The Contribution of Space Technologies to Arctic Policy Priorities

standards, related to persistent organic pollutants as a policy objective.

accumulate in the fatty tissue of humans and wildlife, and have adverse effects on the environment.

yy Norway’s New Building Blocks in the North report cites as a priority plans to prepare for the melting of sea ice and the consequent increase in maritime traffic and fossil fuel extraction by establishing an integrated monitoring and notification system, further developing the Coastal Administration’s maritime safety expertise, and strengthening oil spill response. The white paper The High North – vision and means has a focus on climate change, endangered species (connected to climate change), pollution and the transport of pollution from other parts of the world into the Arctic. Cooperation with Russia on monitoring and increasing safety concerning nuclear reactors and nuclear waste is also cited as being important. yy The Iceland in the High North report states that transportation of oil and gas through Icelandic waters must be closely monitored and provisions made to protect the marine environment and spawning grounds of fish stocks. yy One of the objectives of Finland’s Strategy for the Arctic Region is to monitor long-range pollution since risk of pollution must be minimized. yy The Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment of the North-East Atlantic (OSPAR) policy is aimed at reducing harmful substances that are toxic or have other noxious properties affecting living organisms including humans. The policy is concerned with the prevention and elimination of pollution and the protection of the OSPAR maritime area against the adverse effects of human activities so as to safeguard human health and to conserve marine ecosystems and, when practicable, restore marine areas which have been adversely affected. The policy also addresses the reduction of the impact on the environment of pollution from land-based sources, pollution by dumping from ships and incineration; pollution from offshore sources and pollution from other sources. Measures to cover non-polluting human activities that can adversely affect the marine environment are contained in the annex on biodiversity and ecosystems of 1998. yy The Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment of the Baltic Sea Area aims at reducing harmful substances that are toxic or have other noxious properties affecting living organisms including humans. The policy is focussed on the reduction of the impact on the environment of: harmful substances; pollution from land-based sources; pollution from ships; pollution, noise, hydrodynamic effects and waste from pleasure crafts; incineration at sea; dumping from ships; and exploration and exploitation of the seabed and its subsoil. The policy also promotes the exchange of information on pollution incidents and co-operation in combating marine pollution. yy The Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants policywill lead to the increasedprotection of the environment from chemicals that remain intact in the environment for long periods, become widely distributed geographically,

yy The MARPOL Convention is the main international convention covering prevention of pollution of the marine environment by ships from operational or accidental causes. All ships flagged under countries that are signatories to MARPOL are subject to its requirements, regardless of where they sail, and member nations are responsible for vessels registered under their respective nationalities. yy Article 234 of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) allows Arctic states to adopt and enforce non-discriminatory laws and regulations for the prevention, reduction, and control of marine pollution from vessels operating in ice-covered waters within their EEZ. yy The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples proposes that States take effective measures to ensure that no storage or disposal of hazardous materials takes place in the lands or territories of indigenous peoples without their free, prior and informed consent. It also proposes that States take effective measures to ensure that programs for monitoring, maintaining, and restoring the health of indigenous peoples are implemented. yy The Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and Their Disposal calls for increased protection of the environment against the adverse effects of hazardous and other wastes which may result from the generation and management of these. It also identifies the need to be able to monitor effects and extent of hazardous and other wastes on the environment. 5.1.3 Role of Satellite Systems NAVIGATION SYSTEMS (Impact Low) GNSS has a role to play in the reduction of pollution from marine and air transportation. Since navigation with the use of GNSS is much more accurate, routing is more efficient and aircraft and vessels consume less fuel and release fewer pollutants into the atmosphere. There are a number of important applications of earth observation related to pollution in the Arctic region. For example, there is growing concern about the increased potential for oil spills in the shipping routes, as traffic increases and offshore oil reserves are eventually tapped. Radar EO is particularly suitable for oil spill detection and monitoring. Multispectral EO technologies are useful for monitoring vegetation stress, algal blooms and variations in water sediment loads that may result from pollution of land and water from mineral extraction, industrial activities and increased human habitation close to water bodies. EO is also applicable to monitoring specific sites of known impact (e.g., deposition of mine tailings), detecting changes over time (e.g., changes in vegetation cover as a result of industrial activities), studying transboundary pollution, and assessing compliance with regulatory requirements (e.g., discharge of pollutants from offshore structures). EARTH OBSERVATION SYSTEMS (Impact High)


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