Whose Arctic Is It? (Chapter 7)


Indigenous peoples and other northeners have the greatest stake in protecting the Arctic, but are their voices being heard?

The Arctic is a showcase for the effects of climate change, especially with the alarming decline in the extent of summer sea ice and its amplifying effects on warming. The region is an area of contention as well, as the expansion of open water entices Arctic nations with the prospect of easier access to oil and other resources. But, as Heather Exner-Pirot explores, nearly unnoticed is the struggle of Arctic peoples to ensure that the fate of the region they call home is largely in their hands, not in those of southerners seeking to impose their own political agendas. 


Seeing the Arctic exclusively as an ecosystem in need of preservation— and not as a homeland where people have a right to live and work— imposes a hidden threat to the longterm sustainability of the region.”

- Heather Exner-Pirot in "Whose Arctic is It?"


About Confronting Hidden 

Threats to Sustainability

We think we understand environmental damage: pollution, water scarcity, a warming world. But these problems are just the tip of the iceberg. Deeper issues include food insecurity, financial assets drained of value by environmental damage, and a rapid rise in diseases of animal origin. These and other problems are among the underreported consequences of an unsustainable global system.
In State of the World 2015, the flagship publication of the Worldwatch Institute, experts explore hidden threats to sustainability and how to address them. Eight key issues are addressed in depth, along with the central question of how we can develop resilience to these and other shocks. With the latest edition of State of the World, the authorities at Worldwatch bring to light challenges we can no longer afford to ignore.



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