The New Arctic

BBC World Service

Global warming is happening twice as fast in the Arctic. As the ice melts, it poses an existential threat to local communities and indigenous culture, whilst opening up possibilities of economic opportunities. Some estimate there are up to 12 TRILLION dollars worth of natural resources under the ice – 1/8th of the world’s undiscovered oil and a third of all gas resources. There are gold, diamonds, an abundance of rare earth metals

But contrary to popular imagination, the Arctic is not a pristine, empty white desert. It’s home to 4 million residents distributed across 8 distinct Arctic states, including indigenous peoples who’ve survived in the hostile region for tens of thousands of years.

In this four part series, partly recorded on location in Svalbard and Northern Norway, Allan Little explores the future of mining, of green energy, of tourism in a world that climate change is making accessible for the first time in millennia. Where does power lie? Who will control the rapidly changing icy far north as it thaws?

Produced by Victoria Ferran 

Broadcast: Wednesday 3rd, 10th, 17th and 24th February on BBC World Service