Arctic Issues

Arctic Shipping Issues

Important environmental, economic and national security issues are emerging in the Arctic and adjacent Alaskan waters from global climate change. The melting of ice is resulting in interest in newly accessible shipping lanes, the exploration and exploitation of oil, gas and other natural resources and corresponding concerns regarding environmental assessment and protection. A number of international institutions are considering these issues including the Arctic Council and the International Maritime Organization. The Arctic Council has six working groupsArctic Contaminants Action Program (ACAP)Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme (AMAP), Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna (CAFF)Emergency Prevention, Preparedness and Response (EPPR)Protection of the Arctic Marine Environment (PAME), and Sustainable Development Working Group (SDWG).

Polar bear and her cub

Photo 5: Polar bear and her cub.
(NOAA Photo Library.)

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