Arctic Yearbook 2015 - Page 265

265 Arctic Yearbook 2015 This said, arguments put forward in recent debates on Arctic governance by Arctic and non-Arctic states alike frequently revolve around what will be called here ‘commonality’. The word ‘commonality’ is used as a generic term to capture diverse terms and expressions that seem intended to frame a ‘common Arctic’ in some way or another. The precise meaning of these references to commonality varies significantly depending on the context and the perspective in which they are expressed. States’ invocations, or even incantations of commonality regarding the Arctic, in particular if they are expressly linked to environmental concerns, must be considered in this apparently contradictory context. The new interest in the Arctic and the related question of the future of Arctic governance has drawn considerable attention in recent years. Much of the discussion focuses on the question of who are the legitimate players in Arctic governance. Beyond doubt, the states located in the Arctic are entitled to play an active role and they have done so, both individually and collectively. After the end of the Cold War, Arctic cooperation first concentrated on environmental issues under the Arctic Environmental Protection Strategy (Declaration on the Protection of Arctic Environment, 1991). Since the creation of the Arctic Council in 1996, Arctic coop