Co-Progressiveness of Arctic Governance and the Initiative of Polar Silk Road: From the Perspective of Normative Development

Prof. Baozhi Cheng1

1Shanghai Institutes for International Studies, Shanghai, China

Last October, the Agreement on the regulation of the IUU fishing in the Central Arctic Ocean reached by the Arctic 5+5 regime, which is, to some extent, a kind of innovative paradigm for the normative generation of Arctic governance. Also in 2017, the Polar Code promulgated by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and the Agreement on Enhancing International Arctic Scientific Cooperation within the ambit of the Arctic Council both entered into force. Thus how the newly emergent arctic norms interact with the existing international regulations and domestic laws of the Arctic States is a key point for further research. In short, the coherent development of a normative system is vital for the performance of Arctic governance itself.

The concept of “Polar Silk Road” (PSR) advocated by China and Russia through developing the Arctic shipping routes since 2017 is still under its initial stages and arouses some anxiety in Western media. The benign interactions between PSR framework and the current Arctic regimes are essential for its future development. In this regard, the relevant Stake-holders such as the Nordic/European Countries and Eastern Asian Nations could play a constructive role as reliable channels and partners through equal consultation and concrete cooperation.


Dr. CHENG Baozhi is Senior Fellow with Shanghai Institutes for International Studies (SIIS), one of the leading official think-tanks in China. His major study fields cover Arctic governance and international & European law. As a prominent Chinese scholar on polar policy and law, Dr. Cheng has been invited to present his views on Arctic governance and cooperation at international forums such as International Congress of Arctic Social Sciences (ICASS), Arctic Shipping Forum, Arctic Circle Assembly, and SIPRI Symposium on China-Nordic Arctic Cooperation, etc.He has also published extensively on Arctic governance and China’s involvement in Chinese leading academic journals and newspapers.

Conservation for Sustainable Development and Human Rights: An Analysis of the Establishment of Inuit Marine Protected Areas

Miss Mana Tugend1, Dr Dorothée Cambou2

1University of Akureyri, Akureyri, Iceland, 2University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland

International law has evolved and increasingly emphasizes the obligation of the state to protect the environment in accordance with the right of indigenous peoples. Hence, this analysis explores the relationship between the rights of indigenous peoples and the establishment of marine protected areas (MPAs). More particularly, it addresses this issue through the analyses of three case studies: the Tallurutiup Imanga National Marine Conservation Area (Lancaster Sound, Nunavut); the Imappivut Marine Plan (Labrador, Nunatsiavut); and the Management Plan in the Pikialasorsuaq polynya (shared between Canada and Greenland) which are established on traditional Inuit territory. This analysis examines the potential attached to the creation of these MPAs both for the protection of the environment, the achievement of sustainable development and for the fulfillment of the rights of the Inuit people. It also goes further by analyzing the possibilities to create a network of MPAs in the area. However, while the establishment of these MPAs sounds promising in theory and demonstrates a clear evolution with respect to conservation methods excluding indigenous peoples, the analysis also concludes that only the future will tell how efficient this development is in practice to ensure the protection of biodiversity together with the rights of indigenous peoples.


Mana Tugend is a Polar Law LL.M. Candidate at the University of Akureyri. She recently handed in her master’s thesis focusing on the rights of indigenous peoples and their implementation within the frameworks of marine protected areas with a specific emphasis on the Inuit people of Canada and Greenland. During her postgraduate studies, Mana participated in the Model Arctic Council in Rovaniemi, Finland. She has also studied at the Nord University in Bodø, Norway in 2017 and was a research assistant at the university of Helsinki, Finland for one semester in 2018.

Dr Dorothée Cambou’s biography

Dr. Dorothée Cambou is a post-doctoral researcher at the University of Helsinki, Faculty of Arts and member of Helsinki Institute of Sustainability Sciences. Currently, the main focus of her research lies in international law and human rights concerning more particularly the rights of local communities and indigenous peoples. She also has an expertise in the field of resource governance, business and human rights as well as Arctic studies. She is the co-editor of Society, Environment and Human Security in the Arctic Barents Region published by Routledge in 2018 and the special editor of the Yearbook of Polar Law, vol. 10 published by Brill-Nijhoff.

The Expanding Role of Arctic Council Observer States: Implementing Japanese Arctic Policy in this New Context

Mr. Romain Chuffart, Ms. Sakiko Hataya1, Dr. Osamu Inagaki, Ms. Lindsay Arthur

1Kobe University, Rokko-cho, Nada-ku, Kobe, Hyogo-ken, Japan


 The Arctic is a web of multilevel, multi-purpose relations, but there is a lack of cohesion between achieving sustainable development and working toward a more developed framework for Arctic  governance. Looking to the future, countries such as Japan willing to be involved in all parts of Arctic governance will have to make a choice about what kind of future Arctic relationships they want to create and in which of these relationships Japan could invest more. At present, it is intellectually challenging to both fulfill resource development goals while protecting  the global environment. This creative path to rethinking and investing in real sustainability could be one of the potential avenues through which Japan could make a difference in Arctic governance.  From 2015 to 2020, the Japanese government funded the Arctic Challenge for Sustainability (ArCS) project to play a role in shaping Arctic governance and rethink sustainability from a scientific perspective. As ArCS is coming to an end in 2020, and due to gradual AC changes, there is a need to reassess Japan’s involvement in order to fully realise its policy and strengthen Japan’s engagement in the AC in the post-ArCS phase.

