The Arctic Ocean: Are We Ready to Govern a New Ocean?

  • Timo KoivurovaEmail author
  • Stefan Kirchner
  • Pirjo Kleemola-Juntunen
Conference paper


Climate change makes the Arctic ocean accessible for a range of human activities, such as shipping or hydrocarbon extraction, which can severely damage the fragile natural environment. The emergence of a ‘new ocean’ raises the question whether existing international legal norms are sufficient to adequately govern the Arctic ocean in light of this changing situation. Looking at the work of existing institutions, initiatives by Arctic States and applicable legal norms, the authors investigate the suitability of the current international legal framework for the governance of the Arctic ocean in general and the protection of the marine environment in particular. In the absence of a regional seas agreement for the Arctic ocean, particular attention will be given to the work of the Arctic Council and to potential future developments of the international legal framework governing in particular the high seas part of the central Arctic ocean.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Timo Koivurova
    • 1
    Email author
  • Stefan Kirchner
    • 1
  • Pirjo Kleemola-Juntunen
    • 1
  1. 1.University of Lapland, Arctic CentreRovaniemiFinland

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