Use It or Lose It: Conflicting Land Uses in the Arctic – Infographic – The Arctic Institute

August 18, 2022 By Doris Friedrich, Nina Joffe, Elinor Tessin and Jennifer Cook Climate and Environment, Indigenous Rights and Issues, Multimedia, Natural Resources and Energy
Caribou slowly crossing the highway in Alaska. Photo: JLS Photography – Alaska
In the Arctic, a popular geopolitical motto is “use it or lose it.” A multitude of human and non-human land uses in the Arctic compete for space and influence each other. They can either be complementary or, more often, conflicting and detrimental to other each other. In the past, access to the Arctic was restricted due to freezing temperatures. Climate change has lessened these restrictions which may cause changes in land uses and exacerbate certain conflicts. Conflicting land uses pit different users and interest groups against each other, provoking clashes between sovereign states, economic actors, Indigenous peoples, the local population, and environmentalists. A broad range of interest groups can be involved in a single conflict.
This infographic, designed by Jennifer Cook, gives an overview of the different land uses that can come into conflict in the Arctic and the stakeholders and interests involved. It illustrates the issue with three examples from Fennoscandia, Alaska, and Yukon.
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