The perceived scramble for the vast natural resources lying underneath the polar ice and seas has garnered a lot of media attention, even though legal scholars have made the point that the process of States claiming extended continental shelves is governed by the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea.
Indigenous peoples are gaining more self-governance in the Arctic as a result of domestic and international law developments. The Greenlanders have been recognized as a people or a nation. Tourism is on the increase in both Polar Regions, creating a need to come up with stricter regulations. The Polar Regions will also be seriously affected by global environmental problems like persistent organic pollutants, ozone depletion and climate change, creating a need for the polar regimes to try to influence global treaty processes that manage these problems.
Volume 1 of the Yearbook of Polar Law contains 23 peer- reviewed articles as well as the opening keynote address by H.E. Olafur Ragnar Grimsson, President of the Republic of Iceland at an international Polar law symposium held at the University of Akureyri in Iceland in September 2008. The special editor of the first volume is Dr David Leary from the University of New South Wales, Australia. The editors-in-chief are Professor Gudmundur Alfredsson, University of Akureyri, Iceland and University of Strasbourg, France, and Professor Timo Koivurova, Northern Institute for Environmental and Minority Law, Arctic Centre, University of Lapland, Finland.
The articles published in Volume 1 cover four broad themes including challenges for the protection of biodiversity and wilderness in the Polar Regions; sustainable development and human rights; environmental governance in the Polar Regions and emergent and re-emerging jurisdictional issues in the Polar Regions.
For further information on this publication, please see the homepage of the publisher