Arctic Environmental Issues

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Transcript Arctic Environmental Issues

Arctic Environmental Issues
Icebergs and Mount Lefroy
By Lawren Harris
A canary in a coal mine…
Source: The Daily,
(2000) University
of Washington. On
line edition:
http://archives.theda
ily.washington.edu/
2000/112100/opinio
n.html [accessed
November 15th,
2003]
Learning Outcomes
• Show how this region is especially vulnerable to
climate change.
• Use “climate change in the artic as a way of
illustrating the (hopefully) complementary nature of
traditional ecological knowledge.
• Show how this region is vulnerable to industrial
pollution.
• Use the treaty negotiation dealing with industrial
pollution as a case study showing how “non-state
actors” can help find global solutions.
Climate change
Climate Change: Inuit
Observations
Autumn freeze-up
occurs up to a month
later than usual.
(IISD, 2000)
Satellites show a 3%per-decade reduction in
area.
BBC, 2001.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/131100
7.stm
Climate Change: Inuit
Observations
The multi-year sea-ice
is smaller and now
drifts far from the
community in the
summer, taking with it
the seals upon which
the community relies
for food.
Photo Copyright 2000 - Scott McGuire ([email protected])
Used with permission.
http://www.firstpeople.us/pictures/bear/Polar_Bears/1600x1200/Snow_On_Snout_Polar_Bear-1600x1200.jpg
Climate Change: Inuit
Observations
In the winter the sea-ice is
thin and broken, making
travel dangerous for even the
most experienced hunters.
Copyright © 2001 - 2003 Paul Ward
Used with permission
Climate Change: Inuit
Observations
Hot weather in the
summer is melting the
permafrost and causing
large-scale slumping on
the coastline and along
the shores of inland
lakes.
S. Yu. Parmuzin:
http://www.grida.no/prog/polar/bsc/fig12.htm
[accessed November 15th, 2003]
Scientific Observation: Thinning
Sea Ice
Author of graphic: Philippe Rekacewicz
Organization : UNEP-GRID, Arendal,
Norway.
Sources : International Permafrost
Association.
Date of creation : February 2001
Scientific Observation:
Permafrost
Author of graphic: Philippe Rekacewicz
Organization : UNEP-GRID, Arendal, Norway.
Sources : International Permafrost Association.
Date of creation : February 2001
Changes in Permafrost Depth
A Feed-Back
"The Arctic is a traditional sink of carbon, but with a
warming of the tundra, it becomes a source of carbon,
and becomes a primary positive feedback [on climate],"
Elizabeth Weatherhead, University of Colorado in Boulder
Warming temperatures
Increased CO2
Melting Permafrost
Learning Outcomes
 Show how this region is especially vulnerable to
climate change.
 Use “climate change in the artic as a way of
illustrating the (hopefully) complementary nature of
traditional ecological knowledge.
• Show how this region is vulnerable to industrial
pollution.
• Use the treaty negotiation dealing with industrial
pollution as a case study showing how “non-state
actors” can help find global solutions.
DDT and Silent Spring
1962
www.alternatives2toxics.org/
Persistent Organic Pollution
• PCBs:
– Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs) chemically
stable, fire resistant, insoluble in water, but are
soluble in fatty substances.
– PCBs were used extensively as insulators in
electrical equipment.
• DDT:
– dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane.
– Cheap insecticide.
– Used extensively after WWII until 1960s in agriculture,
forestry and combating mosquito born diseases.
POPs and the Arctic
UNEP GRID-Arendal Author : Philippe Rekacewicz
Organization : UNEP-GRID, Arendal, Norway.
Sources : Macdonald and Bewers 1996, Sugden 1982.
Date of creation : 1997
Bio-Accumulation
Environmental Health Perspectives Volume 106, Number 2, February 1998, on
line edition. http://ehpnet1.niehs.nih.gov/qa/106-2focus/focus.html [Accessed
November 15th, 2003]
DDT and PCBs: the evidence
• Reproductive failure in
birds of prey (thin egg
shells).
• In some areas 40-65% of
women have levels of
PCBs in their blood that
are up to 5 times higher
than the guidelines.
• Some studies link these
with attention span and
memory problems in
children.
TimePix.
http://www.nhc.rtp.nc.us:8080/ts
erve/nattrans/ntwilderness/essay
s/carsonb.htm.
The response
• International Treaty Banning use and
manufacture of:
– “dirty dozen” highly toxic chemicals, (DDT
and PCBs).
• The story of how we got this treaty is an
excellent illustration of how different types
of institutions can work together.
Canada’s Interest
• Lots of Arctic
• Inuit Vulnerable
• Domestic sources
of POPs already
limited
The Process
• Science, science, science.
– Physical evidence of problem (1980s).
• POPs on UN’s Regional European agenda.
– Regional POPs protocol.
•
•
•
•
POPs on UN Environment Programme’s Agenda.
Multi-lateral Negotiations (1998).
Final Treaty 2001 signed in Stockholm.
Needs 50 countries to ratify it.
Stakeholder Input
Before each of the
five sets of
negotiations Cdn
government held
stakeholder
consultations.
