Edward Canuel


Sustainable development has emerged as an integral nexus, linking together critically important global issues including environmental stewardship and economic growth. Understanding sustainable development demands a close analysis of evolving definitions, conceptual applications, and areas of convergence and divergence within international, regional, and domestic institutions. The import and impact of hard law and soft law must additionally be explored to understand the application of sustainable development to the Arctic. This Article suggests a three-tier framework to assist the multiplicity of stakeholders with diverse equities to navigate the socio-economic and legal hurdles and potential associated with Arctic development. First, a trend has emerged where soft law is effectively “hardening.” Second, the guiding role of domestic law must not be underestimated. The final tier proposes that multidisciplinary Arctic approaches are integral and yield efficiencies. Taken together, this framework provides guidance for novices and experts alike when considering Arctic sustainable development.

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