What's next for the Arctic?
Last updated on 7/1/2013 Print this page
10 September 2012
Some of the world’s foremost Arctic experts have been brought
together by the University of Hull to discuss the future of the
polar region’s vast resources.
As more becomes known about the Arctic’s
wealth of oil, gas and minerals the race to exploit the region has
increased in speed over recent years. At the same time, this summer
has seen the fragile sea ice in the Arctic region shrink to its
smallest size since records began.
backdrop, the University of Hull’s conference, “The Future of the
High North and the Challenges for Maritime Governance”, explored
the complex issues around the preservation and exploitation of this
Organised by the University’s Department of
Politics and International Studies, the conference attracted expert
speakers from the United States, Norway and Finland to speak
alongside UK specialists about the competing interests in the
Pen Hadow, the Arctic explorer and
environmental adviser, told delegates about the stark reality of
the region’s melting sea-ice and urged them to consider the global
impact of further sea-ice melts, during his keynote presentation.
Also during the conference, leading experts including Ben Ayliffe
of Greenpeace, Vladimir Semenov of the International Maritime
Organisation, Rear Admiral Nick Lambert of the UK Hydrographic
Office and representatives from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office
and UK Ministry of Defence took the opportunity to engage in debate
about the governance challenges in the Arctic.
Further sessions during the conference focused
on energy and resource exploitation in the region including a
presentation on the important issue of fisheries in the Arctic by
University of Hull expert Dr Magnus Johnson. Dr Johnson argued for
an Arctic governance model that takes account of the needs of
indigenous people in the region, rather than focusing purely on the
Also speaking from the University of
Hull was Dr Elizabeth Monaghan and Stewart Arnold, who
examined the effectiveness of the EU in the Arctic Region.
Conference organiser, Dr Matthew Ford,
explained: “The University of Hull has a great reputation for its
expertise in the maritime domain so we are very well placed to draw
together the legal, environmental and political issues in this
“It is clear that the environment and energy
supply are crucial concerns in the 21st century. Given
the wealth of resources, the Arctic will become increasingly
important as the world’s great economic powers vie with each other
for access to the region. This conference addressed many of
the challenges posed by this and other changes occurring in the
A collection of essays arising from the papers
and discussions will be published following the conference.
This will inform energy industry analysts and policy makers as well
as to environmentalists and research scholars.
View highlights of the event below.