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Sustainable Arctic Resource Use: Informational governance of extractive and non-extractive resource use in the Barents Sea Region

  • 1 May, 2012
  • Wageningen University, Environmental Systems Analysis
  • prof. dr R Leemansprof. dr ir APJ Mol
  • dr SB Amelungdr MAJ Lamers

The Arctic climate is changing more rapidly than in elsewhere in the world. This opens new opportunities for economic activities in the region. Together with new prospects, however, new challenges appear which relate to competing claims of emerging and present activities as well as the need of biodiversity conservation and safeguarding pristine Arctic ecosystems. Quickly melting ice encourages equally swift commercial ventures while the establishment of an effective environmental governance regime is lagging behind. Moreover, conventional approaches to environmental protection based on sectoral principle fail to recognise the complexity and interdependence of environmental and socio-economic systems, thereby creating additional barriers for sustainable use of Arctic resources.
This project geographically focuses on the Russian Barents Sea region. Firstly, the project will examine the current stage of environmental management system in this region, outline the directions for development and analyse prospects for establishing integrated environmental management regime vis-à-vis fragmented sectoral approach. Secondly, the study will assess to what extent and how informational governance arrangements can contribute to more effective management of natural resource use in the Russian Barents Sea marine region. For this the case studies of two most important economic sectors will be made, namely historically well-established fishing industry and newly emerging hydrocarbon exploration. These sectors have competing claims on the Arctic environment, which results in a comparative analysis of informational governance of natural resource use. Thirdly, the project will theoretically contribute to the body of literature on the informational governance of environment in shaping sustainable environmental management institutions and practices.

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Alexey Pristupa

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