Governing Maritime Transportation in the Arctic
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Historic observations and projected models show a trend of declining sea-ice in the Arctic as a result of global climate change. Sea-ice is the largest obstacle to Arctic maritime transportation, and given these predictions, reductions of sea-ice extent in the Arctic Ocean will create new opportunities for the global transportation industry by opening up navigable passages. For this industry, the Arctic represents efficiencies via time and fuel saving routes and greater connectivity between major international ports. This paper synthesizes international, regional, and national scale governance regimes that collectively manage jurisdictional, infrastructural, and environmental issues of maritime transportation activities in the Arctic. The primary regimes in the Arctic are the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), the International Maritime Organization (IMO), the Arctic Council, national regimes, and the private transportation sector. Drawing on contemporary understandings of governance, these governance regimes are evaluated based on seven principles of global environmental governance. Existing governance institutions successfully contribute to overall governance in the region, yet there are still gaps that impair Arctic governance from functioning as a cohesive form of global environmental governance. Of the various governance regimes proposed by Arctic scholars to manage the changing region, I argue for an expansion of the Arctic Council that would facilitate a networked governance regime in the Arctic. A networked regime – a combination of multilevel, niche, and hybrid governance – recognizes the successful attributes of existing regimes and strives to connect them all in a network of governance to collectively and comprehensively manage the natural resources of a region. Growing maritime transportation activities in the Arctic will face opportunities and threats associated with the environmental, political, and socioeconomic conditions unique to the region. A networked governance regime in the Arctic would effectively manage the maritime transportation industry to mitigate and minimize environmental harms while achieving the greatest resource benefits for society.
CitationGhosh, Supriti (2015). Governing Maritime Transportation in the Arctic. Master's project, Duke University. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/9590.
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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.
Rights for Collection: Nicholas School of the Environment