Resources from the edge

Conflicts and geopolitical issues in the Arctic

Use the resources and suggested characters for a role play/debate on conflicts and geopolitical issues in the Arctic.

Resources:

Characters:

Canadian politician
Canadian politician

Issues to think about:

  • Defence of national sovereignty
  • Fishing, tax, shipping and smuggling laws
  • Cost of mandatory 'ice-breaker' ships
Managing Director of Russian oil company
Russian businessman

Issues to think about:

  • Potential for collaboration with other national oil firms
  • Cost of exploration for oil
Russian politician
Russian politician

Issues to think about:

  • Economic impact
  • Potential for exploitation of natural resources - nickel, iron ore, phosphate, copper, cobalt main market is China
  • Cost of mandatory 'ice-breaker' ships
Norwegian cruise company
Norwegian cruise

Issues to think about:

  • Potential for tourism
  • Consider the Search and Rescue capability of the area being visited
  • The infrastructure of the area and the possibility of evacuating a boat safely and quickly
US shipping company
Container ship

Issues to think about:

  • Possibility for new shipping routes (Trans-arctic)
  • Impact on transit time and fuel costs
  • Increased access to regional resources
  • Development in localised shipping for resource extraction and tourism
  • Any environmental impacts
Indigenous community representative (Inuit)
Inuit representative

Issues to think about:

  • Thawing permafrost impact on infrastructure (buildings, roads and pipelines) in Alaska and Siberia
  • Opportunities with industries such as mining, ship building
  • Impact on fishing
  • Social and economic changes
  • How important is it to maintain a traditional way of life
  • Will you community still be able to hunt whales and seals
  • How can communities work alongside large business
Environmental organisation
Leaky oil cans in the snow

Issues to think about:

  • Environmental impacts

 

 

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