The Contribution of Space Technologies to Arctic Policy Priorities

in setting maximum outer seabed limits, and amending the Arctic Waters Pollution Act to extend its coverage to 200 nautical miles. Other priorities include extending Canada’s national boundaries to the North Pole and increasing military/law enforcement presence and capabilities in the north (including satellite monitoring). yy The Canadian Arctic Foreign Policy includes policy objectives of resolving boundary issues in the Arctic region, in accordance with international law and securing international recognition for the full extent of our extended continental shelf wherein Canada can exercise its sovereign rights over the resources of the seabed and subsoil. yy The Kingdom of Denmark Strategy for the Arctic 2011–2020 refers to the central role of the Danish Armed Forces in enforcement of sovereignty in Denmark, Greenland and the Faroe Islands, which is exercised through a visible presence in the Arctic region where surveillance is critical (Governments of Denmark, Greenland and Faroe Islands, 2011). It also references the ongoing dispute with Canada regarding the sovereignty of Hans Island. yy The Iceland in the High North report notes that sovereignty is an issue. Iceland disputes the Norwegian interpretation of Norway’s sovereignty of Svalbard. yy Norway’s New Building Blocks in the North report emphasizes the importance of cooperation with Russia, and it has numerous, ambitious and concrete objectives in this regard. These objectives have been furthered by agreement on where to draw an offshore boundary line in the Barents Sea, which was reached between the two countries in September 2010 (Heininen, 2011). The main sovereignty goals are to have enough information and knowledge about human, biological, and geological activities to be able to manage the oceans well. yy The Arctic policy of Russia, Fundamentals of State Policy of the Russian Federation in the Arctic in the Period up to 2020 and Beyond , includes the policy of maritime delimitation in accordance with international law. yy The US National Security Presidential Directive/NSPD – 66 concerning an Arctic Region Policy encourages the Senate to act favorably on US accession to UNCLOS to secure US sovereign rights over extensive marine areas, including the valuable natural resources they contain. The policy claims that the US and Canada have an unresolved boundary dispute in the Beaufort Sea. These policies are intended to be implemented through legal actions for extending the US continental shelf, consideration of the natural environment and fragile marine ecosystem in the process of extension, and encouragement of Russia to ratify its maritime boundary agreement. It also reaffirms the US recognition of the Northwest Passage as an international strait and defends the importance of the Northwest Passage being recognized by international law as an international strait. (Heininen, 2011).

UNCLOS and other relevant processes to further the objectives of safe transportation, access to resources and environmental protection. yy Although it has no territorial claims in the Arctic, China has shown support for the legal process of Arctic states extending their continental shelf through UNCLOS. Their Arctic interests include making sure the Northwest Passage and the Northern Sea Route remain open for international navigation and increased international collaboration, which is currently most pronounced with Norway, Denmark, and Russia. yy The C169 Indigenous and Tribal Peoples Convention, 1989 – ILO169 has national border implications. Since many indigenous peoples have been involuntarily divided or separated by state borders that run across their territories, contact between members of their people divided by the border (e.g. the Sami people) has been hampered. Governments are obligated under the Convention to take appropriate measures, such as by means of international agreements, to facilitate contacts and co-operation between indigenous and tribal peoples across borders, including activities in the economic, social, cultural, spiritual and environmental fields. 7.1.3 Role of Satellite Systems NAVIGATION SYSTEMS (High Impact) Article 76 of UNCLOS requires nations to determine the shape of the seabed, depth of seafloor and thickness of the underlying sedimentary layer (DFAIT, 2011). These measurements result in two limits: the formula line , obtained by the application of distance formulae outlined in Article 76, and the constraining line , defining the maximum extent of the outer limit. The starting point for the formula line is the ‘foot of the continental slope (FOS)’, defined as the point of maximum change in the gradient at its base. The location of this line can be found from two formulae: a) a distance of 60 nautical miles from the FOS, or b) the distance to a point where the thickness of the sedimentary layer is at least 1% of the distance to the FOS. In constructing the combined formula line, a coastal state may apply that formula which is most advantageous to its case. The constraining line is defined as the most seaward of a line 350 nautical miles from the baselines of the coastal state, or a line 100 nautical miles seaward of the 2,500 m depth contour. To construct the final outer limit, a coastal state must choose at each point the most landward of the constraining and the formula lines. The determination of these parameters is only possible with the aid of Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS), which are used to determine the positions of the equipment used in the measurement of the shape of the seabed, depth of seafloor and thickness of the underlying sedimentary layer.


Gravity science satellite missions are applicable to boundary measurements due to their contribution to the definition of the geoid. The geoid is an approximate mathematical figure of the earth determined from precise gravity measurements. The accuracy of the geoid affects the accuracy of GNSS positioning,

yy Although Germany has no national borders in the Arctic it encourages the settlement of territorial disputes through


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