Arctic Daily Update: April 23, 2013
The Senate resumes consideration of a bill that would allow states to require out-of-state retailers to collect sales taxes. The House votes on two measures under suspension of the rules, including one on the National Park Service.
Sustainable Ocean Summit (SOS 2013), April 22-24, 2013 (Washington, D.C.)Sponsored by the World Ocean Council, SOS 2013 is designed to bring together a diverse range of ocean industries: shipping, oil and gas, fisheries, aquaculture, tourism, offshore renewable energy, ports, dredging, mining, cables and pipelines, marine science, engineering and technology, the maritime legal, financial and insurance communities, and others - as well as ocean stakeholders from the government, inter-governmental, academic and environment communities. On Wednesday, April 24th, USARC's John Farrell will be a speaker at "The Arctic Challenges and Opportunities for Responsible Industries."
Arctic Resource Development-Lessons Learned. [Editorial] Voters in Greenland recently elected a new Parliament and economic development played a big part in the campaign politics. The politics of resource development are being played out all over the Arctic and there are lessons to be learned from the recent election in Greenland. One lesson learned is: Inuit want resource development that can be managed at the local level. Environment, culture and tradition are still important issues for the people. Inuit refuse to be pressured into accepting development on someone else's terms. People in indigenous communities across the Arctic are asking the same question. This development, what's in it for us? It's not surprising, it's only natural for people to want and expect benefit from development in their territory. If Inuit are to take the brunt of environmental, social and cultural risk, they must benefit from resource development. Benefit does not mean the chance for jobs. Benefit means tangible improvements for Inuit society. Inuit will be part of the governance of the Arctic, including resource development. A second lesson learned is: Inuit expect benefits from resource development in their territory.
Link to complete ICC Alaska newsletter: Drum
AFN Lobbies for Protection of Subsistence Rights. At its annual convention last October, Alaska Federation of Natives delegates adopted a proclamation that Alaska Natives would use every political and legal means to achieve full and lasting federal protection of the Native hunting, fishing, and gathering way of life, and co-management of subsistence resources. Here's what AFN's doing to address the issue. Nelson Angapak is Senior Vice President for the Alaska Federation of Natives. He says AFN lobbied U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski to hold oversight hearings on subsistence. Murkowski held a hearing in Bethel earlier this month and has another scheduled in Copper Center in May. Angapak says the goal is changes to federal law that will strengthen protections for subsistence. KTOO
Lt. Gov. Calls for Better State-Fed Relations. Lt. Gov. Treadwell Calls for Better Federal, State Relationship in the Arctic April 17, 2013, Washington, DC - As the White House convenes agencies to develop a new Arctic strategy for the nation, Lt. Governor Mead Treadwell called for the federal government to recognize Alaska as a sovereign state, not merely another stakeholder in setting policy. At the Brookings Institution event, Energy, Indigenous Communities, and the Arctic Council, in Washington, DC, Treadwell spoke about "Arctic Energy Governance" on a panel with Interior Department Deputy Secretary David Hayes. Office of the Lieutenant Governor Mead Treadwell
With Overlapping Mapping, House Lawmaker Aims to Consolidate. When it comes to geospatial data collection, Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-Colo.) sees a federal government that's all over the map. Right now, there's geospatial work being done by 31 different government agencies and departments," Lamborn lamented in a recent interview with E&E Daily. The Colorado Republican last week renewed his efforts to consolidate that work, authoring the "Map It Once, Use It Many Times Act." The bill would create a new National Geospatial Technology Administration (NGTA) under the U.S. Geological Survey, while merging mapping programs at the Interior Department, the Forest Service and NOAA. E&E News
Svalbard's Experience- for Russian Arctic? The National park "Russian Arctic" was designated in 2009 and is one of two protected territories in the Russian sector of the Arctic. Its area covers the northern part of Novaya Zemlya archipelago with over 630 thousand hectares of lands and almost 800 thousand of marine space. The Park is also managing the state wildlife sanctuary (zakaznik) on over 190 islands of Franz Josef Land with a total area of 4,2 million of hectares of lands. The main mission of the National Park is the preservation of the unique nature and wildlife of the Arctic archipelagos as well as protection of objects of cultural and historical value. The territories of the Russian Arctic still keep traces of expeditions of eight countries: Austria-Hungary, Netherlands, Great Britain, Norway, USA, Italy, Russia and Germany including those of Willem Barents, Georgy Sedov, Frederic Jackson and Fridtjof Nansen. Barents Observer
Pipeline to Arctic Port Mulled by Alberta Government. The Alberta government is looking at yet another pipeline option to get its oil to market should the Keystone XL or Northern Gateway pipeline proposals not come to fruition. Calgary consulting firm Canatec Associates International Ltd. has been hired by the province to study the feasibility of moving crude from the oilsands up to a port in the Northwest Territories. CBC News
Norway Ready to drill Along Russian Boarder. "This is a historical moment", Norwegian Minister of Petroleum and Energy Ola Borten Moe said this week about his government's decision to open the southeastern part of the Norwegian Barents Sea. "For the first time since 1994 we can open a new region for exploration and look for oil and gas in new, promising waters", he added, a government press release reads.The new waters are opened to exploration less than two years after the Norwegian-Russian delimitation agreement on the Barents Sea came into effect, which is an unprecedented short time. As previously reported, Norway sent seismis vessels to the 175,000 square km big area on 7 July 2011, the same day as the treaty came into effect. Barents Observer
To the Arctic Council With Love. Last Saturday, on April 20, more than 10,000 people came together all across the globe to take a stand for the Arctic. Organizers hosted human banners in the shape of a heart, spelling out 'I Love Arctic', in more than 280 cities in 38 countries from Chile to New Zealand and from Norway to South Africa. Greenpeace
Swedish Air Force Fails to Counter Mock Russia Attack. The Swedish Air Force reportedly failed to monitor exercises ostensibly aimed at Swedish targets, because no planes or pilots were available. The newspaper Svenska Dagbladet reports that during Easter weekend the Russian Air Force held maneuvers in the Baltic just outside Sweden's territorial boundary. Held off of the island Gotska Sandön, military sources tell the newspaper that the fictitious targets of the exercise were two of Sweden's most important military bases. Alaska Dispatch
Arctic's Methane Hydrate Supple May be Tested for Energy Use in New Study. The U.S. Department of Energy and the state of Alaska will collaborate on future research of unconventional energy resources in the Arctic, including abundant reservoirs of methane hydrate. The DOE's acting assistant secretary for fossil energy, Christopher Smith, and Alaska Department of Natural Resources Commissioner Dan Sullivan announced the agreement Tuesday and spoke to reporters from Houston, Texas, where they are attending LNG 17, a natural gas conference. Huffington Post
No formal legislative action was taken on Arctic legislation Monday.
