The Arctic is experiencing dramatic climate changes that also make the region available for greater resource exploitation and transport activity. The Arctic is indeed becoming increasing important in international politics.
The term ‘the Artic’ refers to the sea and land areas around the North Pole. The eight countries that border on the Arctic – Canada, Denmark (Greenland), Finland, Iceland, Norway, the Russian Federation, Sweden and the USA - are all permanent members of the Arctic Council. This area has traditionally been characterized by low tension as well as a low degree of economic exploitation of its natural resources. However, this is now changing, due not least to the effects of climate change.
Questions related to the use of natural resources in the Far North, oil/gas and fish in particular, are central to NUPI’s Arctic research, as are issues of security policy. For Norway, relations to Russia are a major factor in the Far North. Also important is the growing interest shown by other parts of the world in the Artic and its natural resources. A central thematic area for Arctic research at NUPI concerns the effects of climate change, which are already influencing and altering conditions in the region – as seen in the case of the new possibilities for traffic via the Northern Sea Route to Asia.
Sources: Store Norske Leksikon and NUPI.