The Agreement on Cooperation on Marine Oil Pollution Preparedness and Response in the Arctic
AuthorRise, Ingvild Hoel
This is a case study of the establishment of an oil spill response regime in the Arctic region. The context is the work of the Arctic Council and the development of the Agreement on Cooperation on Marine Oil Pollution Preparedness and Response in the Arctic. Three research topics are studied; regime, response system and the role of politics and professions. The Arctic oil spill response agreement is outlined first, and the principles, norms, rules and decision making procedures that it establishes for the oil spill response regime are analyzed. It is found that the Agreement mostly consists of principles and rules for procedures since it is a legal document; the Agreement is however creating a framework for the establishment of a regime. The second part is concerned about the response system. The bilateral and multilateral oil spill response agreements in the region are the fundament for the oil spill response in the Arctic (AC, 2013a: 11). For the regime to be successful it is important for these to be compatible (Tuler, Seager & Kay, 2007: 34). The agreements are analyzed with the use of elements from the command and control model and the problem solving model to evaluate to what extent they are compatible (Dynes, 1994). The problem solving model, from the chapter on response system, salutes cooperation between agencies and the personal contact which this type of cooperation encourage. So this might be seen as a positive feature of the Arctic Council’s institutional framework. The agreements are to a relatively large extent compatible. The most important deviations were the sign of centralization in the Canadian-Danish cooperation, and the emphasis on cooperation within research. The third part addresses the noteworthy presence of professionals in the development of the Agreement on Cooperation on Marine Oil Pollution Preparedness and Response in the Arctic. Interview data and meeting reports form the empirical material for the analysis of the role of politics and professions in the regime formation. The regime is studied in three stages of regime formation; agenda formation, negotiation and operationalization (Young, 1998). While the political level found it necessary to develop an oil spill response regime after the Deepwater Horizon accident, the negotiation stage of the regime formation were a close cooperation between representatives from national ministries and of oil spill response experts. Further, it is the professional’s responsibility to prepare, recommend and maintain the development of the oil spill response agreements, operational guidelines, and contingency plans, and they are thereby to a large extent responsible for the operationalization of the regime.
PublisherUiT Norges arktiske universitet
UiT The Arctic University of Norway
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Copyright 2014 The Author(s)
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