Canadá

Incêndio no Canadá interrompe produção de petróleo em 25%


Um grande incêndio florestal de mais de 200 mil hectares na província de Alberta no Canadá causou o corte de ao menos 25% da produção de petróleo do país, agravando a situação econômica do país, que já se encontrava difícil após a recente queda dos preços do petróleo. Calcula-se que o prejuízo à economia petrolífera seja de dezenas de milhões de dólares por dia. Embora não seja provável que o incêndio afete diretamente as minas petrolíferas de Alberta, o corpo de bombeiros estima que levará meses para extinguir as chamas. O Canadá possui a terceira maior reserva de petróleo do mundo, depois de Arábia Saudita e Venezuela.

Foto: Mark Blinch / Reuters via DW.

Anúncios

O fim do ciclo das areias betuminosas?


Em matéria na revista Yale Environment 360, Ed Struzik discute se estamos no início do declínio do ciclo das areias betuminosas. O desenvolvimento das tecnologias de produção de petróleo a partir de xistos e areias betuminosas pôs grande esperança em dar sobrevida ao ciclo do petróleo, bem como em diminuir a dependência do Oriente Médio para a obtenção dessa matéria-prima. Entretanto, a queda no preço do petróleo tem preocupado os produtores tanto de xisto betuminoso (primordialmente os EUA) como de areias betuminosas. A indústria de areias betuminosas do Canadá está em cheque: os novos governos dos estados de Alberta e Ottawa não se mostram animados a continuar o apoio estatal a essa fonte poluidora de energia, ao passo que os projetos de oleodutos na América do Norte estão parados.

Foto: Mark Ralston / AFP / Getty Images.

Ministro da Defesa do Canadá não desconsidera compra do caça F-35


O ministro da Defesa do Canadá, Harjit Sajjan, anunciou que o caça F-35 poderá participar da licitação para adquirir novos aviões para o país. Assim, Sajjan contraria uma das promessas de campanha do atual governo liberal, encabeçado pelo premiê Justin Trudeau, de não comprar o F-35 devido ao alto custo. O Canadá busca substituir seus CF-18 e deve abrir disputa em breve.

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Foto: Daniel Hughes / U.S. Air Force / Reuters.

KC-390 para o Canadá?


A empresa brasileira Embraer oferecerá o novo avião KC-390 ao Canadá, que lançou uma licitação para o fornecimento de aviões de busca e salvamento. Contrato de US$ 2,3 bilhões deve ser anunciado em janeiro de 2016 e o resultado no final do ano. Em caso de vitória, a Embraer pode garantir mercados importantes na América do Norte.

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Foto: Embraer.

No Canadá, Trudeau é empossado e monta governo com equivalência de gênero e diversidade


Logo após sua posse como primeiro-ministro nesta quarta-feira (04/11), Justin Trudeau nomeou os ministros de seu governo. O gabinete, composto por 15 homens e 15 mulheres, é o primeiro na história do Canadá a ter uma equivalência de gênero. A equipe ainda apresenta uma baixa média de idade e de tempo de serviço — com a maioria possuindo menos de 50 anos e nunca tendo estado em um ministério — e significativa diversidade étnica.

Foto: Xinhua / Landov / Barcroft Media.

Saída do Canadá deve tornar F-35 ainda mais caro


O Joint Program Office afirmou que, caso o Canadá se retire do programa de desenvolvimento do caça F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, o preço pago por cada aeronave deve se tornar ainda mais caro. Devido ao alto custo e a não necessidade deste tipo de avião, o novo governo do Canadá prometeu se retirar do desenvolvimento e não realizar a compra planejada de 65 F-35.

Foto: Lockheed Martin.

Canadá comunica aos EUA que não participará mais de bombardeios ao “Estado Islâmico”


O recém-eleito primeiro-ministro do Canadá, Justin Trudeau, comunicou, nesta quarta-feira (21/10), ao Presidente dos Estados Unidos, Barack Obama, que o Canadá não participará mais das campanhas de bombardeios ao grupo “Estado Islâmico” na Síria e no Iraque. O líder canadense não detalhou quando a participação na coligação internacional vai acabar. O Canadá participa com seis caças dos ataques aéreos liderados pelos EUA.

