Thematic Network on Arctic in Asia and Asia in the Arctic

This TN aims to bridge the growing symbiotic interest and active engagement between the Arctic and Asia, and we argue that it fits into the vision of inclusivity of the University of the Arctic in the advancement of «education, science, research and policy based on reciprocity, equality and trust between northerners and other partners». It also aims to interrogate the swiftly growing interest, presence, and engagement of Asian stakeholders in the Arctic -- whether as scientists and researchers, tourists, artists and curators, entrepreneurs, or policy-makers.


Our continuing goal is to create and strengthen knowledge and understanding on the relationship between the Arctic and Asia, including the lessons that may be learned from each other on, but not exclusive to these topics:

  • the resolution of border disputes in the Arctic compared with Asia;
  • the economics and logistics of the transshipment of goods from Asia through Arctic waters;
  • questions of region-building in the Arctic and in Asia through institutionbuilding, etc.: e.g. comparing the Arctic Council and ASEAN;
  • Asian influence in the Arctic Council;
  • UNCLOS in the face of climate change and marine biodiversity in comparative perspective;
  • Asia as a market for Arctic tourism;
  • advancing sustainability science in the Arctic and Asia in global climate change;
  • indigenous peoples in Northern Japan and the Arctic in comparative perspective;
  • science diplomacy between the Arctic and Asia;
  • China’s belt and road initiative and its meaning for the Arctic;
  • Cross-border experiences in comparative perspective;
  • Polar orientalism;
  • Asian entrepreneurial interest in the Arctic;
  • comparing sustainable and conventional energy markets in Asia and the Arctic, etc. 

Each of these may form a foundation for teaching, research, and outreach activities led by a TN on The Arctic in Asia, and Asia in the Arctic. 

Other Information

More information and past activities can be found here.

Video interview: Aileen Espiritu, Lead of the UArctic Thematic Network on Arctic in Asia and Asia in the Arctic