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Three Things a Biden Administration Can Do Right Away to Refocus US Arctic Policy

| Dec. 31, 2020

The U.S. needs better federal Arctic coordination at home and abroad. These three steps are a good first start.

The Arctic deserves attention from the Biden Administration for many reasons. Domestically, it is part of the United States, with citizens, resources, Indigenous cultures and vulnerable ecosystems that are all at risk due to climate change. Internationally, its strategic location and geopolitical significance — and its influence on global climate and sea level — make it a region that requires strategic and impactful engagement. The list of steps that an incoming administration can — and should — take to evaluate and address all of the above considerations is long. But there are some that are relatively non-controversial and essential, and could be easily implemented by a Biden administration right away. Here are three:

First, re-establish the Northern Bering Sea Climate Resilience Area, originally created by President Barack Obama through an executive order in response to the recommendation of the Bering Sea elders, Kawerak (the Alaska Native nonprofit representing the region) and other leaders of the Bering Strait region. The changing climate and the increased human activity — including international shipping — mean greater risks to the people, marine mammals, and health of this ecosystem, which is important for subsistence, food security and biodiversity. This area requires specialized management protections, and it must have a system that connects federal, state, local and tribal interests in the decisions....

For more information on this publication: Belfer Communications Office
For Academic Citation: Ulmer, Fran.“Three Things a Biden Administration Can Do Right Away to Refocus US Arctic Policy.” ArcticToday, December 31, 2020.

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