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JCLOS at Arctic Frontiers

Researchers from  K.G. Jebsen Center for the Law of the Sea (JCLOS) gave speeches at Arctic Frontiers, the biggest conference about the Arctic in the world, taking place at UiT. 

Trude Haugseth Moe 28.01.2016 15:09   (Sist oppdatert: 29.01.2016 13:32)

Arctic Frontiers was arranged for the 10.th time at UiT. From Monday 24. To Friday 29. January, researchers and the most important decision makers from politics and business in Norway and other Arctic states, met to discuss Arctic affairs. 

Elise Johansen from JCLOS during her lecture at Arctic Frontiers. 

9 ministers, 1400 participants

Arctic Frontiers has become a very important meeting place, and this was reflected at the list of participants; nine active ministers from Norway, Sweden, Finland and Iceland. Also many participants from other parts of the world attended. All together, this year's conference had more than 1400 participants from over 30 countries. 

This year’s topic was Industry and Environment. The topic can be said to represent the whole idea behind the conference: How to develop business and industry in the North, and, at the same time, take care of vulnerable areas?

- This topic is at least as important now, as it was 10 years ago, says Ole Øvretveit, general manager of Arctic Frontiers.

The first two days of the conference was about political questions, where many ministers and the most powerful politicians of Norway and other countries attended.

Arctic Stewardship 

Prof. Erik Molenaar from JCLOS/The Faculty of Law, UiT, during his lecture. All photos: Trude Haugseth Moe.

Wednesday was dedicated to science, and here, Tore Henriksen, leader of JCLOS was co-organiser for a session called Arctic Stewardship. 

Professor Henriksen held the introduction, and was followed by scientists from a wide specter of disciplines giving lectures about Arctic narratives and Arctic public stewardship. The themes varied from the Arctic’s forgotten narrative of the great walrus hunt,  to the role of the Arctic Council, oil spill and risk governance.  

Erik Molenaar and Elise Johansen from JCLOS both held lectures about the Arctic Council.

Professor Molenaars lecture was called The evolution of the Arctic Council in the context of International Law. The Arctic Council celebrates its 20 years anniversary this year, and in his lecture, Molenaar introducedthe listeners to what the Arctic Council is and what has been its function. He continued to show the spectacular evolution of the Arctic Council and the Arctic Council system, and shared some ideas about the role the Arctic Council might play in the future. 

Elise Johansens lecture was called Efforts under the Arctic Council to protect sensitive sea areas from the impact of shipping. The background for her lecture was the North-East passage now being ice free parts of the year, due to climate change. This leads to more shipping in the Arctic. What consequences could that have for the vulnerable nature here? The Arctic Council has tried to investigate if it is possible to establish marine protection areas at the open sea? And what about restrictions in areas where the ice edge is constantly moving?

Leading international arena

Arctic Frontiers has succeeded to establish itself as the leading international arene to discuss Arctic matters, but the participation from more than 30 countries shows the increasing interest for the Arctic also in other parts of the world, according to Børge Brende, the Norwegian minister of Foreign Affairs. 


The session Arctic Stewardship topk place Wednesday at Arctic Frontiers.