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Responding to a Changing Arctic Ocean: Canadian and Russian Experiences and Challenges

Canada and Russia have the longest coastlines in the Arctic and face the reality that their Arctic regions are on the front lines of climate change and increasing access to resources and shipping. Comparison of law and policy perspectives and cooperation between Canada and the Russian Federation has been limited, with much more attention being given to great power politics in the Arctic, especially United States-Russian relations. Seven articles based on a research project, funded by the Donner Canadian Foundation and co-led by the Marine and Environmental Law Institute, Schulich School of Law, Dalhousie University and the School of Law, Federated Far Eastern University, are presented here to further understanding of Canadian and Russian approaches and challenges in Arctic Ocean governance.

The first article reviews the practice of Canada and the Russian Federation to their maritime jurisdictional claims and the delimitation of maritime boundaries with their Arctic neighbours. The second article focuses on the post-Cold War changes their threat perceptions in the Arctic region, defence modernization programs and new roles for the exercise of military power in the Arctic. The third article focuses on the vulnerability of both Canadian and Russian Arctic natural and human systems to climate change and their mitigation and adaptation efforts. The fourth article compares their approaches to recognition of Indigenous peoples and Indigenous rights in the Arctic with attention to the implications for Arctic Ocean governance. The fifth article discusses the Canadian and Russian domestic regimes for the establishment of marine protected areas and other effective area-based conservation measures. The sixth article considers the future of the institutional and regulatory frameworks to govern the Northern Sea Route (Russian Federation) and the Northwest Passage (Canada). The seventh article reviews and compares Arctic fisheries management approaches in Russian and Canada, focussing on marine capture fisheries, excluding marine mammals. A final article dealing with oil and gas management will be published later. All articles were written before the Russia-Ukraine crisis.

- guest editors Viatcheslav Gavrilov, Federated Far Eastern University, Russian Federation; David L. VanderZwaag and Susan J. Rolston, Marine & Environmental Law Institute, Schulich School of Law, Dalhousie University, Canada

(Photo: Approaching Lancaster Sound. © Susan Rolston)

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