Maine and the Arctic: International Experts Convene at Bowdoin to Discuss Challenges in the Arctic

The Peary-MacMillan Arctic Museum and Arctic Studies Center hosted an international gathering of scholars and policymakers who discussed the challenges of effective maritime governance during the two-day “Governing Across the Waves” workshop September 26-27, 2016.

Weathervane feat

The Waves workshop was a collaboration between Bowdoin and the U.S. Coast Guard Academy, one of the country’s five military academies. The U.S. Coast Guard is a partner, through its Division of Maritime Transportation Systems and Center for Arctic Study and Policy.

Several Coast Guard leaders spoke at the workshop, which included a unique public-private partnership with the World Wildlife Fund. Additional support for the Waves workshop came from the University of Alaska’s Arctic Domain Awareness Center (ADAC), NSF, Oak Foundation, and the U.S. Arctic Research Commission.

The workshop welcomed official delegations from the coast guards of Argentina, Chile, Japan, and Indonesia, as well as representatives of the Russian Ministry of Transportation, and Arctic scholars from across the U.S., Canada and European Union.

They discussed best practices in maritime governance, with an overarching purpose of better preparing the U.S. and Russia to grapple with emerging challenges in the Bering Strait region.

As climate change increases human access to the Arctic, projections of ship traffic through the 50-mile-wide Bering Strait have increased dramatically.

Tourism, shipping, energy extraction, fishing, and other activities are projected to surge in coming years, requiring increased governmental presence to ensure safe, secure, and environmentally responsible human activity in this unique and fragile region.

Workshop organizers hope that lessons and recommendations identified at Bowdoin will contribute to planning and policymaking for the Bering Strait region.

The Waves workshop comes in advance of the Senior Arctic Officials (SAO) meeting of the Arctic Council, to be held October 5-6 in Portland.

The U.S. Department of State selected Portland as the location for this high-level meeting in recognition of Maine’s significant engagement in the Arctic region. Visit the Maine and the Arctic website for more information.

thumb:Bowdoin College entrance