the majority of BC emissions are transmitted to the Polar Regions from other parts of the globe. The share of global BC emission from international shipping is estimated to be up to 3% of the global total.
The Northern Sea Route can shorten the travelling distance, but it is important to find out, will the increase of maritime traffic effect the BC emissions in the Arctic. This paper considers how BC from ships’ fuel affects the Arctic. This paper also discusses alternative fuels and emission abatement technologies, which can decrease the emissions from ships and may also affect the BC emissions in the Arctic in the future.
Olli-Pekka Brunila, Tommi Inkinen, Vappu Kunnaala-Hyrkki, Esa Hämäläinen, Katariina Ala-Rämi

Chapter 9. Impact of the Potential Implementation of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles on the Northern Sea Route Safety Monitoring

The chapter presents the peculiarities of creating an infrastructure, which will make it possible to provide a real time control over the infrastructure projects in the Arctic by way of the communication between the aerospace systems and the autonomous land and sea monitoring stations. The application of new information technologies and that of the hardware and software ensuring the competitiveness will enable one to safely and effectively use various high technologies in navigation, aviation, and space.
Nikita Kuprikov, Mikhail Kuprikov, Maxim Shishaev

Oil and Gas


Chapter 10. Handling the Preparedness Challenges for Maritime and Offshore Operations in Arctic Waters

The purpose of this chapter is to provide an understanding of preparedness considerations and operations linked to sustainable maritime activities in polar waters. In this context, Arctic Ocean operations include fishing, aquaculture, offshore petroleum operations, ocean mining, tourist/explorer cruises and merchant shipping. Our mission is to share knowledge and understanding regarding preparedness, to support a sustainable development and minimise the consequences to the environment of maritime Arctic Ocean operations. The rising level of activity in Arctic waters requires improved emergency response capabilities beyond the capacity of governments. Preparedness is protection of the environment, property, and human beings, where the saving of lives and reduction of losses due to an accident or operation are the highest priorities. Oil and gas companies are required to develop their own emergency response organisations in order to obtain licences to operate. Their organisations must collaborate with public ones and must also be capable of operating alone. Where other sectors such as commercial shipping and fisheries are concerned, emergency response operations will depend on the availability of governmental resources and vessels of opportunity when an accident occurs. Preparedness is about preventing future accidents and minimising consequences when they do occur.
Kay Fjørtoft, Tor Einar Berg

Chapter 11. Arctic Marine Oil Spill Response Methods: Environmental Challenges and Technological Limitations

The most important issue, besides financial viability, which stops oil and gas industry from operating in full scale in Arctic seas, is the harsh environmental conditions, which can undermine oil spill response actions in case of oil spill accidents. The methods and technologies that are currently in use, cannot deliver efficient and fast oil recovery from the sea surface under icy, stormy, low visibility and extremely cold conditions. In 2015, Emergency Prevention, Preparedness and Response Working Group of the Arctic Council (EPPR), an international body that strengthens oil spill response (OSR) in the Arctic region, discussed the need of improvements in this field. In 2018, after comprehensive studies of the Arctic waters, EPPR concluded that natural climate conditions are too challenging for the present level of OSR preparedness in many regions. There are still many technological limitations and no optimized strategies for oil spill abatement. Thus, OSR issues are and will stay on the agenda in future, too.
This chapter will focus on main available OSR methods and give an overview of challenges and limitations set by the demanding Arctic environment. It will analyze the different methods, in situ burning, dispersants use, mechanical and physical response, and their efficiency, applicability, and multiple environmental, economic and technical parameters.
Victor Pavlov

Chapter 12. The Role of Supply Vessels in the Development of Offshore Field Projects in Arctic Waters

This in-depth qualitative comparative case study aims to explore how supply vessels participate in offshore logistics operations and facilitate the development of offshore oil/gas field projects in response to contextual influence. The study presents the development of two offshore field projects located in the Arctic context: the Southwest Barents Sea (Norway) and the Southeast Barents Sea (the Pechora Sea, Russia).
The analysis of two empirical cases reveals that supply vessels play a crucial role in the activities like monitoring the offshore operations and contextual conditions, improving coordination of the logistics process, developing a common understanding of the current situation, ensuring response operations to any emergencies, supporting training exercises, and others. Thus, supply vessels facilitate the anticipation of possible emergencies that might occur and changes in allocating transportation resources. Further, the findings reveal that anticipation is both a strong driver and great challenge for providing the resilience of offshore field development among uncertainties and complexities in Arctic waters.
The study provides an understanding of how multi-functionality of supply vessels enables value-creating activities of offshore logistics and resilience building processes. It is further shown that building resilience can have trade-offs for both the logistical planning and allocation of transportation resources.
Antonina Tsvetkova

Chapter 13. Special Rules for the Arctic? The Analysis of Arctic-Specific Safety and Environmental Regulation of Offshore Petroleum Development in the Arctic Ocean States

