Today, President Obama and leaders from Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden released a joint statement in which they committed to work together toward a sustainable future for the Arctic region. The leaders recognized the threats posed by climate change and “committed to working towards conditioning commercial activity in the Arctic in part on world-class environmental standards and international and national climate change goals.” The leaders also agreed to make management choices based on an “ecosystem-based approach,” to protect ecologically important areas, and to broaden the scientific understanding of the region.
In response to today’s announcement, Michael LeVine, Pacific Senior Counsel for Oceana, issued the following statement:
“We congratulate President Obama and the Nordic leaders on today’s announcement. We are heartened to see the commitments recently announced with Canada broadened to include the five Nordic countries and look forward to working with these governments to ensure a sustainable future for the Arctic region.
Today’s agreement will help ensure that future decisions are based on science, precaution, and a commitment to addressing climate change. As we look forward to the Arctic Science Ministerial in September, we encourage the U.S. government to take steps—like removing the Chukchi and Beaufort seas from the 2017-2022 Five-Year Leasing Program and protecting environmentally important areas in the Arctic—that will further the goals stated today.
Oceana is the largest international advocacy organization focused solely on ocean conservation. We run science-based campaigns and seek to win policy victories that can restore ocean biodiversity and ensure that the oceans are abundant and can feed hundreds of millions of people. Oceana victories have already helped to create policies that could increase fish populations in its countries by as much as 40 percent and that have protected more than 1 million square miles of ocean. We have campaign offices in the countries that control close to 40 percent of the world’s wild fish catch, including in North, South and Central America, Asia, and Europe. To learn more, please visit www.oceana.org.