The Stewardship Principle in Arctic Law

Lead Author Philip, Steinberg
Institution Contact Durham University, UK
Theme Theme 2: Vulnerability of Arctic Societies
Session Name 2.1 The role of law and institutions in Arctic transformation process
Datetime Wed, Sep 14, 2016 01:40 PM - 02:00 PM
Presentation Type Oral
Abstract text This paper considers the potential for the stewardship principle to guide the legal regulation of the Arctic. At first glance, stewardship would appear perfectly poised to balance understandings that, on the one hand, position the Arctic as a global resource (for transportation, research, resources, climate regulation, etc.) with those that, on the other hand, position the Arctic as a space where specific stakeholders have defined rights and interests stemming from indigeneity, proximity, investment, or other factors. In practice, however, the principle of stewardship raises more questions than it answers, concerning what is to be stewarded, for whom, by whom, and to what end. Although stewardship is found to have value as a concept that establishes a basic framework for establishing the Arctic region as one of both global significance and local privilege, the paper concludes by warning that the application of the principle through legal mechanisms is fraught with danger.
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