Environment & Climate Change

148 Items

delegates to Senior Arctic Official meeting in Salekhard December 2021

Roscongress, Vyacheslav Viktorov via Arctic Council

Journal Article - Arctic Yearbook

What Makes the Arctic and Its Governance Exceptional? Stories of Geopolitics, Environments and Homelands

| Dec. 04, 2023

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the subsequent pause of circumpolar cooperation have challenged the Arctic region's designation as "exceptional." This article seeks to see beyond conventional understandings of “Arctic exceptionalism,” acknowledge a broader range of characteristics and features that make the Arctic unique and consider how this expanded view alters perceptions of the region’s governance. 

a seabird's nest containing three eggs and plastic pollution

Adobe Stock/Vladimir Melnik

Journal Article - Polar Record

Managing Plastic Pollution in the Arctic Ocean: An Integrated Quantitative Flux Estimate and Policy Study

| Nov. 10, 2023

Plastic pollution in the Arctic marine system is sparsely quantified, and few enforceable policies are in place to ameliorate the issue. In this paper, Dewey and Mackie estimate the flux of plastic through rivers, sea ice, and ocean, and quantify marine plastic pollution from Arctic shipping and fishing. They also examine how a suite of proposed policy interventions would quantitatively change those concentrations.

China Shipping Line cargo ship

AP Photo/David Goldman

Journal Article - Polar Record

Can China Change the Arctic Regime?

| Oct. 18, 2023

In view of the aggravated conflicts in other regions that include Russia as the largest Arctic state, and China as its strategic partner, an understanding of China’s opportunities to affect Arctic affairs is urgently needed. Kobzeva and Todorov use a regime theory approach to outline the Arctic regime complex (ARC) and determine China’s actual potential for making amendments to the ARC.

Flags of the 8 Arctic states and 6 Permanent Participants

Arctic Council/Flickr

News - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

Charting a Course for Working-Level Cooperation in the Arctic

| Sep. 25, 2023

Since September 2022, the Arctic Initiative - together with collaborators at the Wilson Center’s Polar Institute, the Fridtjof Nansen Institute, and the Norwegian Institute of Foreign Affairs - has hosted a series of workshops with Arctic governance experts and practitioners to explore possible pathways for cooperation through the Arctic Council and the broader network of institutions that support the management of Arctic issues, as well as pathways for eventual engagement with Russia.

Permafrost Pathways panel during CSPC 2022


News - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

Strengthening U.S.-Canadian Collaboration on Permafrost Thaw

| Sep. 25, 2023

In November 2022, members of the Arctic Initiative traveled to the Canadian Science Policy Conference (CSPC) in Ottawa to introduce Permafrost Pathways to the Canadian research and policy communities. Through participation and meetings with key stakeholders, the team used the opportunity to seek guidance on how best to engage with Canadian scientists, decisionmakers, and First Nations, Inuit, and Métis (FNIM) communities as the project moves forward.

Margaret Williams holding baby polar bear

Margaret Williams

News - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

Margaret Williams Named Senior Fellow at Harvard Kennedy School’s Arctic Initiative

| Sep. 25, 2023

Arctic environmentalist and policy expert Margaret Williams has joined the Arctic Initiative as a full-time resident Senior Fellow for the 2023-2024 academic year. Williams will support and expand the Initiative’s portfolio of work on marine governance and sustainable ocean management.

Student-led discussion in a tent in Arendal, Norway

Brittany Janis/Belfer Center

News - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

Exploring Arctic Sustainability: Enhancing Resilience, Addressing Land Degradation and Permafrost Thaw Through Indigenous Empowerment

| Sep. 13, 2023

The Belfer Center's Arctic Initiative, in collaboration with the International Centre for Reindeer Husbandry and the Permafrost Pathways Project, co-organized a week-long workshop for Indigenous youth titled, “Exploring Arctic Sustainability: Enhancing Resilience, Addressing Land Degradation, and Permafrost Thaw Through Indigenous Empowerment.” With support from the United Nations Global Environment Facility (GEF), the program brought together nearly 20 Indigenous youth from Alaska, Canada, Mongolia, Norway, and Sweden for a week of climate leadership training and dialogue on how a rapidly changing Arctic is detrimentally impacting Indigenous identities, livelihoods, and ways of life.

Men haul sections of whale skin and blubber as a bowhead whale is butchered

AP Photo/Gregory Bull, File

Policy Brief - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

The Arctic Warning: Climate-Related Challenges for Community Health

| Aug. 30, 2023

As the biosphere is altered by anthropogenic climate change, the fundamental sources of human health are at risk. Climate change is a healthcare emergency. While this is true globally, the Arctic is warming four times faster than the global average which
puts Arctic populations who are already at special risk, at further risk. This policy brief provides an overview of the climate-related changes that are impacting Arctic citizens’ health now.