Marine Resource Governance in the Arctic

The overall purpose of the project is to identify and provide guidance in solving the main governance challenges of the marine living resources in the Arctic Ocean with reduced ice presence. The project brings together academic experts on the economics of living marine resources and the Arctic ocean with on-the-ground resource managers and policy makers in the Arctic region to improve and advance understanding of how management of these valuable resources will be affected by changes in accessibility to the region. We are developing flexible, ecosystem-integrated management solutions to the challenges these changes pose.

There are a variety of scales for marine resource use that should be considered directly pertinent to the Arctic community, from local indigenous populations that have historical use claims to the Nordic states, with their differing obligations on governance at the regional scale, and even at the global level as driven by growing global demand for the resources present in the Arctic.

The ecosystem changes underway in the Arctic region are expected to have significant impacts on living resources in both the short and long run. Current actions and policies adopted by the Nordic states and other invested parties over such resource governance will have serious and ultimately irreversible consequences in the near and long terms. In particular, the breadth and scope of integration of science and political economy into the formulation of strategies for economic resource use and preservation will determine the outcomes of such policies. For example, policies to contain an invasive species in one nation’s waters will be limited in effectiveness by decisions of neighboring nations as well as by the ecological context of the invasion. Coordinated resource policy across space and time is therefore essential to maximizing the full economic value, including potential non-use and indirect-use values, of the living resources of the Arctic Ocean as the base productivity undergoes ecological changes. We use an ecosystem based and strategic approach to analyze harvesting practices, invasive species and pollution issues and describe opportunities for marine conservation. So, we are working with a broader group than traditional resource economists, in particular including on-the-ground managers.

We welcome input from Arctic stakeholders and researchers across disciplines:

Contact Brooks Kaiser or Niels Vestergaard for more information.