Following the announcement of vast petroleum resources in the Arctic waters, politicians and commentators called for the adoption of an Arctic treaty establishing a harmonised approach to developing petroleum resources in the fragile and harsh circumpolar environment. Five Arctic Ocean coastal States (Canada, Greenland/Denmark, Norway, Russian Federation, and the United States) have all either expressed interest in developing or are already producing Arctic offshore resources. While some of these States have an established history of offshore petroleum development, the development in the Arctic waters presents a unique set of challenges requiring additional regulation. In addition to the general petroleum legal regime, each of these four States has developed some Arctic-specific regulations to establish more stringent safety and environmental rules compared to more conventional locations. The chapter identifies such Arctic-specific rules and provides a comparative analysis of safety and environmental rules developed specifically for the Arctic.
Daria Shapovalova

Local Communities


Open Access

Chapter 14. Increasing Shipping in the Arctic and Local Communities’ Engagement: A Case from Longyearbyen on Svalbard

Increasing ship traffic in the Arctic has a broad range of impacts on coastal communities’ wellbeing and the natural environment. Despite a number of existing national and international efforts to mitigate the risks and secure the benefits of this development, the role of local initiatives and arrangements is still understudied. Focusing on the town of Longyearbyen, situated on the Svalbard Archipelago, this chapter examines the impacts of and responses to the considerable growth in shipping activities comprising marine tourism, cargo (supply), fishing, research and Search and Rescue vessels. Since the settlement’s establishment in 1906, Longyearbyen has seen shipping play an important role in the community’s development by serving as a vital transport link between the Archipelago and the mainland. The impacts of recent growth in ship traffic, coupled with environmental changes and an ongoing transition from a coal dominated economy toward tourism, research and education, challenge the local capacity to accommodate such growth. The analysis of empirical data indicates that local, bottom-up engagement serves as a support mechanism for institutional response strategies and enables local adaptive capacity. At the same time, community engagement is sensitive to demographic trends that influence the scope and efficiency of actions.
Julia Olsen, Grete K. Hovelsrud, Bjørn P. Kaltenborn

Chapter 15. Arctic Search and Rescue: A Case Study for Understanding Issues Related to Training and Human Factors When Working in the North

With increased development in Arctic regions (e.g., oil and gas, tourism, fisheries, shipping) the risk to the people in this region in case of emergency needs to be mitigated. Search and rescue in the Arctic is a critical but often ignored aspect of safe development in the Arctic. However, the logistics and training of Arctic SAR are very unique when compared to other regions. In this chapter we will review how the harsh environment of working in Arctic regions affects the ability of rescue technicians to perform the technical skills required for search and rescue. The chapter will be built around a 2013 investigative report of the death of a Canadian Forces Search and Rescue Technician that occurred on a mission near Nunavut. We will review the main points made by the investigative report and extrapolate what was learned about human factors issues related to working in Arctic regions that has application to all human activities in this region. The need for emergency procedures that are designed for Arctic operations will also be addressed. In summary, literature will be reviewed and based on this, recommendations for training, equipment and operational procedures will be made.
Derek D. Rogers, Michael King, Heather Carnahan

Chapter 16. The Possibilities and Limitations of Tourism Development in Greenland Impacting Self-efficiency and Socio-economic Wellbeing of Coastal Communities

Almost all of Greenland’s population live in coastal areas. Coastal tourism in Greenland has the potential to diversify the local economy from fishing and the fish-processing industry to tourism-based entrepreneurship that possibly could reduce the gender and income inequality in Greenland and the outmigration of the younger generation from small settlements in search of opportunities in large cities, and abroad, and the revitalizaton of traditional culture. Tourism in coastal Greenland exposes the reality of climate change to visitors from the outside world, the consequences of melting ice sheets on people, nature, and the traditional way of life and could promote an alliance between the locals and visitors through honest dialogues and data collection through citizen science-based excursions. Tourism also creates an opportunity to improve and modernize local infrastructure that benefits the local population with a higher standard of living.
The negative impacts of tourism rely heavily on the lack of negotiation power of the indigenous people in Greenland against the pre-established tour operators (from Denmark) and other non-Greenlandic carriers who would receive the largest economic benefits unless strong government policy protects local interests and resources. Responsible tourism and tourists are the building block of sustainable tourism. The limitations of a short tourist season and a bottleneck situation during the high season creates investment that is risky and costly. Thus, a thorough and ongoing social-economic-environmental impact assessment would be mandatory steps in harmonizing tourist expectations and local understanding of sustainable Arctic coastal tourism in Greenland.
Vishakha Tay

Chapter 17. Marine Tourism Development in the Arkhangelsk Region, Russian Arctic: Stakeholder’s Perspectives