Foto: Reuters/Chris Wattie

Novo governo do Canadá pretende não comprar caça F-35


A eleição do Partido Liberal, oposição, para governar o Canadá põe em risco a compra futura de aviões F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. O governo anterior fazia parte do programa de desenvolvimento do caça e pretendia realizar a compra do caça. Porém, os liberais se opõem à compra e à participação do país no caro projeto liderado pelos Estados Unidos.

Justin Trudeau. Foto: Nicholas Kamm / AFP.

Oposição de esquerda vence eleições no Canadá


Nesta segunda-feira (19/10), o Partido Liberal, de oposição, venceu as eleições no Canadá e ocupará 184 das 338 cadeiras da câmara baixa do Parlamento. Essa maioria permitirá ao novo primeiro-ministro, Justin Trudeau, governar sem depender de outros partidos. Trudeau prometeu o aumento de impostos sobre grandes fortunas, a consulta popular para a mudança de sistema eleitoral e legalizar e regulamentar o uso da maconha.

Justin Trudeau. Foto: Reuters.

TPP explicada


Confira aqui um artigo publicado no jornal The New York Times que explica os principais pontos da “Parceria Trans-Pacífico” (TPP), considerada o maior acordo regional de comércio da história, assinado no início de outubro deste ano. A TPP, com os Estados Unidos, Japão e mais 10 países, além das reduções de tarifas, estabelece regras e padrões para áreas como a farmacêutica, a ambiental e a dos direitos trabalhistas. O tratado ainda precisa ser ratificado pelos países signatários, onde encontra forte oposição.

Imagem: AG news.

No Canadá, oposição volta-se contra a compra de caças F-35


Em campanha política no Canadá, o líder de oposição Justin Trudeau, do Partido Liberal, anunciou que, caso vencedor nas eleições de outubro, não comprará caças “F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighters” da Lockheed Martin. Embora tenham participação canadense no seu desenvolvimento, os caças têm um custo muito elevado e há falta de transparência no processo, segundo Trudeau, e não valeria a pena comprá-los para reforçar a força aérea do país. Atual governo adiou decisão da compra de novos aviões para depois da eleição.

Foto: Alex Lloyd / 75th Air Base Wing Public Affair.

G7 ameaça Rússia com mais sanções e apoia meta climática


Ao fim da reunião da cúpula do G7 na Alemanha, os sete países desenvolvidos ameaçaram reforçar ainda mais as sanções contra a Rússia caso a situação se agrave no leste da Ucrânia. A chanceler alemã afirmou que o grupo concordara que as sanções impostas a Moscou pelo Ocidente devem continuar até que o acordo de cessar-fogo seja cumprido em sua totalidade. Os líderes também concordaram em apoiar o estabelecimento de uma meta para limitar o aquecimento global a 2ºC, além de fornecer ajuda no valor de 100 bilhões de dólares aos países em desenvolvimento para que possam lidar com as questões referentes ao tema.

Líderes reunidos na cúpula do G7. Foto: Getty Images, AFP, R. Michael

Líderes reunidos na cúpula do G7. Foto: Getty Images / AFP / R. Michael.

Canadá junta-se a EUA e Reino Unido em treino de tropas ucranianas


O Canadá está enviando 200 militares para a Ucrânia para se juntar ao esforço empreendido por Estados Unidos e Reino Unido de treinamento de tropas das forças armadas ucranianas. A maior parte do contingente (150 soldados) ficará no centro de treinamento da OTAN no oeste do país próximo à fronteira com a Polônia. A missão de treinamento deve durar até março de 2017. Os EUA já têm 800 militares no país e o Reino Unido 75.

Foto: OTAN.

