The Contribution of Space Technologies to Arctic Policy Priorities

yy The US National Security Presidential Directive/NSPD – 66 concerning an Arctic Region Policy references improvingmaritime and law enforcement by building capacity and capabilities. yy The report, Nordic Cooperation on Foreign and Security Policy , proposes the establishment of a Nordic resource network to defend the Nordic countries against cyber attacks. It also proposes a joint investigation unit should be established to coordinate the Nordic countries’ investigation of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes committed by persons residing in the Nordic countries. 4.4.3 Role of Satellite Systems COMMUNICATIONS SYSTEMS (Impact Medium) Reliable communications (e-mail and voice) are necessary between police headquarters and remote staff or travelers. The ability to monitor activities in remote sites and to disseminate notification of a safety or security incident or deterioration of security condition at any time is important. Also effective, mobile communications are required to coordinate emergency response, especially medical response and evacuation. 4.5 Search and Rescue 4.5.1 Overview Search and rescue (S&R) involves the search for and provision of aid to people, ships or other craft that are, or are feared to be, in distress or imminent danger. S&R operations involve the response to distress signals by air-, water- or land-based equipment and personnel. There are many ways that distress can be signalled. Among these, signals from ELT (Emergency Locator Transmitter), EPIRB (Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon) and PLB (Personal Location Beacon) devices can be relayed to authorities through the COSPASS-SARSAT system of satellites. In theArctic, the lengthof time forS&R responsemaybeprotracted because of the severe climate, great distances involved, and the relative shortage of personnel and equipment. 4.5.2 Policy S&R is mentioned in most nations’ Arctic policy documents, either as an area where action is intended to be taken, or as an interest in terms of contribution to a multilateral solution for the region. yy Canada’s Northern Strategy: Our North, Our Heritage, Our Future includes improving search and rescue capabilities for communities. yy The Kingdom of Denmark Strategy for the Arctic 2011–2020 references the objective of seeking opportunities for closer operational cooperation with other Arctic nations in the Arctic Ocean, including rescue at sea. yy The US National Security Presidential Directive/NSPD – 66 concerning an Arctic Region Policy proposes the development of an effective search and rescue regime in the region requiring multi-level cooperation by all relevant actors. yy The Iceland in the High North report states that contributing to the establishment of a collaborative Search and Rescue agreement for the Arctic is one of the policy objectives.

yy Sweden’s Strategy for the Arctic Region cites sea and air rescue as one of the priorities .

yy Russia’s Fundamentals of State Policy of the Russian Federation in the Arctic in the Period up to 2020 and Beyond policy also mentions creating a uniform Arctic search and rescue regime and prevention of manmade accidents as a policy priority. yy Since maritime trade routes are of critical importance to Germany, coordinated search and rescue activities in Arctic waters is a major objective of German Arctic policy. yy The report, Nordic Cooperation on Foreign and Security Policy , proposes the establishment of a Nordic maritime response force to patrol regularly in the Nordic seas, and have search and rescue as one of its main responsibilities (Stoltenberg, 2009). yy The aim of the Agreement on Cooperation on Aeronautical and Maritime Search and Rescue in the Arctic is overall improved search and rescue response through cooperation and coordination of appropriate assistance to those in distress due to small or large incidents. 4.5.3 Role of Satellite Systems COMMUNICATIONS SYSTEMS (Impact High) Ship distress and safety communications (mostly low bandwidth) involve the use of the Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS) - an integrated communications system using satellite and terrestrial radio communications to ensure that no matter where a ship is in distress, aid can be dispatched. The GMDSS was developed by the International Maritime Organization (IMO), the specialized agency of the United Nations with responsibility for ship safety and the prevention of marine pollution. Under the GMDSS, all passenger ships and all cargo ships over 300 gross tonnage on international voyages have to carry specified satellite and radio communications equipment, for sending and receiving distress alerts and maritime safety information, and for general communications. The regulations governing the GMDSS are contained in the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS), 1974, which has been ratified by 138 countries, covering 98.36 percent of the world merchant shipping fleet by tonnage. Weather forecasts are integral components of S&R during both planning and execution stages. S&R situations frequently arise during inclement weather, and as a consequence accurate weather information is required to assess which assets may be employedanddetermineoptimalwindowsof opportunity for rapid response, while ensuring the safety of search personnel. Weather and associated information (e.g., sea surface temperature) also feed into models predicting search areas and life expectancy. WEATHER SYSTEMS (Impact High)


Given the severe climatic conditions prevailing in the Arctic, and the potentially great distances between those in distress and

23 4. SAFETY

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