Due to my area of interest, my view of the future might be biased towards the environmental issues that we, the Earth and not least the Arctic, are faced with. If the worst predictions for the future are correct, this threatens at least my childhood picture of a barren but thriving Arctic. Nowadays, big parts of the Arctic are more accessible. New techniques have also made the Arctic an object for new kinds of prospecting, which has made large multinational companies once again focus northwards.
However, from a biological research or recreational point of view the accessibility is invaluable. This is mainly due to collaboration and networks between universities, research institutes and outdoor organizations. For my own studies I got the opportunity to work on my master’s project in Abisko (in Sweden, 68 degrees north) thanks to ongoing research programs that already had a developed infrastructure.
Maybe it is a little naïve to have the cake and eat it at the same time; after all, a key part of my image was inaccessibility. But I truly believe that broad collaboration in the Arctic is important to maintain in the future. Only by gaining knowledge and by sharing this knowledge to all nations involved can we halt negative effects of the environment on international level. However, gaining this knowledge has to be done with respect to the nature and the people living in the Arctic. It is my hope that we can face these issues together and in the future still be able to enjoy the landscape and fascinating wildlife of the Arctic.