Canadá tem atitude omissa sobre a redução de gases do efeito estufa


O Canadá está tendo dificuldades de cumprir com suas metas de redução de emissão de gases do efeito estufa, muito devido à exploração de areias betuminosas no leste do país. A indústria de extração de hidrocarbonetos a partir de areias betuminosas, altamente poluente, está em franca expansão no Canadá, ofuscando possibilidades de investimento em energia limpa no país. Outras atitudes do governo conservador canadense preocupam ambientalistas, como o abandono do Protocolo de Kyoto, em 2011, e a flexibilização da regulação do setor de petróleo e gás.

Foto: Dru Oja Jay / Dominion

Foto: Dru Oja Jay / Dominion

Estudo prevê perda de 70% de geleiras do leste canadense até 2100


Estudo prevê uma perda de 70% das geleiras do leste do Canadá até 2100. A neve permanente do topo de montanhas também deve ser afetada, o que também contribui para o aumento do nível do mar. O derretimento de geleiras tem uma série de consequências, como a disponibilidade de água para a agricultura e problemas na qualidade da água para consumo humano. O estudo desenvolveu um novo método interdisciplinar para a avaliação da perda de volume de geleiras, cujos resultados serão levados às autoridades do próximo Painel Intergovernamental sobre Mudanças Climáticas.

Foto: Ron Erwin / All Canada Photos / Corbis

Foto: Ron Erwin / All Canada Photos / Corbis

Canadá construirá frota de patrulha para o Ártico


O Canadá deu os primeiros passos para a construção de uma frota de navios de patrulha para suas regiões do Ártico. Os planos foram apresentados pela primeira vez em 2007 e esperava-se que estaria implementado já em 2013 ao custo de aproximadamente 3 bilhões de dólares para a aquisição de até oito novos navios. Contudo, o projeto do atual governo deve custar 3,5 bilhões de dólares e inclui cinco novos navios a serem construídos pela Irving Shipbuilding e com sistemas de combate da Lockheed Martin.

Foto: Wikipedia.

Foto: Wikipedia.

Tensão no Ártico: a corrida pelo “Eldorado de gelo”


Enquanto o clima no planeta aquece e o gelo polar derrete, a corrida pelo acesso às rotas comerciais e recursos naturais no Ártico pode tornar o Pólo Norte uma região de cooperação internacional. Ou palco de confrontos militares.

Foto: n.i

Foto: n.i

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Canadá realiza pivô para a ASEAN


No mês passado, o ministro canadense para comércio internacional realizou uma missão de quatro dias no Laos e em Mianmar para impulsionar parcerias comerciais e de desenvolvimento entre o Canadá e os países do sudeste asiático. Medida é sintomática dos laços rapidamente crescentes entre Ottawa e a ASEAN.

Foto: Flickr.

Foto: Flickr.

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Painel econômico e ambiental aprova oleoduto no Canadá


No Canadá, painel de revisão econômica e ambiental aprovou os planos para um oleoduto e um porto para transportar óleo de xisto de Alberta (centro-oeste canadense) para navios petroleiros na costa do Pacífico. Com isso, pretende-se ter maior acesso a mercados asiáticos.

Fonte: Darryl Dyck / Canadian Press, via AP.

Fonte: Darryl Dyck / Canadian Press, via AP.

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Canadá reivindicará o Polo Norte


Ainda esta semana o Canadá entrará com um pedido ante as Nações Unidas para expandir os limites seu mar territorial. Região é disputada pelo país com Rússia, Estados Unidos, Dinamarca e Noruega e tem visto crescente militarização devido a descobertas de recursos minerais e possibilidade de novas rotas de navegação.

Fonte: The Canadian Press.

Fonte: The Canadian Press.

Canada to claim North Pole: report

The Japan Times – 05/12/2013

Canada’s prime minister has ordered the inclusion of the North Pole in the country’s Arctic claim after it was excluded from a proposed U.N. submission, a newspaper reported Wednesday.

Canada will still meet a Dec. 6 deadline for filing an application to the United Nations to extend its northern sea boundary, according to the daily Globe and Mail.

But it now also plans to follow up with a broader claim that includes the geographic North Pole once additional surveying, analysis and paperwork is completed, it said.

