September 16, 2019
 In Arctic Circle Resource Exploitation

Country: Colombia
Delegate Name: Clare Cowen

As the world population expands, our desire for natural resources also increases. Regions we have previously turned to in order to fulfill this desire have been made bare by years of human deprivation and greed, so we have turned to the Arctic Circle to provide us with the resources we so desire. This region, which remained untouched for years, has become a focal point for countries looking to increase their economic prospects as the world economical stage becomes increasingly competitive. The Arctic contains 13% of the world’s oil reserves, and 30% of the world’s natural gas reserves, some of the most sought-out resources in the world, making it a region of rising interest. The past years have not provided the technology and transportation necessary for traveling and navigating one of the world’s most daunting regions, yet recent innovations in these fields have made Arctic exploration a much simpler task, further exacerbating the problem at hand. Those who are in possession of Arctic territory, known as the Arctic Five, are the governing body that makes any decision regarding the territory, including who has access to reserves. They have claims upon any undiscovered reserves, making it so that resources whose existence is yet to be discovered are already in a sense gone. Non-Arctic states have also begun looking towards the Arctic for resources. Yet depriving the Arctic of its natural resources is not our only abuse; due to global warming, Arctic ice is melting at a staggering rate of 12.6% per decade. This not only destroys habitats, it also causes sea levels to rise and global temperatures to increase at a faster rate as well. It is a dire issue that deserves the world’s acknowledgement and must be acted upon immediately.

Colombia has addressed strong concerns regarding the conservation of the Arctic and its resources. While their attention has previously been focused towards the Antarctic, they have begun to shift their attention toward the Arctic. Colombia has sent researchers to study the region, and have also collaborated with Canada, a member of the Arctic Five, in research and preservation efforts. They have signed several agreements related to climate change, such as the Kyoto Protocol and the Paris Agreement, both of which, while not directly related to the Arctic, promise to lower global temperatures which will prevent Arctic ice from melting. Other treaties that Colombia has signed that relate to climate change and preservation of the natural world, and therefore the Arctic, are the Marine Life Conservation Agreement and the Endangered Species Agreement.

Colombia is eager to ally with any of the states that are members of the Arctic Five. They strongly believe that the Arctic and its resources should be protected and would like to discuss the matter of conservation with other countries who share the same opinion. Looking forward, Colombia hopes to sign further agreements regarding Arctic conservation and calls upon countries with larger economies to assist Colombia in providing aid to help solve this issue. They recognize that the degradation of the Arctic affects countries and their ecosystems all over the world, and hopes that other countries will acknowledge this fact as well.

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