Arctic Yearbook 2014 - Page 13

13 Arctic Yearbook 2014 Three articles look at tourism in the Arctic. The first, by Kristjánsdóttir, looks at sustainability practices using case studies from northern Sweden. The second is a product of collaboration between members of the University of the Arctic Thematic Network on Northern Tourism. It focuses on the realities and possibilities of tourism in the Arctic with an ambitious, fully circumpolar outlook. Finally, the contribution by Tommasini examines the varied experiences with tourism in three Greenlandic communities: Ukkusissat, Narasq and Qaanaaq. The section is rounded out by two articles examining the challenges of balancing environmental sustainability and economic interests. Sojka examines the gaps in management capacity needed to fulfill governance responsibilities in Canada’s integrated oceans management framework. Meanwhile Sarkki, Latola, Jokinen and Stepien introduce the concept of ‘socio-natural’ capital, or the ability of institutions and people to use natural capital in sustainable ways. They illustrate their conceptualisations with the example of reindeer herding and other land use in Fennoscandia. Geopolitics & Security Geopolitical factors are top-of-mind in the Arctic region, and a main preoccupation of the Arctic Yearbook itself. Coming on the heels of growing non-Arctic interest and engagement in the region, Bailes examines the United Kingdom’s 2013 Arctic Policy, the latest in a series of non-Arctic, or as some prefer, near-Arctic, national policy documents (see Heininen in Arctic Yearbook 2012). Coming from a national defence perspective, Rahbek-Clemmensen introduces the concept of ‘Arctic-vism’ for Danish political-military planners who are seeking to balance between a deterrence strategy for Greenland, continued cooperation in the region, and sustaining good relations between Greenland and Denmark. While Russian military build-ups in the Arctic continue to capture global attention, Padrtová argues that the Kremlin’s repeated announcements on increasing its military capabilities in the Arctic should be seen as misleading and financially impossible to materialize for the Russian Federation. It’s more about rhetoric and balancing power in international relations; a primary and recurring preoccupation in Arctic politics in 2014. From that perspective – and considering that military rhetoric and misperceptions of state intentions is not unique to Russia – Schaller suggests that there is a need for confidence-building measures in the Arctic to maintain long-term stability. In his view, policymakers could take a closer look at the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe as an inspiration for the Arctic states. Commentaries and Briefing Notes In addition to scholarly articles, the Arctic Yearbook 2014 boasts a collection of short commentaries from the region’s top thought-influencers, policy developers, and experts. These document many of the innovations, issues and developments which dominated discussion on the Arctic region in 2014: the Olympic Flame making its way to the North Pole, drones in the Northwest Passage, and continuing Polar Code negotiations for Arctic shipping; growing mining activities to controversies around food in/security in Canada; the role of the EU, Russian cross-border relations and Chinese Nordic interests; the impacts of the Ukraine crisis on Barents cooperation; and new challenges for the Arctic Council. Introduction