Identification of German Interests in Environmental Protection and Development of Recommendations for a German Environmental Policy for the Arctic
Dr. Ralph Bodle and his colleagues presented a report by Ecologic Institute on possible courses of action for German environmental policy with an emphasis on the Arctic in the context of the German government's Arctic Dialogue. The report offered a number of different possibilities of how Germany could work towards improving nature conservation in the Arctic.
Germany has been active in the Arctic for a long time, particularly regarding scientific research, and it has observer status on the Arctic Council. The Arctic itself has been in the global political foreground in the last few years, particularly due to increasing access to resources and newly-opened shipping lanes, but also because of the rapid changes occurring to the Arctic environment.
The environment of the Arctic region is impacted by a diversity of different human activities- Included among them are indirect impacts – for example, the melting of Arctic ice due to climate change – just as much as environmental threats on the ground, such as resource extraction. The environmental and economic relevance of these changes will be felt more and more in countries outside of the Arctic itself.
Appropriately, the Arctic is followed closely in the German political sphere. Ecologic Institute's (unpublished) project report was introduced in the Arctic Dialogue, which is organized by the Alfred Wegener Institute (AWI) and where notably representatives of the federal ministries take part. A number of suggestions selected by the research team (e.g. Dr. Camilla Bausch, Arne Riedel and Susanne Altvater) were highlighted within various environmentally-relevant topic areas and were then discussed with the participants.