GOAL 3 | Understand Natural Resources


  • Arctic economies are based on natural resources. The region produces about one-tenth of the world's oil, and a quarter of its natural gas1, and assessments suggest there are considerable undiscovered reserves of both. Abundant deposits of metals and minerals are also being discovered and developed. Renewable resources, such as fish, birds, and mammals (marine and terrestrial) and energy (wind, geothermal, hydro, and ocean) provide benefits and future opportunities.


  • Support greater mapping of Arctic lands and charting of waters. The United States must quantitatively assess mineral, energy, and living resources and learn more about the environmental, societal, and economic impacts of developing them.

  • Prepare thoroughly for responding to oil spills. Challenging response conditions and unique characteristics of Arctic environments require specialized research.

  • Develop international standards for Arctic exploration and oil and gas development, and share innovative technology and best management practices for Arctic regions.

1. Lindholt, L. 2006. Arctic natural resources in a global perspective. Pp. 27–39 in The Economy of the North. S. Glomsrød and I. Aslaksen, eds, Oslo: Statistics Norway, http://www.ssb.no/english/subjects/00/00/30/sa_economy_north/sa84_en/kap3.pdf