Arctic shipping scenarios and coastal state challenges

The Arctic Council, an intergovernmental forum of the eight Arctic states, is currently embarked on a comprehensive assessment of Arctic marine activity in the 21st century — the Arctic Marine Shipping Assessment (AMSA). One of the challenges for theAMSA study team has been to identify the major uncertainties that will be central to shaping the future of Arctic marine use in 2020 and 2050. Using scenario planning, AMSA has identified two primary drivers and uncertainties: (A) Resources and trade; and, (B) Governance. Four scenario narratives have been developed with these two, key uncertainties as the framework elements. The main arguments focus on the fact the Arctic has experienced globalization early in the century and that the global maritime industry has already ventured into the Arctic Ocean. Marine access in the Arctic Ocean is also changing in unprecedented ways and the extraordinary transformation Arctic sea ice is undergoing — thinning, extent reduction, and a reduction in the area of multiyear ice in the central ocean — has significant implications for longer seasons of navigation. However, the high prices of global commodities such as oil, gas, and hard minerals (for example, copper, nickel and zinc) have generated high levels of demand for Arctic natural resources. The Arctic states are challenged by an overall lack of maritime infrastructure to adequately support current and future levels of Arctic marine operations; ports, communications, environmental monitoring, search & rescue, incident response, aids to navigation, and coastal charting, to name a few, require substantial and timely investment by the coastal states and marine operators. A second challenge is the ongoing development of an integrated system of rules and regulations governing Arctic navigation that will enhance marine safety and ensure marine environmental protection throughout the basin. These challenges will require historic levels of cooperation among the Arctic states and broad engagement with the many, non-Arctic stakeholders and actors within the global maritime industry.


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  • Accession Number: 01609149
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jun 16 2016 9:21AM