International Conference on Arctic Ocean Acidification, May 6-8, 2013, Bergen, Norway. The Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Program (AMAP), the Institute of Marine Research, the Norwegian Institute for Water Research, the Scientific Committee on Oceanic Research, and the University of British Columbia, Canada, host a conference to consider Arctic Ocean acidification. Topics will include response of Arctic Ocean to increasing CO2 and related changes in the global carbon cycle, social and policy challenges, Arctic Ocean acidification and ecological and biogeochemical coupling, implications of changing Arctic Ocean acidification for northern (commercial and subsistence) fisheries, and future developments.
Private Sector Transportation, Infrastructure, Assets, Response, Capacity, and Development in the Arctic, May 30, 2012, Seattle, WA. A recently-held Arctic transportation workshop in Iceland highlighted the need to better understand private sector transportation infrastructure and assets, recognizing industry's role in the responsible development of resources, response and supportive infrastructure. As a follow-up to its efforts to inventory and map Arctic transportation infrastructure, the Institute of the North is hosting a workshop at the Bell Harbor International Conference Center in Seattle, Washington that focuses on three critical areas: private sector assets and infrastructure in the Arctic, staging areas outside the Arctic that support Northern development, and vessels and technology that are difficult to map but need to be measured for future decision-making. Participants include industry representatives, technical experts, researchers, Coast Guard and other response personnel.
AGU Science Policy Conference, June 24-26, 2013. (Washington, DC) Hundreds of Earth and space scientists, students, policymakers, and industry professionals will discuss key Earth and space science topics that address challenges to our economy, national security, environment, and public safety. This meeting will focus on the science that helps inform policymakers' decisions related to energy, natural hazards, technology and infrastructure, climate, oceans, and the Arctic. The event is hosted by American Geophysical Union (AGU), a Washington, D. C.-based international nonprofit scientific association.
5th Symposium on the Impacts of an Ice-Diminishing Arctic on Naval and Maritime Operations, July 16-18, 2013 (Washington, D.C.). The U.S. National/Naval Ice Center (NIC) and the U.S. Arctic Research Commission (USARC) co-host this follow-on symposium to address the changing state of Arctic sea ice and associated environmental conditions vis-a-vis emerging or expected naval, maritime, and associated activities and operations in the region. Invited speakers include nationally and internationally recognized experts on Arctic observations, climate change, and maritime operations.
The Inaugural Meeting of The Arctic Circle, October 12-14, 2013 (Reykjavik, Iceland). The inaugural Arctic Circle will be held October 12-14, 2013. Subsequent Arctic Circle gatherings will be held in a different Arctic location each year, so that participants can become familiar with the challenges, needs and opportunities presented by these unique environments. The agenda for the first Arctic Circle gathering will include plenary sessions with international leaders on emerging topics of interest, such as: Sea ice melt and extreme weather; Security in the Arctic; Fisheries and ecosystem management; Shipping and transportation infrastructure; Arctic Resources; and Tourism.
Arctic Cities, Global Processes, and Local Realities, December 2-4, 2013 (Rovaniemi, Finland) The conference is organized jointly by the City of Rovaniemi and the Arctic Centre of the University of Lapland, Finland. The goal of the conference is to present the latest research scientific knowledge about the global processes as they become local realities. Even if the Conference is scientific in orientation, it aims to bridge science and knowledge into action by bringing top scholars to share their research results, and to organize joint discussion with the leaders of the Arctic Cities. Sessions include: Rovaniemi Process: past, present, future; Arctic responses to global environmental problems; people and extractive industries; tourism in the Arctic; the Arctic in global economy; climate change in the Arctic; indigenous peoples in cities; and, Arctic global flows. Cross cutting themes include: Arctic cities and global processes; management and governance in the Arctic; and, Arctic together with non-Arctic.