Arctic Yearbook 2014 - Page 14

14 Arctic Yearbook 2014 Finally, a series of briefing notes and updates of the UArctic and NRF’s joint Thematic Network on Geopolitics and Security (the publisher of the Arctic Yearbook) provide technical and instructive overviews of particular case studies that inform our understanding of the larger region. Here, readers will be briefed on the past shipping season in the Northern Sea Route; new broadband technologies for global communications via Arctic waters; particularities of seal hunting in Newfoundland; oil drilling, mining and environmental legislation in the Barents Euro-Arctic Region (BEAR); tourism safety regulation, among others. Finally, ‘This Year in the Arctic’ prepared by Tom Fries is the Arctic Yearbook’s annual interactive timeline that offers an overview of selected major Arctic events that captured headlines (and our attention) throughout 2014. Conclusions The stakes are high in the Arctic. Some groups are fighting for their culture, their history and their identity in this world; others are fighting to save the Arctic from would-be exploiters and believe nothing less than the future of the planet is at risk. At the same time, investors in multi-billion dollar capital projects will not be dismissed, nor will the sub-state and national governments that rely upon them to fill the coffers that pay for public education, health care and infrastructure. All stakeholders are intent on building the human capital that will further their interests, and none will be ignored. It is difficult in 2014 to imagine them peacefully co-existing. We will soon enter a situation where it is necessary to ask: what is the future development we want in, and for, the Arctic? Is there an ‘ultimate’ price that we will accept as the societal cost of further development? That is the challenge ahead