Environmental Security Challenges and the Arctic Council’s Arctic Marine Shipping Assessment

Conference paper
Part of the NATO Science for Peace and Security Series C: Environmental Security book series (NAPSC)


The Arctic Council’s Arctic Marine Shipping Assessment (AMSA) released in 2009 has become a framework for the Council’s response to enhancing Arctic marine safety and environmental protection. AMSA can be viewed in three ways: as a baseline, snapshot for Arctic marine activity early in the twenty-first century; as a strategic guide for a host of stakeholders and actors; and, as a policy document of the Arctic Council since the report was negotiated and approved after consensus of the eight Arctic states was reached. The 2009 AMSA Report communicates to the global maritime community the current and future state of Arctic marine activity, and a set of complex drivers of change that must be considered in responding to the future. A set of 17 AMSA recommendations lays out a comprehensive strategy to address three themes: Enhancing Arctic Marine Safety; Protecting Arctic people and the Environment; and, Building the Arctic Marine Infrastructure. AMSA addresses issues related to Arctic indigenous communities, the legal governance of the Arctic Ocean, today’s infrastructure limitations, and significant environmental issues including great concern for the release of oil in Arctic waters. As a holistic assessment providing an integrated framework from which to address the challenges of expanded, Arctic marine use, AMSA represents a first-order guide by the Council to an array of environmental security issues confronting the Arctic Ocean.


Arctic Ocean Ballast Water International Maritime Organization Polar Code Arctic Water 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Distinguished Professor of Geography and Arctic Policy, UA Geography ProgramUniversity of Alaska FairbanksFairbanksUSA

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