 The cornerstone of Japanese Arctic involvement is the 2015 Japanese Arctic Policy (JAP). Announced at the third Arctic Circle Assembly in Reykjavik by then-Ambassador for Arctic Affairs, Kazuko Shiraishi,[1] JAP is a comprehensive statement of Japan’s fundamental policy outlook towards the Arctic with a strong emphasis on international cooperation. Covering scientific research, environmental protection, fishing and natural resource exploitation, JAP provides specific initiatives to carry Japan’s engagement forward and to play a normative role in the Arctic. Although JAP was produced by Japan’s Headquarters for Ocean Policy,[2] there are no cross-ministerial, unified organizations dealing with Arctic issues.[3] Japan’s Arctic stakeholders include MEXT, MoFA, MLIT, JAMSTEC, JOGMEC, NIPR, OPRF[4] and each work with different agendas and goals within the domestic political landscape. Universities also play a vital role in framing Arctic research. From Hokkaido to Tokyo to Kobe, research centres have put their resources to be at the forefront of Arctic research.  One of JAP’s specific initiatives is to establish a research network and promote better cohesion between all these stakeholders (1. Research and Development).

According to JAP, Japan needs to be involved appropriately in formulating international agreements and rules regarding the Arctic. Japan has been implementing polar legal frameworks which have been adopted both inside and outside of the AC. Japan’s engagement with the Polar Code began in 2009 by participating in the drafting of the “Guidelines for Ships Operating in Polar Waters”, when the MLIT started sending delegates to the IMO committee about the Polar Code. In 2010, Japan joined the Correspondence Group, which modified the plan from the Working Group. Now, MLIT is preparing to implement the Polar Code domestically. Japan also engaged as an Observer during the negotiation of the AC Scientific Cooperation Agreement. It submitted a written statement at the Scientific Cooperation Task Force (SCTF) Arlington March 2016 meeting. Observers were also allowed to express their views at the SCTF Ottawa July 2016 meeting, and as a result there have been important improvements made in the relevant texts.[5]  In an attempt to implement soft legal instruments, Japan introduced a National Report[6] based on the AC Framework for Action on Black Carbon and Methane after it was accepted. The recent 2018 Central Arctic Ocean Fisheries Agreement and A5+5 negotiation process also demonstrated how Japan can play a pivotal role in Arctic governance through multilateral agreements.[7] From this perspective, it is important for Japan to put its scientific knowledge and capacity to use in order to make further contributions to the activities of the AC. A central theme of this paper  is to specifically highlight further opportunities for Japan to engage as an AC Observer State from 2020-2025 and find avenues of engagement beyond Arctic Science, such as supporting the work of AC Permanent Participants.

In this context, it is imperative to set well-defined objectives for the post-ArCs phase and beyond to better inform and reflect Japanese Arctic engagement through achieving sustainability in Arctic governance. The Post-ArCS (2020-2025) phase could focus more on international legal studies to ensure that scientific output is reflected in decision-making and policies at both Arctic and international levels. A Post-ArCS multi-disciplinary (natural sciences, social sciences, as well as legal and political studies) approach will allow for increased and better cohesion between all of the Japanese stakeholders. Comparing Japan with the actions of other AC Observer States, this article aims to 1) highlight Japan’s positive impact as an Observer State; and, 2)  examine how well Japan has implemented its policy since 2015; and, 3) assess future Japanese involvement in Arctic governance in the post-ArCs phase. As a final conclusion, this paper aims to produce a roadmap for the post-ArCs phase with clearly defined research themes addressing the current gaps in the implementation of JAP that could be integrated into the broader context of Japan’s Arctic engagement going forward.


Romain Chuffart is a DurhamARCTIC PhD student in law, Durham Law School, Durham University (UK)
Sakiko Hataya
is a PhD student in law, Kobe University (Japan), and a research fellow of the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science
Osamu Inagaki
is researcher at Polar Cooperation Research Centre (PCRC), Graduate School of International Cooperation Studies (GSICS), Kobe University (Japan)
Lindsay Arthur
is an Arctic Specialist at the Icelandic Ministry of Education, Science and Culture; and an MA candidate in Polar Law, University of Akureyri (Iceland)

Fish going North: new routes, new trade, new disease in the Arctic

Ms Alexandra Carleton1

1NA, Sydney, Australia

This presentation addresses the development of maritime emerging pathogeneses in the Arctic, particularly in relation to fish and fisheries and possibly the use of the SPS protocol in formulating further Arctic law. Research shows as the waters at the northern latitudes warm, fish migrate further north carrying with them new pathogens. As access to the High North increases, industry, aquaculture and tourism may add a potential pollution burden through waste, ballast and infrastructure. Terrestrial research in the Arctic has shown that  emerging pathogeneses in the High North, through species translocation and increased human activity, occur as warming temperature increases access to fragile and previously remote areas, altering the species dynamic and testing the resilience of local species. Impacts on marine life and wild fish stocks are yet to be fully understood. Understanding translocated and emerging pathogeneses in the Arctic is important not simply from a health and disease perspective but also because disease in livelihood products will effect local Arctic and sub-Arctic peoples. Both the local livelihood dimension and the inherent value of our endemic fauna needs to be remembered in any formulation of law and policy research in the Arctic.


I am a current candidate for the DVM (Doctor of Veterinary Medicine) at the University of Sydney, Australia and currently completing a research project pathogenic outbreak among equines. I have written on emerging disease in Arctic fauna and in 2017 presented at the Polar Law Symposium on the development of surveillance of emerging pathogens in the Arctic. My interest in the Polar Regions was cemented after spending 2013 in Longyearbyen, Svalbard. Formerly, I was a lawyer in Sydney and London working on international aspects of dispute resolution and completing research into natural resources governance and constitutionality at Cambridge University.

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