A topical and informed primer for the most urgent yet least understood geopolitical issue of our time; Arctic sovereignty.
Who actually controls the Northwest Passage? Who owns the trillions of dollars of oil and gas beneath the Arctic Ocean? Which territorial claims will prevail those of the U.S., Russia, Canada or the Nordic nations and why? And, in an age of rapid climate change, how do we protect the fragile Arctic environment while seizing the economic opportunities presented by the rapidly melting sea ice?
In the highly readable book Who Owns the Arctic, Michael Byers, a leading Arctic expert and international lawyer explains the sometimes contradictory rules governing the division and protection of the Arctic and the disputes that remain unresolved. What emerges is a vision for the Arctic in which co-operation, not conflict, prevails, and where the sovereignty of individual nations is exercised for the benefit of all.
"The media is saturated with the Arctic these days, and some of the stories are about as accurate as my childhood impressions. Michael Byers' Who Owns the Arctic? is an admirable attempt to make the debate a bit more grown-up. It is a readable overview of a century of Arctic law and politics."
"It's an important read for all Arctic policy-makers -- and not just those in Canada."
"In this comprehensive book, Byers addresses ownership of the oil and gas reserves in the Beaufort Sea, the Arctic activities of the Russians (we shouldn't feel threatened), and the not-so-burning question of who owns tiny Hans Island. As an Arctic-issues primer, this timely, cogent, focused work cannot be beat."