Colonization of the Poles was driven, as in most of the rest of the world, by the promise of reso ... Read more
Colonization of the Poles was driven, as in most of the rest of the world, by the promise of resources. Living resources have long been exploited at both Poles,1 but only in the North have law, politics and economics aligned to permit exploitation of non-living resources. Diversity amongst the Arctic states in climate, terrain, resource potential, population density, infrastructure and political economy means that no single pattern could describe accurately the entire region. This Chapter will provide only a cursory summary before focusing on the freedoms and constraints of international law on governance of non-renewable, non-living natural resources. It will then explain the history, current status and potential challenges to the sui generis regime in the Antarctic, according to which extractive industries are entirely prohibited. Although non-living resources is a broad term that could cover renewable energy and ice-harvesting, this Chapter concentrates on traditional extractive industries: mining and hydrocarbons.
On 13th October 2015, Iceland quietly submitted its instrument of accession to the Antarctic Trea ... Read more
On 13th October 2015, Iceland quietly submitted its instrument of accession to the Antarctic Treaty to the US Department of State (the depositary for the Antarctic Treaty). Iceland’s accession was not accompanied by any official declaration or public discussion in Iceland or elsewhere. This paper investigates some of the factors that are likely to have spurred the decision to join the Antarctic treaty system, examines current Icelandic interests in the Antarctic and proposes constructive policies to enhance Icelandic involvement in Antarctic governance and cooperation following the accession. The authors conclude that logistical operations and adventure tourism involving Icelandic companies in the Antarctic are the most likely triggers for the accession and they propose that Iceland consider ratification of the Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty (Madrid Protocol).