The Arkhangelsk region is a strategic area for cruise tourism development in the Russian European Arctic. The region offers its domestic and foreign visitors a large number of unique natural, cultural, and historical sites and provides an opportunity to explore coastal settlements and the region’s remote areas. However, it can be said that despite the variety of existing national and regional institutional arrangements, as well as the industry’s managerial practices, the sustainable development of marine tourism in the region is highly reliant on local stakeholders, such as local authorities, travel companies, and local providers of hosting/tourism activities. In order to examine the sustainability of the current development practices, this chapter uses the findings from qualitative interviews to understand how cruise tourism in the Solovetsky archipelago is managed locally and regionally. Our study emphasizes the need to implement a communication model based on the cooperation and engagement of all relevant stakeholders as a platform to address sustainability issues inherent in the growth of cruise tourism. The study thus helps to address the problems associated with cruise tourism development in the Arctic and to deepen the discussion related to the peculiarities of tourism destination development in the Russian European Arctic.
Julia Olsen, Marina Nenasheva, Karin Andrea Wigger, Albina Pashkevich, Sonja H. Bickford, Tatiana Maksimova

Chapter 18. Finnish Sámi: Is Tourism a Preservation of Indigenous Culture?

The Sami “minority” of Finland is the smallest indigenous community of this specific Arctic group in Nordic countries. Finnish Sami constitute a cultural, linguistic and territorialized minority. Finland recognized Sami as a “people” in 1995, nevertheless without ratifying the ILO Convention 169 Concerning Indigenous and Tribal Peoples. Besides the fact that Finnish Sami Parliament (Saamelaiskäräjät) has been recognized since 1973, and the Sami linguistic rights have been established since 1982, Sami do not possess territorial rights, especially at economic level. One of the main economic sectors where Sami are active is tourism in Lapland. The debate among the defendants of indigenous rights but also among some Sami prominent leaders are today about the effectiveness of the tourism in the survival of Sami way of life and culture. While some observers denounce the folklorization process of “saminess” through exasperated touristic exploitation, others see in tourism the only way to prevent complete assimilation and fade-out. This chapter will explore the role of tourism in the preservation of Sami culture in Finnish context, by using a field research conducted in July–August 2018 in Inari, Ivalo and Rovaniemi.
Eda Ayaydın, Samim Akgönül

Sustainable Governance


Chapter 19. Regulation of Cargo Shipping on the Northern Sea Route: A Strategic Compliance in Pursuing Arctic Safety and Commercial Considerations

This study aims to explore how the regulatory process is shaped under the influence of interaction between the regulator and the most powerful actors involved. It presents an overview of the historical development of cargo shipping regulation in the Russian Arctic during 2001–2018 to illustrate key events that have influenced the existing legislation. Data from 22 semi-structured interviews and archival materials are interpreted through the institutional logics approach.
The study reveals how strategic actions, including lobbying and information manipulation, by most powerful actors affect regulation, political initiatives, and commercial outcomes. The findings further reveal how contextual and institutional circumstances make business companies reconsider their core competencies and supply chain practices by seeking to prevent the regulatory burden that results in non-compliance. Distortions between the interest groups’ expected benefits and political initiatives caused a change in the existing legislation and shipping traffic in the Russian Arctic. The study provides an understanding of how regulation is shaped as a co-produced process due to interactions between the regulator and all the players involved and how it changes during implementation in practice.
Future research should include the influence of external agents like international law on regulation of cargo shipping in the Russian Arctic.
Antonina Tsvetkova

Chapter 20. Resource Use Conflicts in Arctic Waters: A Legal Perspective

This chapter seeks to place the resource use conflicts discussed in this book in the wider legal framework of Arctic and oceans governance. The chapter briefly sketches out the regimes for the exploration and exploitation of natural resources in the various maritime zones as laid out in the UNCLOS; it then goes on to examine the legal framework for environmental protection in the Arctic region, particularly focussing on shipping, oil and gas, marine scientific research and the regime of fisheries. It then gives an overview of some elements of Arctic governance from an institutional perspective.
Amber Rose Maggio

Chapter 21. The Red Dragon in Global Waters: The Making of the Polar Silk Road  

China’s rise to a global economic superpower is one of the most significant megatrends of current times. As a result of the country’s latest global strategy, the Belt and Road Initiative (一带一路), China’s geo-economic outreach is particularly visible in maritime transport. This chapter discusses the making of the Polar Silk Road (冰上丝绸之路)—a shipping corridor consisting of three major sea lanes running through Arctic waters—as an empirical case study to explore China’s involvement in global shipping. In particular, the chapter identifies four categories of corridor-making practices, ways through which Chinese maritime actors are advancing the emerging of a geo-economic space that connects China with Arctic localities. Ranging from physical facilitation to enabling a smooth flow of traffic, these sets of practices are shaped by both the external politico-economic environment and the domestic interplay between the Chinese central government, local governments, and Chinese companies and scholars.
Liisa Kauppila, Tuomas Kiiski


Weitere Informationen