Copenhagen conference looks at Arctic shipping issues

SEPTEMBER 24, 2015 — Climate change has brought major changes in the Arctic. A number of commercial shipping voyages are already being made in the region and the significant savings in distance and time offered by the Arctic sea routes means this traffic is likely to grow, raising many legal and operational issues.

All this will be put in focus during next month's Danish Maritime Days, when the European Maritime Law Organization, the Royal Danish Naval Academy and the Danish law firm Gorrissen Federspiel  will host a two-day conference on Arctic shipping. The conference will deal with a broad range of topics from search & rescue, environmental regulation to the drawing of new boundaries, and a number of international experts will give their views on the developments in the Arctic.

New opportunities and new challenges

"The political, economic and social development is already underway and the future of the Arctic will be different from what we see today," says Jacob Skude Rasmussen, maritime lawyer and partner in Gorrissen Federspiel. "The changes in the Arctic have many implications for shipping. Melting of sea ice allows for new shipping routes through the Northeast and the Northwest Passage and the Arctic waters will experience a significant increase in maritime traffic in the coming years. The Arctic coastal states are making territorial claims over the Arctic Ocean and new boundaries are likely to be created. With new opportunities, come new challenges."

Mr. Rasmussen will moderate the seminar's topics concerning natural resources and boundaries in the Arctic focusing on claims made by the coastal states, international law on drawing of boundaries and the role of the United Nations. 

The conference, "Arctic Shipping and Safety – Legal Challenges and Opportunities," takes place at the Royal Danish Naval Academy in Copenhagen , October 6-7.

More on the conference HERE

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