Food security in the Arctic : a legal and political analysis

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Bloom, Tyler
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The Arctic region is home to hundreds of thousands of indigenous peoples, spanning eight countries. Indigenous peoples living in this region have long struggled to achieve food security due to the harsh terrain and climate. In recent years, food insecurity has been exacerbated in the region due to factors such as a changing climate, an increase in economic activities, and socio-economic challenges such as poverty. This increased prevalence of food insecurity presents obstacles to States to fulfill their obligations under international law. Particularly, food security is intimately associated with rights specific to Indigenous peoples, such as the right to self-determination and the right to practice culture, as well as the broader international human rights framework, including the right to life. As such, States have the obligation to develop policies to alleviate food insecurity. To combat food insecurity and remain in compliance with international law, a variety of methods have been developed by many actors. At the international level, the Arctic Council has served as a forum to facilitate cooperation between State actors, indigenous organizations, and other observers. Nationally, states have worked to implement measures to negate the adverse impacts of climate change and economic activities on food insecurity. Finally, regional organizations, such as local governments and indigenous communities have worked to develop programmes which target the root causes of food insecurity, including poverty. These measures, work in conjunction with each other to alleviate food insecurity in the region. However, while measures show promise to be effective in combatting food insecurity, there are still gaps, including ensuring food security for more vulnerable populations as well as the specific protections of rights of Indigenous peoples which are necessary to be food secure.
Second semester University: Åbo Akademi University
indigenous peoples, Arctic regions, food relief, climatic changes, poverty, right to food, self-determination