Norway’s High North policy is intended to protect the environment, maintain settlement patterns and promote business development. The Norwegian government aims to further develop cooperation with our partners in the Arctic Council, other stakeholders and relevant institutions in the north, including Japan in its new capacity as Permanent Observer in the Arctic Council.
The seas north of the Norwegian mainland contain considerable fossil fuel and renewable fisheries resources. They have enormous economic potential which, if managed properly, will have great significance, both for the region and for the rest of the world. Existing international law, including the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), provides a predictable framework for handling present and foreseeable challenges in the Arctic.
Knowledge is the key to addressing the challenges and exploiting the opportunities in a responsible way. Norway has therefore invested extensively in knowledge about the Arctic throughout the country. We aim to achieve more in the years to come through cooperation with research institutions, business communities, local and regional authorities, and through international cooperation.
Japan is an invaluable partner in this quest for knowledge. There is a bilateral agreement between Japan’s National Institute for Polar Research and its Norwegian counterpart. In addition acknowledged Japanese institutions like the Ocean Policy Research Foundation and Japan’s Institute for International Affairs are closely monitoring developments in the High North.
In Norway’s view, potential shipping and petroleum activities in the Arctic Ocean must be subject to the highest safety and environmental standards. Norway has been a driving force behind the development of a mandatory polar code in the IMO, and we invite Japan and other nations to close cooperation on this matter.
Norway will work to maintain the Arctic as a peaceful region of cooperation and sustainable resource management.
For more information, see below: