Topic 1: Protection and sustainable use of the Arctic marine environment

Topic 2: Minority rights and Educational opportunities in the Arctic

 

Under-Secretary General: Selja Keränen

Difficulty Level: Intermediate

Countries: Canada, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Russian Federation, Sweden, United States of America

 

Indigenous peoples’ organizations:  Aleut International Association (AIA), Arctic Athabaskan Council (AAC), Gwich'in Council International (GCI), Inuit Circumpolar Council (ICC), Russian Association of Indigenous Peoples of the North (RAIPON) and Saami Council (SC)

Topic 1: Protection and sustainable use of the Arctic marine environment

As global warming changes the environment in the Arctic region, which includes eight countries with territory above the Arctic circle, the race for the resources in the Arctic is heating up. The diminishing ice brings large investment opportunities in the Arctic region, including energy production, shipping, and mining.

 

The Arctic contains some of the last physically undisturbed marine spaces on Earth, which is now rapidly changing due to global warming. Melting ice opens new routes for marine transport, extraction of fossil fuels and tourism industry. Shorter trade routes through the Arctic and rich natural resources are under interest not only among the Arctic region but also countries, like China, which are further away but have the needed economic power.

 

Experts in maritime safety are concerned about what will happen if something goes wrong and how the marine ecosystem is going to change under growing influence by people. In this vulnerable environment, how can we best reach towards sustainable use and protection of the Arctic marine environment?

 

While discussing this topic, delegates evaluate the current environmental treaties that effect on the Arctic marine environment and analyse how humankind has changed the Arctic marine, an environment particularly sensitive to environmental degradation, and find a solution that can mitigate existing environmental damage.

 

Topic 2: Minority rights and Educational opportunities in the Arctic

Almost four million people live in the Arctic region today. The Arctic region (eight countries with territory above the Arctic circle) consists of sparsely populated communities which are culturally diversified. Supporting the equal access to education is the way of confirming the continuity of the native cultures and sustainable development in the Arctic.

 

Education is linked to the international human rights, environmental issues and indigenous rights. Education is also essential to maintain and revitalize the Arctic indigenous people history, cultures, knowledge and languages in the face of contemporary environmental, social and economic pressures.

 

However, it needs to be ensured that the educational framework meets with the diversity of Arctic indigenous peoples. This can be effectively accomplished only if the indigenous people and the future generations participate in the development of the Arctic.

 

How can we maintain and protect the minority rights and cultural diversity in the Arctic area with education? How can we protect and create fair educational opportunities in remote areas?

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