Written by Dr Ilan Kelman, Reader for Risk, Resilience and Global Health (UCL Institute for Risk & Disaster Reduction)
The Arctic: The last earthly frontier of adventure, excitement, remoteness, and resources! Or is it? Given that people have lived in the high latitudes for millennia, how remote, isolated, and open-for-business-for-southerners is the Arctic?
The UCL Institute for Risk & Disaster Reduction’s Arctic Research programme convened a panel ‘Development in the Arctic: Risks and Rewards’ at UCL on 8 June to discuss these questions.
To an engaged audience of about sixty, three distinguished panellists explored how climate change and technological advances might or might not be opening up the Arctic for exploitation by the world. They examined what we know and do not know about development risks and rewards in the far north.
What realities of Arctic environmental conditions are rarely described? What Arctic social and political circumstances are frequently circumvented? What about the people who live in the region who have rights and interests? The risks and rewards regarding the so-called ‘Arctic Gold Rush’ for resources and development was examined and critiqued.