Reconnecting Asia

Mapping continental ambitions

Our “Big Questions” series brings together leading scholars, former policymakers, and top industry experts to tackle critical questions. In the fifth part of this series, we asked a group of experts the following:

Last month, Arctic sea ice extent reached a maximum of 5.57 million square miles - a record low. As the Arctic region rapidly transforms due to dramatic climate impacts, new economic opportunities and environmental challenges present themselves across the region. How realistic are these economic opportunities, and what factors will drive or delay future economic development?

In our first response, Jan-Gunnar Winther advises that making the most of the Arctic's emerging economic opportunities will require careful management and cooperation between industry and the international community.

In our second response, Arild Moe explains that China's currently cautious approach to Arctic investment could give way to greater involvement over the long term.

In our third response, Pavel Baev details Russia's development vision for the Arctic region.

Check back for a new response each week. We will be hearing from:

Dr. Anne-Marie Brady, Global Fellow, Kissinger Institute on China and the United States, Polar Initiative, Wilson Center

Dr. Lawson W. Brigham, Governor, American Polar Society and Distinguished Professor of Geography & Arctic Policy, University of Alaska Fairbanks

Heather A. Conley, Senior Vice President for Europe, Eurasia, and the Arctic and Director of the Europe Program, CSIS

Craig Fleener, Senior Advisor on Arctic Policy, Office of Governor Bill Walker, State of Alaska

Previous Topics in our Big Question series include Asia's Overland Connections, The World’s Infrastructure Laboratory, Emerging Technology and Tomorrow’s Geography, and Asia's Unintended Flows.