Ecological Impact

For 30 years now, we observe the Arctic closely from space. On August 21st, 2007 the European Space Agency established the largest decline of pack ice n the area, opening the Northwest Passage and allowing a fast connection between Asia and Europe. The Northeast Passage however remains partially blocked.

The possible navigation of the Passage by freighters, tankers and other large vessels can have frightening consequences to the marine environment, land and Polar wildlife, namely:

- The risk that the Northwest Passage could become the highway of choice for vessels of four corners of the world

- The risk that the Northwest Passage does not impose any limitation on size of vessels in contrast to the Suez Canal and Panama ending up with boats even bigger and potentially more serious pollution accidents

- The danger of being trapped by forming ice in the autumn could make the use of nuclear or diesel icebreakers necessary with all its inherit dangers

- The danger of collision with icebergs or drifting ice: their shells may burst, releasing oil or other toxic chemicals directly into the ocean with serious risk of pollution of the marine fauna

- The risk of having to control, monitor and guide these marine behemoths will cause the emergence of new human settlements along the course, disfiguring an almost uninhabited region and seriously damaging its fragile ecosystem

- The risk of disturbing lives of isolated tribes Inuit …

- The risk of military or legal or economical disputes - states involved still to define the legitimacy or otherwise of this passage and its security - waterway outside of Canada or international bodies

- The danger that vessels may invade protected areas and reserved for whales, seals, polar bears… etc…