Polar Law: Sustainable Development

Organized by the University of Akureyri 15. August 2016

Saturday, October 8, 15:30-17:00

Location: Main Hall, Þjóðmenningarhúsið (National Centre for Cultural Heritage)

This panel explores selected topics pertaining to sustainable economic development in the Arctic.

It begins by addressing the status of lands and resources and questions whether a ‘new colonialism’ is taking place. It also examines the conditions that would be necessary for development in the Arctic to be just and respectful of indigenous rights. The panel moves on to consider the anticipated impacts of new international trade deals on the peoples and economies of the Arctic. The third paper presents the legal requirements for design and construction in the hostile Arctic climate. Development offshore depends on the peaceful settlement of ongoing boundary disputes and arbitration is presented as an option to reach this end. Finally, Iceland’s framework and Master Plan for the sustainable exploitation of energy resources are explained. 


  • John M. Sky Starkey, Lawyer representing Alaska tribal organizations: Colonialism of Arctic Indigenous Lands and Waters in the 21st Century.
  • Mary Durfee, Associate Professor of International Relations, Michican Tech University: Free Trade: The Expected Impacts of TTIP and CETA on the Arctic.
  • Romanov Oleg, Lawyer: A Review of the Legislation of Arctic States in the Field of Design and Construction.
  • Agnieszka Ason, Adjunct Professor, Technical University of Berlin: International Arbitration as a Method of Resolution of Boundary Disputes in the Arctic.
  • Skúli Thoroddsen, Orkustofnun: Resource utilisation in Iceland for energy production, legal regime and Master Plan.


  • Natalia Loukacheva, Canada Research Chair in Aboriginal Governance and Law, University of Northern British Columbia