Non-living resources and the Poles

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


This Chapter examines the international legal regulation of extractive industries at the Poles. It explains the historic development of mining and hydrocarbon development in the Arctic, as well as the historic interest in natural resources in the Antarctic. The legal frameworks are interpreted in light of the rights of Indigenous peoples, the law of the sea, international environmental law, and institutional arrangements (primarily, the Arctic Council and the Antarctic Treaty System). In the Arctic, state sovereignty provides the starting point, but not the end point, as states must respect the rights of Indigenous peoples and the rights of other states. Meanwhile in the Antarctic, the freezing of sovereignty claims created the conditions for a moratorium on any extractive industries under a complex, sui generis, treaty-based regime, the stability of which is examined. A bespoke, but very different, treaty-based system also applies in the Arctic Svalbard Islands.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationResearch handbook on Polar Law
EditorsKaren Nadine Scott, David L. VanderZwaag
Place of PublicationCheltenham
PublisherEdward Elgar Publishing Ltd.
Number of pages22
ISBN (Print) 9781788119580
Publication statusPublished - 8 Dec 2020

Publication series

NameResearch handbooks in environmental law

Other keywords

  • Resources
  • Polar law


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