Alaska Statutes Title 44. State Government § 44.99.105. Declaration of state Arctic policy

(a) It is the policy of the state, as it relates to the Arctic, to

(1) uphold the state's commitment to economically vibrant communities sustained by development activities consistent with the state's responsibility for a healthy environment, including efforts to

(A) ensure that Arctic residents and communities benefit from economic and resource development activities in the region;

(B) improve the efficiency, predictability, and stability of permitting and regulatory processes;

(C) attract investment through the establishment of a positive investment climate and the development of strategic infrastructure;

(D) sustain current, and develop new, approaches for responding to a changing climate, and adapt to the challenges of coastal erosion, permafrost melt, and ocean acidification;

(E) encourage industrial and technological innovation in the private and academic sectors that focuses on emerging opportunities and challenges;

(F) maintain a strong, sustainable fisheries industry and increase fisheries research and monitoring;

(G) continue to prepare the residents of the state for emerging economic activities by using multiple education and training opportunities and implementing state workforce plans;

(2) collaborate with all levels of government, tribes, industry, and nongovernmental organizations to achieve transparent and inclusive Arctic decision-making, including efforts to

(A) strengthen and expand cross-border relationships and international cooperation, especially bilateral engagements with Canada and Russia;

(B) sustain and enhance state participation in the Arctic Council;

(C) pursue opportunities to participate meaningfully as a partner in the development of federal and international Arctic policies, thereby incorporating state and local knowledge and expertise;

(D) strengthen support for and collaboration with Arctic Council Permanent Participant organizations that include indigenous peoples of the state;

(3) enhance the security of the Arctic region of the state and, thereby, the security of the entire state, including efforts to

(A) enhance disaster and emergency prevention and response, oil spill prevention and response, and search and rescue capabilities in the region;

(B) provide safe, secure, and reliable maritime transportation in the areas of the state adjacent to the Arctic;

(C) sustain current, and develop new, community, response, and resource-related infrastructure;

(D) coordinate with the federal government for an increase in United States Coast Guard presence, national defense obligations, and levels of public and private sector support;  and

(4) value and strengthen the resilience of communities and respect and integrate the culture, language, and knowledge of Arctic peoples, including efforts to

(A) recognize Arctic indigenous peoples' cultures and unique relationship to the environment, including traditional reliance on a subsistence way of life for food security, which provides a spiritual connection to the land and the sea;

(B) build capacity to conduct science and research and advance innovation and technology in part by providing support to the University of Alaska for Arctic research consistent with state priorities;

(C) employ integrated, strategic planning that considers scientific, local, and traditional knowledge;

(D) safeguard the fish, wildlife, and environment of the Arctic for the benefit of residents of the state;

(E) encourage more effective integration of local and traditional knowledge into conventional science and research.

(b) It is important to the state, as it relates to the Arctic, to support the strategic recommendations of the implementation plan developed by the Alaska Arctic Policy Commission and to encourage consideration of recommendations developed by the Alaska Arctic Policy Commission.  Priority lines of effort for the Arctic policy of the state include

(1) promoting economic and resource development;

(2) addressing the infrastructure and response capacity gap in order to support the Arctic region;

(3) supporting healthy communities;  and

(4) supporting existing and fostering new science and research that aligns with state priorities for the Arctic.

(c) In this section, “Arctic” means the area of the state north of the Arctic Circle, north and west of the boundary formed by the Porcupine, Yukon, and Kuskokwim Rivers, all contiguous seas, including the Arctic Ocean, and the Beaufort, Bering, and Chukchi Seas, and the Aleutian Chain, except that, for the purpose of international Arctic policy, “Arctic” means the entirety of the state.


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