The newspaper cited senior government officials as saying Prime Minister Stephen Harper gave the order to bureaucrats after seeing a draft of the U.N. submission.

Harper’s office declined to comment on the report, saying only that “Canada is in the process of securing its sovereignty over the north.”

Canadian sovereignty over the far north has been a key plank of Harper’s Tories since his government was first elected in 2006.

Every summer in recent years, Harper has traveled to the region to observe Canadian military exercises in the harsh environment.

Canada, Denmark, Norway, Russia and the United States claim overlapping parts of the region believed to be rich in hydrocarbons, and have been rushing to gather evidence in support of their respective claims.

Rising temperatures have boosted interest in the polar region, as melting ice opens up shipping routes and makes hitherto inaccessible mineral resources easier to exploit.

According to the U.S. Geological Survey, the Arctic seabed is thought to hold about 90 billion barrels of oil and 30 percent of the world’s undiscovered gas resources.

The North Pole seabed itself is not believed to hold large reserves but has symbolic value for the countries in the region.

Nations bordering the Arctic currently are entitled to a 200 nautical mile (370 km) economic zone from their coastlines, but claims for extending their territories will be decided under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.

Fonte: http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2013/12/05/world/canada-to-claim-north-pole-report

A corrida pelas terras-raras da Groenlândia


Com o derretimento do gelo na Groenlândia, região autônoma dinamarquesa, torna-se cada vez mais possível a exploração das riquezas minerais do local, entre elas as terras-raras, o que está atraindo diversos países para a localidade.

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Greenland’s Rare Earths Gold Rush

Foreign Affairs – 28/10/2013 – por Anna-Katarina Gravgaard

Benedikte Vahl, a retired schoolteacher, has just one hope for Narsaq, her hometown of colorful wooden houses on a fjord in southern Greenland: that a mine will open soon in nearby Kuannersuit, bringing badly needed jobs and investment. Times are so tough that, over the past five years, more than 600 of her neighbors have left an already small municipality of 7,000. Mining might be the last hope. “I see no other solution,” Vahl says.

Kuannersuit has long been of interest to geologists. It is filled with pretty stones such as the pink tugtupite (“reindeer blood” in Greenlandic) and is home to more than 200 rare minerals, 15 of which cannot be found anywhere else in the world. But these days, all eyes are on the region’s so-called rare earth elements — raw materials essential to technology products such as cell phones, wind turbines, and hybrid cars. For years, China has held a near monopoly on the global supply, controlling an 85 percent share. (That figure is down from a high of 95 percent a year ago, thanks to U.S. and Australian efforts to start mining their own rare earths.) Kuannersuit contains as much as 10 million tons of such metals and could potentially produce 40,000 tons a year. In total, Greenland could potentially produce upward of 20 to 25 percent of the world’s supply.

Global power brokers once dismissed Greenland as a white blot on the world map. No longer: Investors from Australia to Canada to China are flocking to the island in the next great contest for mineral riches. And there aren’t many people to stand in their way. Greenland is one of the least densely populated parts of the planet. Its 57,000 inhabitants — 90 percent are indigenous Greenlandic Inuit — live scattered across an ice-covered expanse roughly a third the size of Australia.

Although Greenlanders won the right to govern their own domestic affairs in 2009, they have yet to realize their aspirations for full independence. Denmark still provides for Greenland’s defense, and the state church and monarchy have retained their official roles. But the greatest source of dependence has always been economic: Greenland still uses the Danish kroner as its currency, and it relies on Danish markets to absorb over 60 percent of its exports and provide almost 65 percent of its imports. To achieve full independence, in other words, Greenland must find new trading partners and have something to trade. Greenland lacks the infrastructure, population, and educational system to otherwise develop its economy; natural resources offer the best chance of progress.

Historically, though, three barriers have stood in the way of large-scale mining. First, until recently, a thick ice sheet covered the mineral-rich areas of the north. Second, until 2009, the Kingdom of Denmark, which opposed mining for uranium, exercised near-total control over Greenland’s affairs. Third, a long-standing ban on mining uranium effectively prevented any kind of rare earths extraction in places like Kuannersuit, where lucrative rare earths are tied up with plentiful uranium deposits.

