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.