Exploring the Northern Dimension

NDI POLICY BRIEF 15: Accident information is needed to prevent emergencies in the Arctic waters

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Increasing economic activity in the Russian Arctic has resulted in the growth of vessel traffic related to trade, exploration and research, marine tourism, and natural resource extraction activities. This has heightened the risk of maritime accidents. Navigation and rescue response are challenging in the High North due to its harsh weather and ice conditions, long distances, and vulnerable nature. Therefore, it is important to raise awareness about the potential risks in order to prevent accidents. Here, the analysis of previous accidents in the Arctic waters provides valuable lessons for the future. Such analysis requires summarizing, visualizing and openly sharing accident information. This is not yet the case for the Russian Arctic and therefore it would be valuable to develop public digital sources that contain such accident information.

  • Recommendation 1: To develop an effective mechanism for the utilization of risk analysis and accident data to improve emergency preparedness and safety level in the Arctic waters.
  • Recommendation 2: To introduce a digital platform for sharing information about maritime accidents happened in the Russian Arctic and emergency resources available. This platform could be linked to other relevant platforms already existing in Russia and other Arctic countries.
  • Recommendation 3: To make sure that all actors involved contribute to the analysis and sharing of data related to accidents, and control the quality of the data as to their format and accuracy.


The map and data service of the Baltic Marine Environment Protection Commission

Download the policy brief: Accident information is needed to prevent emergencies in the Arctic waters (PDF)

For more information, please contact the author:
Svetlana Kuznetsova, Northern Arctic Federal University, Arkhangesk, Russia, s.kuznecova [a] narfu.ru

This policy brief was written as a part of the NDI Policy Brief Training held in October 2020.

Tags: Environment, Transport & Logistics, Russia, Arctic, Publication, Policy brief

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