Canada has decided to extend its jurisdiction in the Arctic area by doubling the range at which Canadian environmental laws and shipping regulations from 100 nautical miles offshore to 200. “Whether is is the thawing of the Northwest Passage or the suspected resource riches under the Arctic seabed, more countries are taking an interest in the waterways of the Canadian Arctic,” said Prime Minister Harper. He emphasized the need for Canada to send a clear message to the world that it will make decisions regarding environmental issues regardless of what other nations may believe about that decision. “If you are in Canada’s Arctic, you will be playing by Canada’s rules.”
The Canadian statement raises many issues– will the world now witness a mad dash by nations to claim this or that claim to land that is now frozen. Perhaps, it is time to place these areas under jurisdiction of the United Nations.