Arctic governance and human economic interest : an ecosystem management approach to arctic stakeholders
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The Arctic has substantial natural resources and a rich wildlife which is important to the inhabitants. Environmental changes and economic openings such as mineral extraction and shipping have great consequences and opportunities for the global community. The dialogue about how to govern the Arctic suggests this should be done with an ecosystem management approach. This paper sheds light regarding how stakeholders in the Arctic perceive ecosystem management and get influenced of so-called ecosystem management plans. Empirical data on ecosystem management is tied together with real life experience of ten stakeholders in the Arctic. The theoretical foundation consists of stakeholder theory, the value sphere and communicative arena which are finally examined in relation to the empirical findings. Despite varying interpretations of the term, findings show that stakeholders in the Arctic associate ecosystem management with these elements: nature, economic interest and people. Many view ecosystem management as a holistic approach and precautions are taken before the consequences and impact are known. Stakeholders represent different perspectives, each focusing on different Arctic issues. Ecosystem management indicates closer cooperation between different interests rather than independent approaches to issues. Indeed, the interests are economic in nature whether the natural wildlife represents a food source for indigenous people, petroleum for the world’s economies or beneficial healthy and stable environment. Arctic issues are intertwined.
Mastergradsoppgave i Energy management - Høgskolen i Bodø, 2009