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  • Timo HELLENBERG

Covernance of the artic and the future of cooperation



Lead Author: Hellenberg International

Contributors: Timo Hellenberg, Pekka Visuri and Matti Kropsu



Arctic intergovernmental cooperation faces several challenges and problems, primarily due to the unique geopolitical, environmental, and economic factors in the region.

The Arctic spans multiple countries, and SAR operations may require cooperation between nations, making coordination and response times more complex.

Agreements and protocols for cross-border SAR efforts need to be established and adhered to.


The Arctic is rich in natural resources, including oil, gas, and minerals. As a result, there are ongoing disputes and claims over territorial sovereignty and jurisdiction among Arctic nations, most notably between Russia, Canada, Denmark (via Greenland), and Norway. These disputes are not new and they have been managed rather well, but they can hinder cooperation efforts.


Moreover, climate change and its impacts are particularly pronounced in the Arctic, leading to melting ice, rising sea levels, and shifts in ecosystems. Cooperation is essential to address these environmental challenges, but differing priorities and interests among Arctic nations can complicate efforts to mitigate and adapt to these

changes.


The potential for resource extraction, such as oil and gas drilling, fishing, and mining, has economic implications for Arctic nations. Competing economic interests can sometimes overshadow environmental and sustainability concerns, making it challenging to find common ground.

As the Arctic ice melts, new shipping routes open, making the region strategically important. This has led to increased military presence and security concerns among Arctic nations. Balancing security of interests with cooperation for peaceful purposes can be complex.


Global geopolitical tensions can spill over into the Arctic. The region's proximity to Russia has raised concerns about military activities and the potential for conflict. Geopolitical rivalries can hinder cooperation and dialogue among Arctic nations.


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