The Contribution of Space Technologies to Arctic Policy Priorities

their region and therefore demonstrate their sovereignty over that region. 7.4.2 Policy While a presence in the Arctic is an important means of demonstrating sovereignty over the region, this policy objective is explicit in only a few of the Arctic policy documents. yy Canada’s Northern Strategy: Our North, Our Heritage, Our Future emphasizes the importance of strengthening Canada’s presence in the Arctic by, for example: exerting rights based on the historical presence of the Inuit; strengthening military presence and control in the Arctic through the establishment of an Army Training Centre and the construction of an icebreaker; and construction of a new world-class Arctic research centre. yy The US National Security Presidential Directive/NSPD – 66 concerning an Arctic Region Policy refers to heightened human activity in the Arctic, and the necessity of asserting a more active and influential presence in the region to protect US interests. yy Norway’s New Building Blocks in the North discusses the importance of the presence in the High North of Norwegian Air and Sea forces. It underlines that this presence must be permanent, consequent and predictable. 7.4.3 Role of Satellite Systems COMMUNICATIONS SYSTEMS (Impact High) As of 2010, almost four million people live in the Arctic and they include indigenous people, immigrants, hunters, herders and urban dwellers (ArticCOM Consortium, 2011). Arctic communities are similar to the south, whereby a significant population tends to be concentrated in core areas with good terrestrial systems; however, the Arctic has proportionately more remote villages that have poor communication systems. The key application utilized in the northern communities are backhaul systems, broadband services, broadcasting (TV), voice and low data rate communications and tracking and monitoring. Satellite systems currently provide sufficient supply below 75 ° N to meet basic connectivity needs; however they are not fully sufficient for Internet access. Supply is also currently sufficient above 75 ° N, mostly because there are few settlements in this area and they require only voice or LDR communications for security reasons. However, this will change as new businesses and commercial activities push further north and demand increases for education and health/wellness applications. (ArticCOM Consortium, 2011)

an unprecedented combination of rapid and stressful changes involving both environmental forces like climate change and socioeconomic pressures associated with globalization.” Under the circumstances, it is particularly noteworthy that the “… Arctic has become a leader in the development of innovative political and legal arrangements, including co-management regimes governing the use of natural resources, collaborative arrangements designed to facilitate cooperation between public governments and indigenous peoples organizations, and transnational arrangements like the Northern Forum and the Arctic Council itself.” 8.1 Traditional Livelihoods, Culture and Rights 8.1.1 Overview Recognition through international law of indigenous rights has provided the foundation for Arctic indigenous groups to lobby for greater political autonomy and economic recognition, while at the same time allowing them to protect their traditional livelihoods (including fishing, hunting and reindeer herding). As the Arctic frontier moves further north and economic development gains momentum, large expanses of land may be converted to uses for transportation, forestry, mining and oil production, and could be destroyed by irresponsible environmental management. In this capacity, the International Labour Organizations’ Convention 169 and the UN’s Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples have been critical in strengthening indigenous peoples self-determination, political autonomy, and voice in economic activity decisions. A number of regional organizations have played an important role in promoting indigenous rights, including the Arctic Council and its Sustainable Development Working Group, as well as its Indigenous Peoples Secretariat. The role of the Council’s Permanent Participants and the development of their own strategies cannot be understated. Furthermore, scientific organizations like the International Arctic Science committee and International Arctic Social Science committee have added significant contributions to the understanding of environmental and social impacts on northern communities. 8.1.2 Policy The majority of the Arctic states have policies in place that focus on maintaining traditional livelihoods, protecting cultural heritage and ensuring healthy and safe northern communities. Below is a summary of some the key themes: yy Finland’s Strategy for the Arctic Region: Launched in June 2010, the Strategy states that “Finland continues to work for the rights of the indigenous people.” The strategy has the following objectives: to ensure indigenous peoples participation when dealing with their affairs; to safeguard the funding needed for their efficient participation; and to strengthen the status of the Barents Region’s indigenous peoples within the work of the Arctic Council (AC) and Barents Euro-Arctic Council (BEAC) (Heininen, 2011). yy Iceland in the High North: Published in 2009, this report presents six key goals, with the fifth focused on people and cultures with unique cultural heritages. Arctic communities possess unique cultural heritages which should be


The values, beliefs and social development of the indigenous population have always been a primary concern for Arctic nations. As noted by the Arctic Council’s Arctic Human Development Report (2004) , “Arctic societies have a well-deserved reputation for resilience in the face of change. But today they are facing


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