Thursday, October 17th 2013 - 19:49 UTC

UK sets out its Arctic policy with “legitimate interests in the region” and priorities

The United Kingdom government set out its approach and policy on the Arctic in a paper released on Thursday and titled: Arctic Policy Framework - Adapting To Change: UK policy towards the Arctic.

Foreign Office Minister Simmonds: “the Arctic is one of the most dynamic and influential regions of the world”

The document sets out how the UK will continue to support and respect the sovereign rights of the Arctic States; the peoples who live and work in the Arctic; and the unique and fragile natural environment. At the same time it outlines the UK’s legitimate interests in the region, our priorities for practical action and our willingness to show leadership in appropriate areas.

Foreign Office Minister Mark Simmonds said that “the Arctic is one of the most dynamic and influential regions of the world, despite its remoteness from large population centres and its often challenging geographical and climatic conditions. It is on the frontier of global climate change impacts”

He added that the paper “Adapting To Change: UK policy towards the Arctic” sets out for the first time the detail of the UK’s interests in the Arctic ”how we will work with Arctic States and the wider international community, and what expertise the UK can offer to help meet some of the long-term challenges facing the region.”

Likewise Science and Universities Minister David Willetts pointed out that “understanding what is driving the rapid changes affecting the Arctic environment is an urgent scientific challenge; the impact of these changes are of global significance”.

“As set out in this new framework, the UK will promote greater understanding of the Arctic through international scientific collaboration and will promote policy development on the basis of sound evidence. Co-operation, respect and appropriate leadership will be central to the UK’s approach when working with the Arctic states.”

The publication of ‘Adapting To Change: UK policy towards the Arctic’ follows the UK government’s response to the Environmental Audit Committee’s report into Protecting the Arctic, which was published in January 2013.

Countries with an interest in the Arctic have come together in the Arctic Council which is a high level intergovernmental forum that addresses issues faced by the member countries and the indigenous people of the Arctic.

It has eight member countries: Canada, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Russia, Sweden, and the United States. Six international organisations representing Arctic Indigenous Peoples have permanent participant status. The first step towards the formation of the Council occurred in 1991 when the eight Arctic countries signed the Arctic Environmental Protection Strategy (AEPS).

The 1996 Ottawa Declaration established the Arctic Council as forum for promoting cooperation, coordination, and interaction among the Arctic States, with the involvement of the Arctic Indigenous communities and other Arctic inhabitants on issues such as sustainable development and environmental protection.


40 comments Feed

Note: Comments do not reflect MercoPress’ opinions. They are the personal view of our users. We wish to keep this as open and unregulated as possible. However, rude or foul language, discriminative comments (based on ethnicity, religion, gender, nationality, sexual orientation or the sort), spamming or any other offensive or inappropriate behaviour will not be tolerated. Please report any inadequate posts to the editor. Comments must be in English. Thank you.

1 Brasileiro (#) Oct 18th, 2013 - 12:38 am Report abuse
Antarctica is in South America Go take care of your stye in Europe.

England and all Westerners should be forbidden to set foot on Antarctica.
2 knarfw (#) Oct 18th, 2013 - 02:23 am Report abuse
The article isn't about the Continent of Antarctica though chum. Also, you really should go and learn some geography if you think Antarctica is in South America.
3 Monkeymagic (#) Oct 18th, 2013 - 07:09 am Report abuse

Antartica isn't in South America it is a continent of its own
This article is about the ARCTIC which isn't in South America either

Surely one continent seized by South Americans through genocidal colonialism is enough?
4 Brasileiro (#) Oct 18th, 2013 - 08:42 am Report abuse
This geographical convention was made ​​to serve the interests of the Western powers. Therefore, it is not valid. South America has the right to lay claim to the Antarctica. When America aware of this, Westerners should withdraw from our sacred soil.
5 lsolde (#) Oct 18th, 2013 - 09:20 am Report abuse
A bit melodramatic aren't you?
Sacred soil indeed. The favelas are also “sacred soil”?
You don't own Antarctica, you did enough damage on mainland South America without letting you loose in Antarctica.
Clean up your own mess first.
6 trenchtoast (#) Oct 18th, 2013 - 09:23 am Report abuse
I can't help but notice that New Zealand and Australia both appear closer to the Antarctic than Brazil. Not that that has anything to do with this article.
7 Brasileiro (#) Oct 18th, 2013 - 09:36 am Report abuse
@5 Isolde

Mother Nature! Tell me a forest that you have not destroyed, just one.

