The Arctic, polar Eldorado under threat, desperately seeks legal protection regime

Due to global warming, the floe of the Arctic Ocean is melting – and melting fast. For the worldwide ecosystem, this disappearance is one of the major current sources of concern. For the five costal states (Canada, Denmark, the United Stated of America, Norway and Russia), this basically implies access to an area which has one of the highest expected levels in hydrocarbons. If industrial development is not properly handled, it will worsen the region’s already disastrous fate, its ecosystem and its native population. The Cold War left the unfortunate legacy of melting ice, generating waters that have never known cooperation. Hidden under their thick coat, these have remained blissfully ignorant of the necessity to submit to a specific legal regime – until today. By analysing the situation and drawing inspiration from various implements already existing in the Great North and elsewhere, it is now appropriate to determine the rules of the polar race and to make participants respect them. And this must be done quickly.