Arctic Yearbook 2015 - Page 396

396 Arctic Yearbook 2015 in graphics and illustrative material, and is free to download, providing a valuable source for teaching and learning about the major trends in human development over the past decade in the North. In a more indirect, long-term sense, AHDR-II will hopefully play a role in shaping policy, as today’s students become tomorrow’s decision- and policy-makers. To develop policies and practices that will reduce vulnerabilities of northern residents in these times of rapid change and increased uncertainly, an understanding of trends in Arctic human development becomes a valuable tool. In terms of directly addressing policy-makers, AHDR-II, like its predecessor, distills major findings and key policy-relevant conclusions, summarizes critical gaps in knowledge, and recommends priority activities that should be considered for follow-up work (AHDR-II 2014: 21-27; see also Larsen & Fondahl 2015). In doing so, the report provides a potential roadmap for the SDWG’s consideration – a function the SDWG has recognized and anticipated. More broadly, in providing an assessment of key challenges to human development and identifying potential opportunities, the report will hopefully inform Arctic governance, both formal and informal, at all scales. While informed decision-making and governance requires comprehensive and current information, of special note to the Arctic Yearbook 2015 are the conclusions related specifically to the topic of ‘governance’ in the Arctic. ADHR-II attests that “recent institutional changes in the North have increased the local control and ownership of northern resources in some parts of the Arctic” and “an increasing trend of legitimate participation in Arctic decision-making and continued innovation in governance can be observed at all scales” (AHDR-II 2014: 23, 22). It notes, however, that increasing participation, and expanding demands for such, seriously stretch both human and fiscal resources, at all scales, perhaps especially among indigenous peoples. The report identifies the need to resolve such challenges. AHDR-II also identifies the need for improved knowledge on what institutions and institutional arrangements, formal and informal, will contribute to improving the human condition in the Arctic (25). The report has been criticized for paying inadequate attention to the contested nature of governance processes and giving inadequate consideration of the role of non-state players such as energy companies in Arctic governance (Klick 2015). Certainly, such relations could be described and analyzed in greater detail, although the editors had to balance considerations of length against allinclusive discussions. The road to the AHDR-II’s production was not without potholes. While the project was initially endorsed by the SDWG, the report did not receive its endorsement. During the SDWG review process, SDWG member states and Permanent Participants made numerous requests for changes to the text of various chapters (most notably the Legal Systems and Governance chapters), most to which the authors agreed. However, in a few cases, the requested changes in wording would have significantly altered the meaning in a way to which authors did not consent. This ultimately caused the SDWG members to fail to reach consensus on endorsing the report. A fundamental benefit resulting from this tension, however, was the identification of the need, at the outset of projects, for clearer understandings by all players regarding the level of academic freedom versus control over texts that a Working Group may exercise over reports, and what constitutes an internal versus external product. Arctic Human Development Report II