You are the predators of the world. We do not want you in OUR Antarctica.
8 DennisA (#) Oct 18th, 2013 - 09:44 am Report abuse
The UK government document has the usual propaganda from the IPCC:

“Temperatures are rising twice as fast in the Arctic as over the rest of the world.”

This really is quite untrue, overall temperatures in the Arctic have been static, if not falling. Whilst Alaska is not the whole Arctic, the Alaska Climate Research Centre reports that: “…since 1977 little additional warming has occurred in Alaska with the exception of Barrow and a few other locations. The stepwise shift appearing in the temperature data in 1976 corresponds to a phase shift of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation from a negative phase to a positive phase.”

The usual graph of rising temperatures is shown in the UK document, but it is a chart of anomalies compared to 1961-90, one of the coldest periods of the 20th century. Such a comparison is guaranteed to give a rising chart and is totally misleading. There is a paucity of recording stations in this vast land and James Hansen has previously published claims of a warming Arctic by “guessing” what temperatures would be a 1000 miles and more away from the one or two recording stations that do exist.

In the early 70's there were serious plans put forward for geo-engineering the Arctic, one of which was to attempt to completely melt the Arctic ice in order to WARM the planet. Other suggestions were a Bering Strait dam, re-direction of the Kuriosho current and the Gulf stream. Fortunately nothing was done, because, quite naturally, it got warmer again, only for us to be now in another cooling cycle.

Summer ice was supposed to be gone by 2010, yet ice is on the increase again. There are considerable data that show the Arctic was warmer in the 1930’s than now and the NW passage was first navigated fully in 1906 by Amundsen, in a wooden ship, not an ice breaker.

What they are really doing is getting their snouts in the trough for oil and mineral rights.
9 Clyde15 (#) Oct 18th, 2013 - 10:30 am Report abuse
I would not normally speak for another poster, but, can you tell me ONE forest that a Falkland Islander has destroyed ?
Look at your own rapacious country, you seem to be doing your best to destroy the Amazon rain forest....or is that also the UK's fault ?

As to Brasil's credentials in Antarctic exploration, as far as I can see, your first expedition was in 1982 !! Hardly giving you any great claim to this territory considering that European's had been sailing in that region since the 17th century and conducted nearly all of the exploration along with the USA.

What makes you think that S.America has the right to this continent ? New Zealand and Australia are much nearer than Brazil,
If you are talking proximity then Chile is the nearest S.A. country so they have a much greater claim than your tropical region.
Again, did you not read the heading of this discussion.....ARCTIC !!!!!!
If you wish to comment on this..fine ! If not, just post one of your stupid jingoistic videos about the mighty Brazilian armed forces who could defeat the USA and the UK combined.
10 Conqueror (#) Oct 18th, 2013 - 10:51 am Report abuse
@1 You're really thick, you know that? Anyway, you have been corrected @2 and 3.
@4 Extra thick! It is neither “geographical” nor a “convention”. It is a geological FACT. And the thought of any THING in South America having any thing “sacred” is hilarious. But go ahead with your “plans”. How do you think you'll look without any hands? Because that's my solution. Take every “southern” latino found in the British Antarctic Territory, chop their hands off and let 'em swim home!
@7 I wonder what “OUR” is supposed to signify. Brazil has no legitimate claims in Antarctica. NONE. In a spirit of scientific co-operation, such as learning that snow and ice are cold, that they can both melt and that even cold things can burn, Britain kindly allows Brazil to have a “base”. But just one of the mandatory “inspections” and you could get it closed. Once you've rebuilt it. Then we'll have to decide whether to keep it for ourselves or remove it!
@8 And the UK is just supposed to ignore natural resources? Are you expecting some sort of philantropic approach? If the member states of the Arctic Council were philantropic wouldn't they be making plans to ensure that all countries in the Northern Hemisphere benefited, wouldn't they? As English exploration for the Northwest Passage and Northeast Passage began in the 16th century, Britain has as much right to have an interest as anyone.
11 Brasileiro (#) Oct 18th, 2013 - 11:10 am Report abuse
@10 Comedian

Uk do not have money to maintain their warlike forces, imagine doing war against Brazil.

This thought possession of our Antarctic will bring harm on their rapprochement with our America.

We were pleased to have opened your embassy in Paraguay, only after Cartes assumed. As Brazil had demanded of their government.

