Arctic Yearbook 2015 - Page 215

215 Arctic Yearbook 2015 which is also impacted by devolution processes to the benefit of territorial governments and other sub-national actors. The governance of offshore activities in the Arctic has been mainly studied with regard to international law (Johnstone 2015) and the issue of fragmentation (Koivurova & Hossain 2008, Humrich 2013). Fragmentation is defined as “the division of legal systems in various sectors, each of them having its own goal and values that can contradict with other branches of international law” (Koivurova 2014: 7), and the issue has triggered academic debates on the creation of an overarching international regime – the necessity of which the five Arctic coastal states denied in 2008 (Ilulissat Declaration 2008). Various analytical paths have emerged favouring a normative, critical, functional or pragmatic approach of governance (Pelaudeix 2014, Humrich 2013, Young 2011, Koivurova & Molenaar 2009). The aim of this article is to provide an evaluation of governance that goes beyond the single issue of fragmentation pertaining to the international and supranational levels, to encompass national and regional levels and analyse how the interactions between those levels structure the policy process and impact the efficiency of environmental management and public participation. The Arctic region is characterised by particularly vulnerable ecosystems which are already under pressure of ongoing changes, which include warming and economic development (CAFF 2013), and by the presence of indigenous coastal communities who rely on marine species as a means of subsistence leading to the question of their participation in consultation and decision-making.1 Indeed, the Arctic region presents huge challenges for offshore exploitation owing to extreme natural-climate conditions (icing, icebergs, ice floes, high winds, darkness), to remoteness of the region from basic infrastructure, and the low sustainability of the region’s ecosystems. To properly address the risks of oil spill but also environmental consequences of offshore drilling, there is still a need for increased scientific knowledge, and progress in technology, in particular the modeling of offshore drilling activity, local weather forecasting, observing and monitoring sea-ice and icebergs mobility, oil spill detection in ice-affected waters and oil fate in sea ice (Barber et al. 2014a, Barber et al. 2014b). While the Arctic is said to hold immense reserves of gas and petrol2 and while some reserves are depleting in conventional fields – like the Prudhoe onshore field in Alaska, or in the North Atlantic – Arctic states are looking up north for offshore potential, including in the deep offshore. Arctic offshore exploitation has already begun in Norway (Snøhvit field, Barents Sea) and in Russia (Prirazlomnaye field, Pechora Sea), and exploration is taking place in many areas in the US, Canada, and Greenland. In the present analysis, governance is understood with reference to the definition of the Commission on Global Governance, which characterises governance as “the sum of many ways individuals and institutions, public and private, manage their common affairs. It is a continuing process through which conflicting or diverse interests may be accommodated and co-operative action taken. It includes formal institutions and regimes empowered to enforce compliance, as well as informal arrangements that people and institutions either have agreed to or perceive to be in their interest” (Commission on Global Governance 1995: 4). Offshore governance in the Arctic involves many different actors: states, international law and regional Cécile Pelaudeix