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   The Arctic and Antartica are called ‘Polar Regions’. Both have profound effects on the Earth’s climate and ocean systems. Antarctica, a huge land mass as large as the US and Mexico together, is the world’s last wilderness



We, the Inuit people of the Arctic, are a marine and land- based people. We still rely upon many animal species to support our age-old hunting, fishing, trapping and gathering economy. But many Inuit now use computers and invest in stocks and bonds over the internet. We welcome sustainable development of the Arctic’s resources. But we maintain our reverence for Nature and a commitment to treat it with respect.
Aqqaluk Lynge of Greenland. President, Inuit Circumpolar Conference, 1997


click picture to enlarge



  • The Southern Ocean is rich in krill and plankton, which form the main source of food for many fish species and whales.
  • The Antarctic ozone hole is expected to return annually for many decades.
  • Global warming: if the entire Antarctic ice sheet were to melt, it would produce a sea level rise of roughly 60 metres!
  • Arctic and Antarctic marine life is threatened by overfishing and hunting.
  • Deforestation in the Arctic has affected biodiversity and local climate.
  • Norway and Japan are exerting pressure to allow the hunting of whales again. Of a population of 250,000 blue whales in 1900, only 500 remain. In 1994, a sanctuary was created to protect them.

I disagree with any development in Antarctica. Why destroy the only peaceful region of the world?
Dominique Mansilla Hermann, Argentina


Pollutants are transported to the Arctic by water and air, mainly from Europe, Russia and North America. They are eaten by birds, fish and seals, which in turn are eaten by indigenous people.
Samuli, Finland


When the Exxon Valdez crashed in Alaska in 1992, it was a terrible environmental disaster. It disrupted our salmon runs and killed much of our marine life. Many Alaskans helped clean up the oil spill. My father built sea otter clinics as a precaution for future spills and disasters.
RenTe Royal, Alaska, USA


web site editor: webmaster@grida.no Last update: March 2000