The Circle

What's next for the Arctic?

© Andrew S. Wright / WWF-Canada

The World Bank defines the Blue Economy as “the sustainable use of ocean resources for economic growth, improved livelihoods and jobs, and ocean ecosystem health”. OKALIK EEGEESIAK suggests for Inuit, the term Ice Blue Economy would be more appropriate.

In this issue

The Arctic is experiencing the effects of climate change at an unprecedented rate. What does this mean for the Arctic environment, its people, communities, marine and wildlife? What can be done to prepare for, or navigate the massive transformations already underway?

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A wave of investment

In 2014 the captain and owners of the freighter Nordic Orion made an historic decision: instead of carrying their load of coal from Vancouver, Canada to Finland via the Panama Canal, they headed through Arctic waters for the Northwest Passage. It was the first time a freighter chose the Canadian Arctic route over the Panama route, based entirely on business logic. ALAN ATKISSON says that voyage marks the start of a transformation in the Arctic economy.

Development in the Arctic

Long-term investors (LTIs) bring a unique set of resources that make them ideal partners for sustainable development. JAMES E. PASS addresses the benefits of LTIs in the Arctic.


Energy in a changing North

Since the first Arctic Energy Summit convened in Anchorage, Alaska in 2007 the Arctic energy landscape has changed significantly. NILS ANDREASSEN looks at approaching sustainable development in the Arctic from the perspectives shared during the 2017 Summit in Finland.

Working together

CINDY DICKSON, executive director of the Arctic Athabaskan Council (Canada) spoke with us about the realities and challenges of development in the Arctic.

The Arctic Council – a need for reform

The Arctic Council is considered the most important international forum in the Arctic. However, SVEIN VIGELAND ROTTEM notes that the inclusion of more stakeholders in the Council’s work raises questions as to capacity and coordination.

Snow, water, ice and permafrost

The Arctic is warming faster than any other region on Earth and rapidly becoming a wetter, more variable environment. Over the past 50 years, the Arctic’s temperature has risen at a rate more than twice the global average. JANET PAWLAK says these changes affect the Arctic’s role as a regulator of global temperature and its influence on Northern Hemisphere weather; its contribution to sea-level rise; the lifestyles and livelihoods of those who live and work in the Arctic; Arctic marine and terrestrial ecosystems and the habitats of Arctic species.

The Circle is a magazine produced by the WWF Global Arctic Programme. Our goal is to inform decision-makers, scientists and the interested public about Arctic environmental and development issues.
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