Do you will play your efforts down the drain?
12 FI_Frost (#) Oct 18th, 2013 - 11:18 am Report abuse
@7 Brasileiro

Its hilarious the way you people hark on about “European 19th colonialism” and then use it as an excuse to justify your own greedy ambitions. All done without any sense of irony, but with complete amnesia as to who your ancestors were and how your nation was formed. Too funny.
13 knarfw (#) Oct 18th, 2013 - 11:46 am Report abuse
@2 . Forgot to mention, if you want westerners out you better start packing your bags as, the last time I checked, South America, in it's entirety, was in the Western hemisphere.
14 Clyde15 (#) Oct 18th, 2013 - 12:23 pm Report abuse
“imagine doing war against Brazil.”

Why should we ? Are you threatening us ?
Unlike YOU, your country seems like a reasonably friendly place and of no military threat to us.
If it came to total war, then we could destroy your country at long distance without coming into contact with any of your armed forces.
However, I cannot see this ever happening unless someone as uninformed and nationalistic as you becomes Brazil's defence minister.
Go back and play with your children's video games or your fantastical youtube videos.

Best wishes
15 knarfw (#) Oct 18th, 2013 - 12:38 pm Report abuse
The Arctic, unlike the Antarctic, is not a Continent and the UK has no territorial claim. They do however have an interest and this document simply sets out the policy to be adopted relating to that interest. Not really sure why Brasilairhead is getting so excited.
16 A_Voice (#) Oct 18th, 2013 - 02:16 pm Report abuse
...hey Brasileiro.....easy mistake especially with a foreign language (Greek)

Hot tip....Arctic means ..Bear....Antarctic means ..No Bear
There are Bears in the Arctic and no Bears in the Antarctic...

Penguins live in the Antarctic and no Penguins in the Arctic
(Always had to laugh at this old schooner based at Inveraray Pier.....see the name...Arctic Penguin)

Or... People live in the Arctic and No People in the Antarctic..(indigenous)
So that 'could' be.....Anthrōpos.....Antanthrōpos...if we are sticking with the Greek!
17 Conqueror (#) Oct 18th, 2013 - 03:14 pm Report abuse
@11 Tell you what, fart-arse, let's try a comparison:
Brazilian air force - 129 combat aircraft RAF - 232 combat aircraft
Brazilian navy - 13 frigates, 5 corvettes RN - 6 destroyers, 13 frigates
Brazilian army - all crap British Army - best in the world.

Ever thought about our 64 nuclear missiles? It's about 750 warheads. This is one of the reasons that we are a “power” and you are a wet fart.
18 Escoses Doido (#) Oct 18th, 2013 - 04:38 pm Report abuse
Ae me, me, me, Captain Scott 'll be turning in his grave....
19 Briton (#) Oct 18th, 2013 - 06:20 pm Report abuse
The Americas owns the Antarctic/arctic.
No one owns Antarctica or the arctic.
Full stop.
20 Brasileiro (#) Oct 18th, 2013 - 06:30 pm Report abuse
Am I really a fool! I swear I read “Antarctica”.

21 screenname (#) Oct 18th, 2013 - 07:00 pm Report abuse
Brasileiro seems to be in tiptop nazi form on this thread...the whole rhetoric sounds very very Argentinean.

On another point, could anyone explain what east and west has got to do with the stength of any claim on either pole, or (am I missing something here?) how anyone in SA could refer to someone from the UK as being a 'Westerner'?
22 Brasileiro (#) Oct 18th, 2013 - 07:04 pm Report abuse
West to me is a cultural issue, not a geographical issue.
23 slattzzz (#) Oct 18th, 2013 - 08:25 pm Report abuse
@1 I actually reckon that Antarctica belongs to Chile and New Zealand as they are closest, oh look New Zealand's flag has a union jack on it. PS Brasilidiot Antarctica is not part of SA it's part of Antarctica, spooky eh.
War against Brazil simple spin up tubes 5 and 10 !!!
24 Britworker (#) Oct 18th, 2013 - 08:31 pm Report abuse
Lets face it, you were that keen to spout the usual garbage you neglected to read that the article subject matter which was 'literally' the polar opposite of your understanding.
What a dick!
25 Brasileiro (#) Oct 18th, 2013 - 08:31 pm Report abuse
23@ Sleepdog

War against Brazil? No, war against Brazil, all South America and Caribe, half África, Indonésia, China, Rússia, Portugal, North Korea, Middle Orient.

