Roadmap for the sustainable development of the Arctic

Geochemist Dr Volker Rachold, Head of the German Arctic Office at the Alfred Wegener Institute.


Arctic policy

Climate change

Anthropogenic climate change is affecting the Arctic to a greater extent and more rapidly than any other region on Earth. The unprecedented changes have not only made the Arctic a hotspot of global warming, but also made it a focal point for geostrategic and economic interests. The Arctic countries and other nations alike are eager to expand economic use of the Arctic for shipping, oil and gas exploration, fishing and tourism. But this growing economic exploitation threatens the sensitive Arctic ecosystem and presents new challenges for the four million people living there, particularly indigenous peoples.

The most important precondition for the protection and sustainable development of the Arctic is that political decisions be based on sound scientific information. Accordingly, maintaining a dialogue between scientists and politicians is particularly important in the context. The AWI’s German Arctic Office is positioned at this interface, allowing it to directly advise political decision-makers, contributing to science-based Arctic policy in the process.