chapter  3
The “Arctic” in the Arctic Environmental Protection Strategy and Arctic Council: An Environmental, Indigenous, and Foreign Policy Concern
Pages 22

This chapter illustrates how an “Arctic” approach, given momentum by Gorbachev’s Murmansk speech and subsequently taken up by Finland as the Arctic Environmental Protection Strategy (AEPS), was developed and reframed into the broader Arctic Council (AC) governance initiative by Canada. This governance initiative was first suggested in the Canadian context about the same time as the Finnish initiative was put forward (following Gorbachev’s speech). The development of the Arctic Council thus took place parallel to and subsequently overtook the more limited environment-oriented AEPS. The emergence of the Arctic Council has in itself been seen as a manifestation of “the Arctic” as a “region”:

the council’s most important role is probably generative in nature. Through its very existence, the council has become a symbol of the emergence of the Arctic as a distinct region in international society (Young 2000, chapter 4, recommendation 2, paragraph 2).