Sustainable use of resources in the Arctic


Authors: Sigurd Enge, Runa Haug Khoury, Solveig van Nes, Karl Kristensen, Gradislava Potapova

Publisher: Bellona

The reason why Bellona has written this report is our recognition that there are people living and working in the Arctic and there will be human activity in the foreseeable future. Therefore, it’s important that human activities are properly governed, conducted and monitored. For Arctic operations we need the best practice, the best technology and the best knowhow this world can offer. The Arctic should be first in line for deployment of technology with the lowest possible environmental footprint. To be able to perform the management over these areas we also need closer cooperation between the Arctic nations, and a better understanding of what consequences our activity may cause.

This report describes three sectors that has a future potential of activity, value creation and employment, while having both positive and negative impact. Renewable Energy production, mining and Integrated multi-trophic aquaculture (IMTA) are all sectors with enormous potential in form of resources to harvest in the ground, sea and air. They can all offer possible jobs and value creation but also carrying a destructive dimension, able to make lasting wounds in nature and accelerate negative changes already happening like erosion, decreasing seabird populations, fish stocks and so forth.

The findings in this report give us hope because methods, technology and knowledge exist that will make us able to improve. However, the optimism depends on a balanced, knowledge based approach that gives the vulnerable Arctic nature the necessary priority in the weighing between expansion, growth and protection.