Arctic Science, International Law and Climate Change – Legal Aspects of Marine Science in the Arctic Ocean

Date(s) of Conference:

March 17-18, 2011


Federal Foreign Office
Berlin, Germany


The dramatic melting of ice masses in the Arctic Ocean is bringing about fundamental changes. New options are emerging for research and exploitation of raw materials, for eased or entirely new Arctic Ocean shipping routes, and for fisheries. These issues are being discussed intensively in numerous political and scientific forums. The EU Commission has issued a Communication on the topic, and numerous countries have formulated Arctic strategies.

One key concern must not be neglected in the face of these issues: The Arctic Ocean is not only an object of global climate change. It is also the site of polar science, which provides critical information for foundational research into climate change. That is why we find it extraordinarily important to keep sight of not only the economic, logistical and fisheries-related aspects of the Arctic, but also the roles and scope of researchers whose work requires the use of the Arctic.

What framework does international law provide for today’s Arctic marine science? Will this framework change in future? Will it remain at its current extent?

The International Conference on Arctic Science, International Law and Climate Change: Legal aspects of Marine Science in the Arctic Ocean will focus on these and many other related questions.

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