chapter  4
Sustainable Development in the Arctic: A Conflict Between Conservation and Utilization
Pages 28

Following the launch of the Arctic Council initiative, much of the conflict in the period up until the Council’s institutionalization in 1996 and the final agreement on rules of procedure in 1998 centered around the contradiction between some interpretations of the main environmental and indigenous themes. These conflicts were largely played out under the theme of “sustainable development,” which became the main extension to the Arctic Council in comparison with the environment-centered AEPS. While earlier plans, for example in the Arctic Council Panel, had been more extensive, this label of “sustainable development”—something that Canada had promoted already as a theme for the AEPS-thus seemed to provide a sufficiently environmentrelated focus for agreement among actors on developing the Arctic Council. As the AEPS was now being integrated under the emerging Arctic Council, however, the established AEPS focus on environmental conservation and the Arctic Council inclusion of indigenous traditional rights in sustainable utilization were set to clash.