Op-eds

The Arctic Council, Lead Sled Dog of the High North: Op-Ed by Crocker Snow, Jr.

GlobalPost

Crocker Snow Jr. is director of the Edward R. Murrow Center for Public Diplomacy at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University overseeing a media consortium of GlobalPost, Living on Earth, and the Alaska Dispatch to report on current issues of the Arctic.

16-year-old squadron of eight nations in a brand new, minuscule headquarters in a remote city well north of the Arctic Circle is becoming an exemplar of how groups of countries can relate and interrelate over issues of territory, security and resources.

The Arctic Council comprised of Russia, Finland, Sweden, Norway, Iceland, Greenland, Canada and the US was established in 1996 and, to date, has been populated more by scientists and scholars than by statesmen. Now like a very good dog sled leader, the Council is breaking new trails for the Arctic and the High North.

The representative countries operate by consensus regarding the primary opportunities and pitfalls of the harsh-weathered circumpolar Arctic, its resources, and its inhabitants.

The group has completed a range of knowledgeable reports ranging from Arctic ice flows, navigation, and maritime issues to the rights of indigenous peoples. And the Council is now moving into more political issues such as territorial borders on land and sea, fishing rights and even offshore oil and gas drilling areas.  

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