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The Battle for Arctic is Canceled
September 24, 2010 19:59

Arctic Pole from Space

The forum titled “The Arctic - Territory of Dialogue” wrapped up today in Moscow. The forum has already made its contribution to the Arctic’s future, its participants said.

About 30 presentations were made at the forum by delegates from 15 countries. The issues they looked into included global climate change, the use of natural resources and the prospects of the Arctic’s sustained development.

“The human kind is getting more and more aware that the Arctic is its last Strawberry Field of sorts. Hence the attention we have all paid to it of late... Ten to twenty years ago our approaches to the Arctic were totally different, focusing on conservation of the Arctic’s natural resources. Today we speak about developing them to integrate this territory in our economies", said at the forum Aleksandr Pilyasov, director of the Centre for the North and Arctic economy at the Ministry of Economic development.

 "The Arctic is for Russia the most promising territory to be developed industrially. The 8 Arctic countries (Russia, Canada, the United States, Denmark, Norway, Finland, Sweden and Iceland) know that the territory has one-fifth of the global stock of oil and gas. So the problems we face and the tasks we are setting to ourselves are really huge, and we are speaking about having cooperative Arctic government to find the necessary solutions”, Pilyasov admitted.

Those familiar with Arctic issues embraced this Arctic forum organized by the Russian Geographical Society with the participation of the Russian news and information agency RIA Novosti. The promise to hold the event on a regularly basis has given Arctic enthusiasts even more cause for celebration. If the forum becomes an annual event, there are at least three reasons for optimism.

 First, it will serve as a great international platform to discuss Arctic issues, involving not only the Arctic Quintet (Russia, USA, Canada, Norway and Denmark), but also neighboring states, scientists, indigenous peoples, business leaders, etc. The forum can help to prevent the new "owners" of the land from engaging in selfish, not neighborly behavior once the region is divided up.

Second, the forum can become an International Arctic Public Chamber of sorts, monitoring the extent to which governments and corporations meet their commitments concerning protection of the Arctic ecosystem etc.

 Third, it is encouraging that Russia has finally come out of its Arctic hibernation and has started taking the Arctic seriously. And oil, gas, nickel, tungsten, manganese, and gold should not be the key drivers here. What's more important for Russia and all of its Arctic neighbors is to really start addressing the environmental problems in the Arctic. Otherwise, we'll have trouble not just searchinf for clean water but even breathing.

      RIA News
      The Voice Of Russia

Max Yakuba

Tags: Arctic Russia International    

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