Arctic region which is surrounded by eight Arctic States (Canada, Denmark, Greenland, Iceland, United States, Russia, Norway, Sweden) and five coastal States comprised of (China, Iceland, Japan, Republic of Korea, and European Union) will become the economic Golden Sparrow of future, because of its minerals and new maritime routes. Hence, Russia, China and America in future will have to face more governance problem as compared to the conflict over Greenland between America and China.

Over the past few decades, Arctic has dramatically transformed due to climate change, global warming and globalisation. Sea ice of arctic has been melting rapidly making it easy to access natural resources and opening up new Maritime routes. Between 1980- 2015 the surface area of the sea covered by ice decreased by 5 percent per decade, and thickness of sea decreased by 11 percent to 16 percent per decade. At least once a decade, there could be a ice free summer in the Arctic region, if global temperature rises by less than 2 degrees Celsius. And in two decades it could be completely ice free. Decreased ice will allow more human activity that will also damage the arctic ecosystem. The Arctic has an estimated almost 1,670 trillion cubic feet of natural gas and 90 billion barrels of oil, amounting to 22 percent of the world’s natural gas and oil reserves. The arctic environment due to global warming could lead to a Gold Rush. As the ice is melting so rapidly it could be new maritime route for international shipping. The Northeast Passage, consisting the maritime route along Russian Arctic and the Norwegian, is 36 percent shorter than traditional routes through the Suez Canal. Environmental and technical risks should be addressed before the extraction of natural resources or before the Arctic sea routes used.

Meanwhile, geopolitical, economic and security concerns of world, specifically eight arctic countries are also associated with the changing arctic. Russia could access the Greenland directly via shortest arctic maritime route, Greenland has played vital role in cold war and a little part in World War II, United states has the most secret “Thule Air base” in northern part of Greenland since 1943. At the time of its installation it was only known by the high officials of pentagon. United States used this air base throughout the cold war for surveillance of Europe. Second important thing is that it also has America’s premiere early warning ballistic missile surveillance base. Important cities of Russia are also in the range of the missile and air base.

Two years ago china had also offered Greenland’s prime minister to build infrastructure comprising three airports and roads with the investment of almost 500 million USD, which was initially blocked by interference of United States by using its diplomatic sources. In this sense of geopolitics and security matters, melting arctic is important for both Russia and United States. Russia on one hand, is using diplomatic sources and doing negotiations in one belt one road project to use route for economic benefits. After melting arctic Russia will be independent to trade with Europe and Canada. On the other hand, China declared itself a near arctic or coastal arctic state and started huge investments to use this route for exports to Canada, Europe and United states. By using this polar arctic route no need to cross whole Indian Ocean, no need to pay to use Suez Canal route.

The most important thing is that conflicts between arctic states will arise for ownership over arctic region due to economic and geo-strategic benefits. United nation, governments, international policy organizations, environmental organizations all should work to make a framework to tackle the challenges (ecosystem, pollution & economic) of arctic region. The existing arctic council should be strengthened. Arctic is the home of almost four million people, about 12.5 percent of the Arctic population is indigenous peoples. And the lifestyle of these indigenous people is in danger due to commercial activities, But they want to preserve their lifestyle and ecosystem of their homeland, and want to develop it according to their traditions. So the protection of ecosystem and biodiversity of arctic should be a priority rather than economic benefits in dialogues between arctic states, coastal states and thirteen observer states. Observer states can play vital role in making framework because they can’t claim for ownership elsewhere in arctic region now or in future.