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Andrey Zagorsky

Head of the Department for Disarmament and Conflict Resolution Studies at the Primakov National Research Institute of World Economy and International Relations (IMEMO), Russian Academy of Sciences, Professor of MGIMO-University, RIAC Member

David Balton

Senior Fellow, Polar Institute, Former Ambassador for Oceans and Fisheries, U.S. Department of State

RIAC and Polar Institute Report

The Arctic region today faces serious geopolitical, socioeconomic, and environmental challenges. While one may hope for a decrease in geopolitical tensions, the socioeconomic and environmental problems are likely to grow more acute. The dramatic reduction in Arctic sea ice and the other profound changes brought on by a warming climate have already changed the Arctic Ocean in ways that we are only beginning to understand. While these changes are making the Arctic Ocean more accessible for a range of human activities, they are also disrupting marine ecosystems and threatening the well-being of Arctic residents whose lives and livelihoods depend on a healthy Arctic Ocean.

Despite these challenges—and in some sense because of them—the common interests of governments, Arctic residents, and other stakeholders in the effective management of increasing human activities in the Arctic Ocean remain very real. The time is ripe to imagine and articulate a vision for a stronger architecture for advancing these common interests, in both the short-to-medium and longer terms, in hopes that policymakers will find the necessary political space in which to move forward on these matters.

RIAC and Polar Institute Report

The Arctic region today faces serious geopolitical, socioeconomic, and environmental challenges. While one may hope for a decrease in geopolitical tensions, the socioeconomic and environmental problems are likely to grow more acute. The dramatic reduction in Arctic sea ice and the other profound changes brought on by a warming climate have already changed the Arctic Ocean in ways that we are only beginning to understand. While these changes are making the Arctic Ocean more accessible for a range of human activities, they are also disrupting marine ecosystems and threatening the well-being of Arctic residents whose lives and livelihoods depend on a healthy Arctic Ocean.

Despite these challenges—and in some sense because of them—the common interests of governments, Arctic residents, and other stakeholders in the effective management of increasing human activities in the Arctic Ocean remain very real. The time is ripe to imagine and articulate a vision for a stronger architecture for advancing these common interests, in both the short-to-medium and longer terms, in hopes that policymakers will find the necessary political space in which to move forward on these matters.

Suggestions for Strengthening Marine Management in the Arctic Ocean

Suggestions for the short-to-medium term

  • Create a robust "SAO based mechanism" with the participation of high-level marine policymakers and give the mechanism a strong mandate and a meaningful agenda
  • Building on the Council's commitment to EBM, develop a comprehensive program of scientific research for the purpose of substantiating marine spatial planning measures in the Arctic Ocean, including marine protected areas
  • Complete the PAME-ICES-PICES exercise and use its results to improve EBM in the Central Arctic Ocean
  • Strengthen coordination with other entities and regimes with the aim of achieving cross-sectoral integration of measures
  • Build capacity within the Arctic Council to facilitate and coordinate action by Arctic States in the event of an environmental emergency relating to the Arctic Ocean
  • Systematically monitor and review implementation of relevant Arctic Council recommendations

Suggestions for the longer term

  • Create a marine science body for the Central Arctic Ocean
  • Create a marine management body for the Central Arctic Ocean

Implementing Marine Management in the Arctic Ocean, 1.6 Mb

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Poll conducted

  1. In your opinion, what are the US long-term goals for Russia?
    U.S. wants to establish partnership relations with Russia on condition that it meets the U.S. requirements  
     33 (31%)
    U.S. wants to deter Russia’s military and political activity  
     30 (28%)
    U.S. wants to dissolve Russia  
     24 (22%)
    U.S. wants to establish alliance relations with Russia under the US conditions to rival China  
     21 (19%)
 
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