China, India, Japan and the European Union are all knock, knock, knocking on Arctic’s door. The question is expected to be a “hot-potato” when the member states of the Arctic Council get the Observer status applications on the desk at the up-coming Arctic Council meeting in Kiruna, northern Sweden, on May 15th.
Today, the University of Tromsø in northern Norway announced the establishment of a dedicated center for research on questions related to the law of the sea and other juridical topics regarding the role of international and national jurisdictions in the Arctic.
Some 15 experts on Arctic issues and Law of the Seas will be working with the new center. The Fridtjof Nansen Institute is partner. Funding comes from the Kristian Gerhard Jebsen Foundation, also branding the name of the new initiative; KG Jebsen Center for Ocean Law.
“There is an urgent need to strengthen international research on the law of the sea, whether this is justified on environmental, nutritional or more political perspectives, says Kåre Romentveit, director of the Jebsen Foundation. He says an independent and strong research community could play an important role, especially international.
Professor Tore Henriksen with the Law faculty at the University of Tromsø will head the new center.
“Norway is a nation with large ocean areas, but without strong national expertise on maritime law. We will be studying everything from climate and environmental challenges in the Arctic to piracy and terrorist threats at sea,” says Tore Henriksen. He hopes the law in the future can be used to counter the negative impacts climate change will have on the seas. Another question is how fisheries and oil exploration can coexist.
The current funding of the center is valid for the coming six years period.
The Faroese economy benefits greatly from its monopoly of the Russian salmon market. The islands’ biggest marine produce company, Bakkafrost, has seen its stock surge about 100 percent over the past year, including re-invested dividends.
August 9th, the Barents Region celebrated the UN International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples. The day was commemorated in several parts of the region, including Karasjok in Northern Norway and Teriberka in Northwestern Russia.
Sports in the Barents region have joined forces and established Barents Games. This weekend athletes from all over the region met in Oulu to compete in 14 differents sports during the Barents Summer Games. See our slide show from the competitions.
People participating in culture-, sport and Barents cooperation projects can from October apply for visa to Norway without paying a single ruble, says Marit Egholm Jacobsen with the Norwegian Consulate General in Murmansk.