Managing the polar oceans sustainably

The Arctic provides both a home and a livelihood for many Norwegians. The Arctic ice melt may open up further opportunities, such as shorter trade routes and increased economic activity in northern waters that previously were covered by ice. Recent discoveries of oil, gas, minerals and diamonds in Arctic areas have made the region attractive even to countries situated far away. It has also created serious challenges to the fragile environment.

To minimize the impact of human activity and climate change on the Arctic environment as well as promoting clean and healthy oceans, more and new science-based knowledge, together with new strategic and innovative approaches are needed. With this objective, Norway has been supporting the SaGHAA (Science and Geopolitics of Himalayas, Arctic and Antarctic) conference organized by Indian think tank LIGHTS. A webinar on ‘Managing the Polar Oceans Sustainably’ was organized on 28-29 September, 2020, as a curtain raiser to the SaGHAA seminar in 2021.

Norway’s Senior Arctic Official and Ambassador for Arctic and Antarctic Affairs, Ms Hilde Svartdal Lunde, highlighted the importance of Arctic for Norway and outlined the regulatory and institutional mechanisms set up by Norway for sustainable management of the Arctic.  

“Norway’s ultimate ambition is a comprehensive management approach that facilitates long-term value creation while safeguarding Arctic ecosystems. Norway has been and will remain a responsible, predictable and cooperative partner in the Arctic”, said Ambassador Hans Jacob Frydenlund, in his speech.

The webinar covered four themes - clean and healthy oceans, Oceans - weather and climate, Maritime jurisprudence and value creating from ocean resources. The event was attended by nearly 500 delegates from a diverse background comprising scientists, diplomats, bureaucrats and research scholars from across the world.