But now the ice is melting and Greenland governs itself. The laws are changing as well. In elections here last March, the ban was the dominant campaign issue. The social democratic Siumut (Forward) Party won 43 percent of the vote on promises to lift the ban and negotiate large royalties from international mining companies. This week, Prime Minister Aleqa Hammond took a crucial first step in making good on that promise, overturning the law in parliament with a single 15–14 vote. Her government has also signed a 30-year licensing agreement with London Mining to extract iron ore — the largest project of its kind in Greenland’s history.

The victory did not come easily. On the eve of the vote, Hammond’s government had to sack one of its two coalition partners, the leftist nationalist Partii Inuit (People’s Party), because it wouldn’t support the repeal. With Hammond triumphant, Benedikte Vahl may finally see her hopes for a mine in Kuannersuit realized.

SECOND THOUGHTS

What hasn’t changed in recent years is the fact that mining around radioactive material poses serious risks, both to Greenland’s environment and to international security. And Greenland’s opposition party, Inuit Ataqatigiit (Community for the People), has channeled many Greenlanders’ fears and hesitations, particularly through its citizens’ meetings in Nuuk. With only 16,000 inhabitants, Greenland’s capital isn’t exactly Copenhagen or Washington, but by Greenland standards, Nuuk is the rare Arctic metropolis. At the foot of the Sermitsiaq mountain, a 12-story apartment complex and a new shopping mall sit side by side with brightly colored wooden houses from the eighteenth century. Copenhagen sends its public transportation buses to retire here, where 4,000 cars share 60 miles of paved road. Not everyone appears to be ready for the radical changes that mining would bring.

At a recent citizens’ meeting, held in a wooden hall filled with murals depicting Greenlandic landscapes, tensions were high. Relieved of heavy winter jackets, hats, scarves, and mittens, the participants sipped one-dollar coffee and nibbled on homemade cake. In between their emotional speeches in passionate Greenlandic, with simultaneous interpretation for Danish speakers, the moderator had to remind those assembled to remain calm and respectful. No one seemed to be against mining to strengthen the economy, but many worried about the prospects of mining uranium. Almost everyone asked for more time before repealing the country’s zero tolerance policy. And the party suggested that the public should have a chance to decide on the issue by popular referendum.

As it stands, uranium is only a byproduct of the rare earths mining. But it could become the main product if the economics worked out. No one knows exactly how much uranium Greenland has, but estimates suggest that Kuannersuit could contain some 575 million pounds of it. The most bullish analysts predict that Greenland could become the world’s fifth-largest uranium exporter, with the potential to bring in revenues of $20 billion a year.

But if uranium isn’t mined carefully, it can poison land and water for generations. The Chinese government, for example, has reportedly begun spending billions of dollars to repair the environmental damage of nearly two decades of unregulated rare earth mining and refining; runoff has destroyed rice fields and streams, cancer rates have skyrocketed, entire villages have had to be resettled, and a toxic soup of chemicals and radioactive waste is slowly seeping toward the Yellow River. In fact, one of the main reasons China has been able to dominate the rare earths market has been its disregard for environmentally devastating extraction processes. More than any other mineral, uranium brings to the fore highly charged emotions, reviving Cold War–era fears about nuclear disasters or the more recent memory of the 2011 Fukushima disaster.

Uranium extraction also has real security implications. Although Greenland has the power to control its own underground resources, Denmark has retained responsibility for the country’s foreign policy, security, and defense. Since uranium can be used for nuclear weapons, Danish Secretary of State Villy Søvndal has made clear that Denmark will participate in all Greenlandic dealings with uranium. Still, although the European Union has strict laws on mining for uranium, Greenland — unlike Denmark — isn’t part of the EU. ‎Creating a legal framework for exporting uranium from Greenland will still require a lot of lawyers, says Cindy Vestergaard, a Danish expert on uranium policies. She estimates that such a framework would require five to ten years of planning. Yet it could be done; there is no reason that Greenland couldn’t live up to the standards set by uranium-exporting neighbors such as Canada, Norway, and Sweden. So far, firms interested in bidding on mining contracts have not raised any concerns about Danish oversight, which will be crucial to upholding high safety standards.

