What do people imagine when they hear Arctic? Even among well-versed global watchers the Arctic is not well known. It is a region of 37 million square kilometers with its lands; several million people including members of hundreds of indigenous peoples groups; of reindeer, walrus and seals; a few cities, some very industrial, of tens of thousands of people; of tundra and forests; numerous tiny settlements including the most northern in the world; and nuclear-fueled icebreakers.
In this talk, DiMento will address the present conditions of the Arctic and lay out what its future could be: pristine, developed, populated, or “sustained”—based on our responses to environmental changes and what we mean by, and work to, “sustain.” He will describe briefly the environmental and social trends in the region and conflicts that arise therein. He will explain societal collective activity [rules and civil society] to influence the future of the Arctic and how conflicts are [often] resolved. What a good or less good future for the region looks like is in one sense a subjective conclusion. Does it matter if the Arctic becomes more temperate or a place where traditional practices are modified aiming to improve standard of living? Another view demands assessment that is less subjective.
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