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Polar Law Textbook II

image of Polar Law Textbook II

”Developments in the Arctic and Antarctica continue to be the subject of growing public interest and academic, political, scientific, and media discourse. The global magnitude of the changes that are currently taking place in the Polar Regions, also influence legal developments. Furthermore, the growing importance of both the Arctic and the Antarctica in various areas of global, regional, national and sub-national development requires further inquiry into the role of law in dealing with many of the current and emerging issues relevant to both Poles. Although law is not a panacea for all issues, it has its own role to play in dealing with many of them.”A broad overview of Polar law issues was presented in the pioneering Polar Law Textbook, N. Loukacheva ed. Copenhagen: Nordic Council of Ministers, Tema Nord 538: 2010 (www.norden.org).This textbook represents the outcome of a cooperative process between an international group of well-known experts in the area of Polar law and related studies. Polar Law Textbook II further draws upon Polar law as an evolving and developing field of studies which is gaining increasing recognition and intersects with many other areas in the social sciences and humanities. It explores a variety of legal issues in the Arctic and Antarctica (i.e., questions of human rights law, environmental law, law of the sea, continental shelf, climate change, energy law, resources, indigenous peoples’ rights, etc.,) but also covers the relevant aspects of geopolitics, security, governance, search and rescue, biodiversity, devolution, institutions (e.g., the Arctic Council) and political developments.

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Arctic Biodiversity and Marine Wildlife

The subject-matter of Arctic biodiversity is an issue of great concern. In 2008 the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) passed a resolution expressing “extreme concern” over the impacts of climate change and other multiple stressors on Arctic indigenous peoples, other communities, and biodiversity. The Arctic Biodiversity Selected Indicators of Change 2010 report provides evidence that some of those anticipated impacts on Arctic biodiversity are already occurring. Although climate change is a pervasive stressor, negative effects on Arctic biodiversity can also be observed deriving from long range transport of contaminants, harvesting of wild species, and resource development.

English

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