Inuit communities
and NGOs played a
crucial role.
International Opposition
Malaria versus DDT
“Malaria kills over one million people, mainly
children, in the tropics each year, and DDT
remains one of the few affordable, effective
tools against the mosquitoes that transmit the
disease. … the scientific literature on the need
to withdraw DDT is unpersuasive, and the
benefits of DDT in saving lives from malaria
are well worth the risks.”
Commentary in Nature Medicine.
6(7) July 2000, pp. 729-732
Malaria: the evidence
• 250-400 million
cases/a worldwide.
• 1 million deaths world
wide.
• Used to be wider
spread but has now
been eradicated from
the North (Italy WWII
had Malaria, Ontario
in 19thC had it too).
National Institute on Deafness and other Communication Disorders
http://www.nidcd.nih.gov/news/releases/02/10_21_02.htm
2/5 of the world’s population is at
risk.
Image courtesy of the Malaria Vaccine Initiative, PATH. See: http://www.malariavaccines.org.uk/1.shtml [November 20th, 2003]
Malaria and DDT: the evidence
• After spraying (early
1960s) Malaria had
dropped from 2.8
million cases and 7300
deaths to 17 cases and
no deaths.
• After banning DDT Sri
Lanka had 500,000
cases of malaria (1969).
Sri Lanka
DDT use and Malaria
Attaran, et al. (2000). Balancing risks on the backs of the poor. Nature Medicine 6(7). 729-732. Online
http://www.nature.com/cgi-taf/DynaPage.taf?file=/nm/journal/v6/n7/full/nm0700_729.html&filetype=PDF. [Accessed November
20th, 2003].
History of DDT Use
www.alternatives2toxics.org/
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/africa/902915.stm
How much DDT?
• Agricultural Use in the 1960s.
– Dusting a single 100-hectare cotton field can require
more than 1,100 kg of DDT over 4 weeks.
• Malaria Control in the 2000s.
– Spot spraying on interior surfaces.
– Half a kilogram /year can treat a large house.
• Guyana could be treated using the same amount of
DDT as would be have been used on 0.4km2 of
cotton.
Stakeholder Participation in
POPs Treaty
“When measures to control the use of DDT became
controversial and pitted North against South, we
stated clearly that Inuit would refuse to be party to
an agreement that threatened the health of others.
Having been decimated by smallpox and other
introduced diseases in the early years of the 20th
century, we sympathized acutely with those in
tropical lands losing thousands of people per year to
malaria.”
Sheila Watt-Cloutier
President of the Inuit Circumpolar Conference.
http://www.ourplanet.com/imgversn/124/watt.html [November 20th 2003].
Breaking the logjam
“The Inuit insisted on a convention
that would address the public health
concerns of mothers in all parts of
the globe.”
Ken Mcartney.
DFAIT, Canada.
http://www.ligi.ubc.ca/_conferences/110402envsec/media/Conference%20Summary.pdf [November 20th, 2003].
Stockholm Convention Finalized on
23 May, 2001.
• 120 Countries signed.
• Terms of convention stated that it would
come into force 90 days after the 50th
country ratified it.
Signatories in green and Parties in red
http://www.pops.int/documents/signature/
Post-Soviet Era: new
opportunities for cooperation
•
•
New opportunities for Arctic
circumpolar cooperation emerged in
the late 1980s…
Environmental cooperation was
identified as a first step in promoting
comprehensive security in the
region…
This logic holds true for other
regions
• New Economic Partnership for African
Development (NEPAD).
– Mandate to develop new socio-economic development
strategy for Africa www.nepad.org
• Nile Basin Initiative
– Originally electric and water interests now broader
mandate: http://www.nilebasin.org/
• Mekong River Council
– To promote co-management in Mekong river:
www.mekongriver.org
Why Regional Governance?
• UN System ineffective
since it can’t/doesn’t
impose sanctions for
environmental
problems
• Gorbichav proposed
green helmets has gone
nowhere.
• WEO discussion have
gone nowhere
• UNEP has tiny funding
base.
Why Regional Governance?
• Environmental problems fall outside of nation states
So…in conclusion
• Regional governance offers:
– Something with more direct contact between a
smaller number of states than the UN.
– Can be organized on biophysical/ecological
lines.
– Can focus on addressing the problems within a
region rather than having the mandate to deal
with a specific problem.
References for more information
• http://www.grida.no/prog/polar/bsc/index.htm
(module web page)
• http://ehpnet1.niehs.nih.gov/qa/1062focus/focus.html (paper on health)
• http://www.grida.no/inf/news/news01/news09.ht
m UNEP press release on permafrost
• http://www.grida.no/arctic.htm (UNEP’s Arctic
Page)
• http://www.iisd.org/casl/projects/inuit_video.htm
(IISD’s video page)
Learning Outcomes
 Show how this region is especially vulnerable to
climate change.
 Use “climate change in the artic as a way of
illustrating the (hopefully) complementary nature of
traditional ecological knowledge.
 Show how this region is vulnerable to industrial
pollution.
 Use the treaty negotiation dealing with industrial
pollution as a case study showing how “non-state
actors” can help find global solutions.