Arctic Circumpolar Governance
- To define the Arctic region
- To understand the complexities of Arctic governance
- To understand why there is a need for change in Arctic governance, particularly in light of climate change
The section introduces the limits of the Arctic region and the complexity of defining these limits.
All of the definitions are correct!
Climate change will alter the temperature and vegetation limits, pushing the boundary of the Arctic Region by these definitions further north.
Western Europe is not in the 50 degree north boundary because the warm North Atlantic Drift keeps the western coast of Europe warm.
Countries of the Arctic
The development of the government of Nunavut is examined and why there is a need for change. Students can investigate the changes to governance.
Students are asked to choose an image to illustrate what they think the Arctic is like from an image gallery. Images of the Arctic are often used by the countries which have Arctic lands on their stamps. These are described in a virtual journey and students are asked to design a stamp possibly using the image chosen earlier or another from the site.
The Arctic Council
The working of the Council and its members are explored.
Why do you think that countries who do not have land in the Arctic should want to be part of the Arctic Council?
Variety of reasons such as;
- Increased accessibility of resources
- Land as yet unclaimed
- Interest in the preservation of ecosystem
- Interest in the preservation of the indigenous way of life
- Concern over the rate of climate change
List of changes to the Arctic
- Less sea ice
- Changes in vegetation
- Exposure of resources
- Changes in the indigenous way of life, etc.
Other areas where there are disagreements might include Antarctica
Search and Rescue
Students should be encouraged to think of factors other than the centres being equally spaced around the Arctic. They could use other areas of the site to look at
- Extent of ice cover and for how long during the year.
- The sea routes and number of ships during the year.
- The land sea balance – which is most likely to be used in a situation in the area, air, sea or both?
- The population of an area and how that might affect the need for search and rescue provision
Further information can be found at:
Oil Spill Preparedness Response
A full pdf of the whole report can be found at www.arctic-council.org/index.php/en/document-archive/category/444-eppr as the first download.
Students should be encouraged to link this to the section on oil and gas in Resources from the Edge – Nature’s riches. A class debate could be encouraged
Mercury in the Arctic
This could be group work in groups of four or five with each group researching one indigenous group. Students complete the table available as a download at the end of this section and then compare their findings.
Main findings should be: climate change, environmental change, biodiversity, human health (UV radiation and pollutants), changing social structures and lifestyles, resource use, particularly fish stocks and oil.
Group work to look at how changes in the Arctic will affect the lives of the people in the picture, both young and old.
This can be done using the table provided on the site to look at the future hopes and concerns of the people of the village. This is then compared to the hopes and concerns for the future of the students themselves.
Notes on each chapter for information and tips on the activities in each section to help you plan how to use the site: