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Arctic Sovereignty Essay

1194 words - 5 pages

These articles have informed me of the issues concerning Canada's sovereignty in the Arctic. This

includes Canada's claim that the Northwest Passage is not an international strait. The five countries that

all want to claim a piece of the Arctic waters are: Canada, Denmark, Norway, Russia and the U.S.

These countries want the right to exploit the resources found under the ice. The sea ice will continue to

shrink due to global warming which will make resources on the ocean floor accessible. The Arctic is

believed to contain up to twenty five percent of the world's undiscovered resources including minerals,

oil and gas.

The U.S. and other countries such as Russia ...view middle of the document...


Premier, Eva Aariak believes that a hundred million dollar housing budget given to Nunavut will help

with Canada's sovereignty claims. The residents help confirm sovereignty because of the Inuit presence

for centuries in the Arctic.

Some analysts believe Canada does not have a strong position when it comes to claiming

sovereignty. This is because often the government has made plans for the Arctic before and not gone

through with them. Protection is a concern since submarines can not be detected under the ice. Also,

the sea ice melting due to global warming risks turning the Northwest Passage into a

commercial sea route.

Canada's claims to the Arctic include the ice being included as an extension of the land. Since the

Inuit use the ice to hunt and live on for large amounts of time. The Northwest Passage has only been

used eleven times by foreign countries which may fail the test for usage.

I learned that the sea ice could melt in thirty to seventy years and the Northwest Passage could be

open in the summer in as little as fifteen years. If the strait became a shipping route it would cut-off up

to five thousand kilometers off the route through the Panama canal. I already knew about the Exclusive

Economic Zone but I was not aware that the North Pole is an international zone. A countries boundaries

can be extended if the seabed can be proven to be apart of the country's continental shelf.

The section of the geography course that my topic relates to is the Exploration and Exploitation of

the North. There has always been an interest in exploring the possibilities of the arctic such as finding

the Northwest Passage to be used as a faster shipping route or the exploitation of Arctic resources.

Explorers desired to find gold or hunt for furs. The articles are mostly from a political perspective and

in Geography 2012b, we learned about the impact of drilling in the Arctic and the impact it has on the

people who live there and the environment. The articles do not address the impact but discuss the

problems that Canada faces in claiming sovereignty. The concern about Canada's sovereignty relates to

what we learned in the course when Canada relocated Inuit during and after World War II since

settlement helps demonstrate sovereignty. In one of the articles it states that Arctic sovereignty is

determined by the Inuit since they live there. The article also believes that the Inuit should be included

when determining sovereignty rights and the...

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