The High North

The Arctic is changing. Climate change and melting sea ice are creating challenges but also opportunities in the north. International cooperation is more important than ever.
Photo: REDink

Around 10 % of Norway’s population live north of the Arctic Circle. People have harvested resources in the north for thousands of years. The Arctic is rich in minerals, oil and gas, and fish and seafood. Research on climate change and marine biology is paving the way for new businesses. Finding a good balance between conservation and sustainable use is a top priority. We will encourage global cooperation based on scientific knowledge and international law.


  • safeguard peace and stability and provide predictability
  • find a good balance between conservation and sustainable use through sound resource management
  • promote international cooperation and the international legal order
  • increase employment, value creation and welfare in the region

Shipping in Arctic waters

80 % of shipping in the Arctic passes through Norwegian waters. The Polar Code came into force on 1 January 2017 and sets strict requirements for shipping in Arctic waters.


Oil and gas resources in the Arctic

According to the US Geological Society, a fifth of the world’s undiscovered oil and gas resources may be in the Arctic.


  • maintaining a presence in northern seas to exercise sovereignty and authority and for monitoring and emergency preparedness and response
  • managing resources on the basis of scientific knowledge
  • promoting compliance with the law of the sea and strengthening the position of the Arctic Council
  • investing in seed money funds, research, infrastructure, innovation and technology development 

Arctic Council

The eight Arctic countries are members of the Arctic Council and 12 non-Arctic states are observers. The Arctic Council is the only circumpolar cooperation forum for Arctic issues at government level.


Norwegian satellites

Norwegian satellites gather data that is vital for management of resources and the environment and for maritime safety in the north. They are also important for innovative research and industry in Svalbard.

India and Norway: Cooperating in the Arctic

The research cooperation between India and Norway on polar issues is strong and persistent. A Memorandum of Understanding was signed between the Norwegian Research Council and Ministry of Earth Sciences during president Mukherjees visit to Norway in 2014. This led to a joint call for proposals and 5 joint Indo-Norwegian polar research projects were selected to receive support, strengthening our research cooperation in the field. India and Norway also cooperate on political research. Indian Institute of Defense Analysis (IDSA) are partners with the Norwegian institutions in a three-year research program on Asian interests and policies visa-a-vis Arctic, funded by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs through the Norwegian Research Council. The cooperation has resulted in the book “Arctic: Commerce, Governance and Policy”, a special issue of Strategic Analysis.

Polar issues and the Arctic are central sectors for the Indo-Norwegian cooperation on higher education. Indian PhD and master students are studying at the University Centre in Svalbard (UNIS) through a grant scheme managed by the Research Council of Norway. The grant was one of the products of the 2006 agreement between India and Norway on co-operation in the fields of science and technology. In order to strengthen the field of polar glaciology in India, National Center for Antarctic and Oceanic Research (NCAOR), in collaboration with the Norwegian Polar Institute (NPI) established two PhD studentships in Antarctic and Arctic glaciology for Indian citizens. The students are based at NPI's Headquarter in Tromsø, Norway and will be conducting research in both Arctic and Antarctica. The Embassy and Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) arranged a seminar for students on the Arctic, Antarctic and the Himalaya parallel to the Arctic Exhibition “On Thin Ice”, at JNU in November 2016.

Norway supported India in receiving an observer status in the Arctic Council. Polar collaboration were high on the agenda during President Mukherjees visit to Norway in October 2014, when a session on Polar Research and Geo-hazards - Cooperation in research and higher education between India and Norway was held. Previous foreign minister Mr. Mr. Salman Khurshid visited Svalbard in 2012. In Delhi, the embassy and Ministry of Earth Science arrange a joint Indo-Norwegian seminar on the “Arctic: Research and Policy perspectives” with IDSA in Delhi in May 2015.  Embassy sponsored journalists to attend Arctic Frontiers in 2017, 2016 and 2014. A visit to the Arctic is prioritized at the annual study trip for young Indian politicians to Norway. In 2016 they also visited Svalbard.

India and Norway are neighbours is Antarctica and cooperate on logistical challenges when relevant. India has been present at New Ålesund in the Arctic since 2008. India cooperated with the Norwegian Polar Institute when they established their first subsea observatories in Kongsfjorden in Svalbard in July 2014.