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Arctic, Circumpolar stories curated by @Northern_Clips [Full story? Click on headline]
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China’s creep into Greenland is setting off alarm bells: $2.35 billion iron ore mining project okayed

China’s creep into Greenland is setting off alarm bells: $2.35 billion iron ore mining project okayed | Inuit Nunangat Stories | Scoop.it
Much is made of China "going green." But maybe more attention should be paid to China going to Greenland.
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Northern_Clips's insight:

"...No longer. Prime minister Kuupik Kleist sees extraction of Greenland’s abundant natural resources as a way to shake free of Denmark—the island of 57,000 people is a semi-autonomous territory. A bill passed in December introduced a framework to open up extraction of these resources, which the peel-back of melting glaciers is making increasingly plentiful, to foreign wildcatters...."

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Harper's cabinet mulls massive Chinese resource project near Kugluktuk Nunavut in Arctic

Harper's cabinet mulls massive Chinese resource project near Kugluktuk Nunavut in Arctic | Inuit Nunangat Stories | Scoop.it
Harper's cabinet mulls massive Chinese resource project in Arctic
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Northern_Clips's insight:

"...Some time in the new year, four federal ministers are to decide how to conduct an environmental review for the Izok Corridor proposal. It could bring many billions of dollars into the Arctic but would also see development of open-pit mines, roads, ports and other facilities in the centre of calving grounds for the fragile Bathurst caribou herd.
"This is going to be the biggest issue," said Sally Fox, a spokeswoman for proponent MMG Minerals, a subsidiary of the Chinese state-owned Minmetals Resources Ltd.
It would be hard to exaggerate the proposal's scope. Centred at Izok Lake, about 260 kilometres southeast of Kugluktuk, the project would stretch throughout a vast swath of western Nunavut.
Izok Lake would have five separate underground and open-pit mines producing lead, zinc and copper. Another site at High Lake, 300 kilometres to the northeast, would have another three mines.
MMG also wants a processing plant that could handle 6,000 tonnes of ore a day, tank farms for 35 million litres of diesel, two permanent camps totalling 1,000 beds, airstrips and a 350-kilometre all-weather road with 70 bridges that would stretch from Izok Lake to Grays Bay on the central Arctic coast....

"Both the Izok Lake mine site and the High Lake mine site, as well as the route of the Izok corridor all-weather road, occur either near to or on the Bathurst calving ground," wrote the government of the Northwest Territories.

"The proposed project may cause significant adverse effects on the ecosystem and wildlife habitat," wrote Environment Canada.

"We are concerned that our hunting and harvesting rights will be in jeopardy if the project is allowed to proceed as is," added the Lutsel K'e Dene.

Many pointed out that the Bathurst herd has only recently stabilized after a 90 per cent drop in the 1980s to today's 32,000 animals. That drop was steep and sustained enough for aboriginal groups to stop hunting the herd and many are leery of anything that could impede its recovery...."

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Arctic Council should be cautious about new observer hopefuls: Inuit org president

Arctic Council should be cautious about new observer hopefuls: Inuit org president | Inuit Nunangat Stories | Scoop.it
Terry Audla, right, the president of Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, at a Carleton University-led panel discussion in Ottawa Jan. 30 on the future role of the Arctic Council. On the cusp of Canada assuming the helm of the council in May, panelists — including the ambassadors of Norway and Sweden — discussed issues such as resource development, climate change and giving observer status on the council to players such as China and the European Union. (PHOTO BY LISA GREGOIRE) Many are knocking but few should enter, says Terry Audla, president of Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami. Speaking to an audience of 120 or so bureaucrats, political aides, consultants, scientists, students and diplomats during a panel discussion in Ottawa Jan. 30, Audla said the Arctic Council should be cautious about opening up observer status to applicants such as China and the European Union who haven’t always respected indigenous rights, both abroad and at home. “It’s a dilemma,” said Audla, considering the Inuit tradition of dialogue and negotiation. But the council runs the risk of seeing its agenda being diluted or sidetracked by special interests. “Permanent observer status in the Arctic Council is crucial, but we think with China and the EU, we need to look at them closely.”
Northern_Clips's insight:
"...The Arctic Council currently has six “observers,” including France and Germany, who member states have decided can contribute to their work. Another 14 states and organizations have applied for observer status including the European Union, South Korea, China, India, Japan, Greenpeace and the Association of Oil and Gas Producers. A decision on who gets in will be made at a meeting in May in Stockholm just before Sweden relinquishes the chairmanship to Canada. The incoming chair, Nunavut MP Leona Aglukkaq, said in October 2012 that applicants must “respect and support indigenous peoples in the Arctic region.” ..."
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