The Contribution of Space Technologies to Arctic Policy Priorities

yy Arctic Policy of France , in response to the increased accessibility of the Arctic as a result of a decreasing ice cover, actively promotes regulating use of the Arctic Ocean by means of an international treaty. Focal points of special interest include French business interests in the Arctic (e.g. fishing, shipping, oil/gas). yy The European Union Strategy for the Arctic Region’s key policy objective is promoting the sustainable development of resources, noting that the exploitation of resources should be done with full respect of environmental standards and the rights of local communities while respecting the vulnerability of the Arctic region. Particular emphasis is on the areas of hydrocarbons, fisheries and tourism. yy The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) , brought into force in 1975, notes that international wildlife trade is estimated to be worth billions of dollars and includes hundreds of millions of plant and animal specimens. CITES’ objective is to subject international trade in specimens of selected species to certain controls and standards. In particular, all import, export, re- export and introduction from the sea of species covered by the Convention has to be authorized through a licensing system. yy The United Nations Convention of the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) addresses a number of provisions with respect to economic rights. Article 193: States have the sovereign right to exploit their natural resources (living and non- living) pursuant to their environmental policies. It regulates payments and contributions with respect to the exploitation of the continental shelf beyond 200 M. yy The United Nations Declaration of the Rights of the Indigenous People promotes the right of indigenous people to pursue their own economic development. The Declaration also establishes the need to consult with indigenous peoples before exploration or exploitation of natural resources is undertaken, including water. yy C169 Indigenous and Tribal Peoples Conventions 1989 indicates that handicrafts, rural and community-based industries, and subsistence economy and traditional activities of the peoples concerned are to be promoted and strengthened. The policy promotes effective protection with regard to recruitment and conditions of employment of these peoples. It also establishes the need to consult with indigenous peoples before exploration or exploitation of natural resources happens on their land and that they participate in the benefits of such activities or receive compensation for the damages resulting from them. yy The Convention on Biological Diversity notes that states have sovereignty over their own genetic resources and are entitled to the “fair and equitable sharing of the benefits” that these resources provide. The value of biodiversity should be quantified and internalized into market prices, and perverse government-financed incentives that accelerate the loss of biodiversity need to be addressed. It also recognizes that ecotourism is a very fast growing industry and needs to be wisely managed so it has the potential to reconcile economic

and environmental concerns and give a practical meaning to sustainable development. 6.1.3 Role of Satellite Systems COMMUNICATIONS SYSTEMS (Impact High) A prerequisite for the increase in economic development activity in the Arctic is the availability of a means of communication. Most of the Arctic is covered by ocean and ice, there are large distances and there is little ground infrastructure that allows coverage of shore-based communication systems. Moreover, geostationary communication systems have poor or no coverage over large parts of the Arctic. Hence, there is a concern that lack of communication will be an obstacle to future activities in the region (ArticCOM Consortium, 2011). However, it should be noted that most of the future communications demand is expected to come from regions below 75 0 N and thus be addressable by GEO satellites. Demand for satellite capacity in the GEO- reachable part of the European Arctic regions is forecasted to grow at 26% from 110 Mbps in 2010 to 1 Gbps by 2020. (Page 45, ArticCOM Consortium, 2011). Operational activities, such as off-shore drilling and fishing, need reliable and timely information about the weather patterns and they rely heavily on global networks of dedicated meteorological satellites (e.g., METEOSAT, NOAA, Meteor, TIROS, and Fengyun). An ongoing understanding of weather patterns is important to effectively managing Arctic activities ranging from commercial shipping and fishing, to the exploitation of natural resources and energy, and the continuity of the traditional indigenous ways of life. GNSS provide the critical positioning, navigation and timing services that are essential for Arctic operations, including development of resources, movement of people and goods under extreme conditions, and voice and data communications. Applications critical to resource development include: position determination for the collection of geological and geophysical data and the production of mineral exploration mapping; positioning of oil and gas andmining lease sites; navigation todevelopment sites and between those sites and shipping terminals; measurement of ore extraction from open pit mines, etc. Modern earth observation sensors satisfy a wide range of monitoring and mapping applications. Capabilities of particular relevance to resource development activities in the Arctic include the mapping and characterization of snow and ice cover (land and sea ice), the assessment of land stability within permafrost regimes and the description of land cover and land changes, often within the context of climate change. 6.2 Infrastructure 6.2.1 Overview In order to realize economic development activities in the Arctic, major infrastructure developments are required. Energy network NAVIGATION SYSTEMS (Impact High) EARTH OBSERVATION SYSTEMS (Impact High) WEATHER SYSTEMS (Impact Medium)


Made with FlippingBook - professional solution for displaying marketing and sales documents online