Total War!
26 Anglotino (#) Oct 18th, 2013 - 08:32 pm Report abuse
The west is not a single culture, political system, economic model or race; and Brazilian is more western that you care to admit.

As for YOUR Antarctica, I hate to break it to you but Australia owns the largest chunk of Antarctica. About 42%.

However unlike those amateurs in Argentina we don't plaster it on passports and everywhere to highlight our insecurities.
27 lsolde (#) Oct 18th, 2013 - 09:27 pm Report abuse
@7 Brasileiro,
1) South America, especially Brazil, does NOT own Antarctica.
-so it is not yours.
2) Brazil has destroyed MILLIONS of hectares of Amazon rainforest.
-that would be a forest that we have not destroyed, you asked for one example.
3) Why are you such an idiot?
28 reality check (#) Oct 18th, 2013 - 09:33 pm Report abuse
Nice story about Brazil on here rebuilding their ice station zebra on the ice, someone correct me if I am wrong, but is it not being built on British Territory, with the consent of the British. The place was called St George's Bay, wasn't it?
29 Brasileiro (#) Oct 18th, 2013 - 09:41 pm Report abuse
You can barking dogs.
30 Clyde15 (#) Oct 18th, 2013 - 09:42 pm Report abuse
You have a peculiar idea of Brazil's importance to think that the rest of the world agrees with your sentiments.

Why don't you answer Isolde's point about YOUR country destroying the Amazon rain one else is doing's your country's fault.
31 Brasileiro (#) Oct 18th, 2013 - 09:55 pm Report abuse
She is not important to my interests.
32 reality check (#) Oct 18th, 2013 - 10:10 pm Report abuse
Beware of a dog that does it bark!
33 Troneas (#) Oct 19th, 2013 - 12:05 am Report abuse
uk, uk... you are doing it wrong - and you should know better.

first you must find a suitable and therefore already inhabited place close to the artic.

then you must remove the eskimos living there. send them to an island close by or alternatively set them up with a flat in south london. any scandal or protest that may arise in the media dismiss it by fabricating a previous ongoing unrest in the usurped area which had to be put down. otherwise, just excuse the actions as a NATO interest.

at this point, send british settlers to colonise the area. if you used the NATO excuse for your actions, consider building an airfield and lease it to the americans.

when this reaches the UN, encourage the newly settled inhabitants to organise a referendum to show the world they want to remain british. preach about self- determination all the way. and don't forget to send war vessels to the area periodically just to show all nations how much you care.

upon successful completion of all these steps, lecture the world on legitimate british interests in the area.
34 brasherboot (#) Oct 19th, 2013 - 12:18 am Report abuse
Brasileiro. We British look forward to sharpening our bayonets on your head.
35 Brasileiro (#) Oct 19th, 2013 - 12:28 am Report abuse
Will be. Come on!
36 knarfw (#) Oct 19th, 2013 - 01:53 am Report abuse
@33, why would the British want to antagonise their friends on the Arctic Council? Besides, they had a colony with Arctic borders right up until 1949 when, in an exercise of self-determination, the Colony opted to join Canada.
37 Conqueror (#) Oct 19th, 2013 - 10:07 am Report abuse
@33 Why would we want to find a place close to a lorry or truck? Didn't I hear we were planning to load all our unwanted Bulgars and Roma into containers, attach them to artics, load 'em aboard ships and then off-load them on various beaches on the eastern coast of South America? Ideal solution. Sending crap to the lands of crap.
@35 Will you be on the front line? Thought not.
38 slattzzz (#) Oct 19th, 2013 - 12:22 pm Report abuse
@37 nope he'll be a REMF
39 Briton (#) Oct 19th, 2013 - 06:06 pm Report abuse
It must be noted that with all the bad countries in the world,
Some give the impression that the whole world hates the British,

Especially the South Americans,

Sadly this is not true,
Just a few people with anti British feelings built on lies and untruths.
Based on the assumption they have a right to something they neither own, nor have never owned,
And never will do, and want it regardless irrelevant who suffers.

Yet what goes around, will surely come around..
Just a thought.
40 Brasileiro (#) Oct 19th, 2013 - 10:52 pm Report abuse
Briton, do you are South American?

Commenting for this story is now closed.
If you have a Facebook account, become a fan and comment on our Facebook Page!


Get Email News Reports!

Get our news right on your inbox.
Subscribe Now!