The Protection of the Arctic Marine Environment working group of the Arctic Council has released a new Arctic Marine Shipping Assessment report for the year 2009. The AMSA working group, led by Canada, Finland and the United States has produced a extensive and well-illustrated document that represents a four-year effort to consider and review all aspects of Arctic shipping. It includes documentation of shipping activities from a baseline year (2004) and future projections in key areas such as environmental protection, marine infrastructure, human dimensions, and governance. The report also contains series of very useful maps and charts.
Main topics of the report are:
- Arctic Marine Geography, Climate and Sea Ice
- History of Arctic Marine Transport
- Governance of Arctic Shipping
- Current Marine Use and the AMSA Shipping Database
- Scenarios, Futures and Regional Futures to 2020
- Human Dimensions
- Environmental Considerations and Impacts
- Arctic Marine Infrastructure
The Arctic is undergoing extraordinary transformations early in the 21st century. Natural resource development, governance challenges, climate change and marine infrastructure issues are influencing current and future marine uses of the Arctic. The Arctic Council, recognizing these critical changes and issues, at the November 2004 Ministerial meeting in Reykjavik, Iceland, called for the Council's Protection of the Arctic Marine Environment (PAME) working group to "conduct a comprehensive Arctic marine shipping assessment as outlined under the Arctic Marine Strategic Plan (AMSP) under the guidance of Canada, Finland and the United States as lead countries and in collaboration with the Emergency Prevention, Preparedness and Response (EPPR) working group and the Permanent Participants as relevant." The Arctic Marine Shipping Assessment, or The AMSA 2009 Report, is the product of that Arctic Ministerial decision in Reykjavik and was approved at the 2009 Arctic Council´s Ministerial meeting in Tromsø.