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The Arctic Ocean is surrounded by Canada, Denmark (Greenland), Norway (Spitsbergen), Russia and the United States (Alaska). Finland, Iceland and Sweden along with indigenous people also are direct stakeholders.
The Arctic Ocean has long been ice-covered, but now the ice is melting rapidly, bringing opportunities for navigation and natural resource development as well as unique challenges for protection of the Arctic environment and biodiversity. Much of the policy and legal guidance is found in the 1982 U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea which governs all the world’s oceans.
The Conference on “Changes in the Arctic Environment and the Law of the Sea” held in May, 2009 in Seward, Alaska attracted foremost experts on existing claims, political context, scientific background, marine transport, passage routes, environment and biodiversity, living resources, continental shelf delimitation, offshore petroleum and the status of Spitsbergen.
The volume contains Internet resources for pertinent documents as well as links for Power Points presented at the Conference. The book is based on the 33rd Annual Conference of the Center for Oceans Law and Policy, a primary sponsor along with the Law of the Sea Institute of Iceland as well as with the U.S. Arctic Commission, the University of Alaska (Fairbanks) and the Law of the Sea Institute, Law School (Boalt Hall), University of California, Berkeley.