United States President Barack Obama is determined to instigate as many positive changes as he can during his last month in office, before president-elect Donald Trump takes over. His latest innovative idea involves protecting the Bering Sea, a core part of the pacific ocean comprising of a deep water basin system which rises through a narrow slope back into shallow water, above the continental shelves.
The White House’s official website released a statement on Friday, December 9, that President Obama recently met with Alaskan natives to discuss the newly created Northern Bering Sea Climate Resilience Area. In addition, talks were had regarding how their communities will be sustained following its implementation.
A total of 30 million dollars is being dedicated towards philanthropic projects in both northern Alaska as well as Canada. Over the next three years, investments supporting not only the communities in question, but also ecosystem science research, shipping, ecological resilience, and tribal engagement will be made. Barack Obama is very passionate when it comes to government leaders working with the heads of those communities in and around where development and serious ecological changes are being made, rather than passing a law and enforcing it without any regard to those who live there, especially Indigenous peoples.
An Economic Development Assessment Team, reports Alaska Dispatch News, was sent to Nome, an Alaskan city on the southern Seward Peninsula coast on Norton Sound of the Bering Sea, population almost 3600. They were deployed in order to help those in the community address the challenges related to climate change in the area, as well as to assist in the region’s economic growth and diversification.
Villages in Alaska’s northern Bering Sea region are most prone to practicing a lifestyle that is subsistence-based, one which depends on the sea’s rich marine ecosystem. Given that these people live off the land and nature, it is most important that this water be given all the protection it can. The Christian Science Monitor reveals that ship traffic, increasing ocean temperatures, and sea ice loss are all serious matters that affect the way those in these communities live and their ultimate well-being.
In March of this year, the United States and Canada came together to form the Joint Statement on Climate, Energy, and Arctic Leadership. This is dedicated to conserving Arctic biodiversity by incorporating both North American and Indigenous science in order to better understand how this can be done. Specific focus is given to the sustaining of the natural resources needed for those in this area to survive.
By Lorelai Zelmerlow
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