Pressure increases on Arctic environment
EEA Executive Director Jacqueline McGlade gave a speech to the Arctic Council in Tromsø, Norway
The conference focused simultaneously on the development potential of the Arctic region and the environmental challenges this presents.
'Although the Arctic's unique nature is relatively undisturbed, there are growing signs of threats', Professor McGlade said, before calling for leadership and cooperation in the circumpolar region.
'A regional treaty for the polar ocean is necessary to ensure environmental regulations are in place before the ice retreats and reveals a new ocean — open for resource extraction and new shipping routes', she said.
Norway, current chair of the Arctic Council, has highlighted 'integrated marine management' as a key priority, a move welcomed by Professor McGlade. However, she also stressed Norway's responsibility to protect the region from unsustainable oil extraction activities as well as achieving its Kyoto targets on greenhouse gas emissions.
Read the EEA/UNEP report: Arctic environment: European perspectives