North Pacific Scientists, Policymakers Focus on the Arctic

by Charles E. Morrison

East-West Wire

Publisher: Honolulu, HI: East-West Center
Publication Date: 12 April 2018
Binding: electronic
Pages: 2
Free Download: PDF


Among nations of the North Pacific, three important developments have spurred growing interest in the Arctic. The first is global warming, opening up the prospect of shorter shipping routes between Asia and Europe but also exacerbating concerns about the effects of climate change on fragile Arctic environments. The second is rapid economic growth, triggering a huge increase in energy needs that might be met by Arctic resources. The third is new technologies in ship design and in exploration, drilling, and mining equipment, stoking hopes to unlock Arctic sea routes and exploit the region’s untapped energy resources.

In 2011, the East-West Center and the Korea Maritime Institute initiated the annual North Pacific Arctic Conference (NPAC), bringing together scientists, policymakers, and community leaders from six North Pacific countries along with other stakeholders in the Arctic region. Annual conferences have focused on key issues that are of special interest to North Pacific countries—shipping, natural resources, environmental and community sustainability, and Arctic governance.