Outside Greenland, many countries are wary of the closer ties to China that mining would bring. Last summer, Chinese President Hu Jintao was the first Chinese head of state to grace Denmark with a visit, one that lasted three days. China is interested not only in Greenland’s resources but also in its strategic position in the Arctic. This summer, it became an observer state on the Arctic Council. China’s Sichuan Xinye Mining Investment Company has already partnered with London Mining to mine Greenland’s iron ore, providing labor and capital for the Isua iron mine near Nuuk. The project could bring $5.9 billion to Greenland over the next 15 years.

Chinese investment — and Chinese markets — will be critical to Greenland’s future as a mining nation, but financial dependency on China brings other concerns. China has a history of unregulated nuclear power production — only three of its 17 nuclear facilities are under IAEA safeguards — and is known for horrible conditions for mining workers, especially in Africa. In 2010, for example, Human Rights Watch reported on Zambian copper mines where workers worked 12–18 hour shifts, 365 days a year, in fume-filled tunnels without access to clean drinking water or safety equipment. And a recent U.S. State Department report detailed how the China Henan International Cooperation Group in Mozambique had Mozambican workers wearing badges that read “escravo” — “slave” in Portugese.

DIGGING FOR GIGAWATTS

Despite such concerns, fundamental economic needs are likely to propel Greenland’s mining projects forward. Fish constitute 90 percent of Greenland’s exports, and the economy depends heavily on an annual $600 million grant from Denmark. Roderick McIllree, a managing director of Greenland Minerals and Energy Ltd., estimates that mining could raise the country’s present-day GDP of $2 billion by as much as 25 percent. His company has already invested $110 million in Kuannersuit. He is happy to pay royalties and expects to produce revenues for Greenland 50–100 years into the future.

For all the risk and the work to be done, Greenlanders still hope that McIllree and others like him can deliver on their promises. But that might be a long shot. The country needs to find more investors to back the implementation of large-scale mining, and London Mining alone requires another $2.5 billion in financing before it can even break ground.

Even if Greenland manages to build the capacity for large-scale mining, there is no certainty that demand for rare earths won’t slump. Some argue that China’s near-monopoly on chemical elements has forced others to focus on recycling rare earth elements and on researching alternatives, which might ultimately cause the market to disappear. Others compare rare earths to aluminum, reasoning that if a steady supply can be guaranteed over several decades, the price of the elements themselves will fall.

Uranium prices also depend on an uncertain market; many countries, including Germany, are working to wean themselves off of nuclear power. There are, of course, more than 400 nuclear reactors in the world; most of them were built in the 1960s and 1970s and will soon need more uranium to continue energy production. For its part, China has already begun construction on 30 reactors, and plans to build 50 more in the coming years. That would translate into a fourfold increase in nuclear capacity — to at least 58 gigawatts of electricity by 2020, 200 by 2030, and 400 by 2050. It would be tempting for Greenland Minerals and Energy to dig out as much uranium from Kuannersuit as possible, as quickly as it could, to feed Chinese demand. On the other hand, such a flood of supply could easily cause prices to crash.

For the immediate future, at least, politics could still stand in the way of mining projects before they can break ground. Greenland is small enough to be drawn by big dreams into potentially risky schemes, but also to be redirected by a vocal opposition. On a recent afternoon in Nuuk, a crowd of more than 100 took to the streets of the capital with chants of “Naamik uran” — Greenlandic for “No uranium.” Many wore white hazmat suits over their puffy winter clothes, carrying signs with slogans like “No More Fukushima.” Considering the weather — freezing, stormy — and the city’s population — only 16,000 — the turnout was impressive. The crowd caused enough of a stir that, after walking through the town to the parliament, it was greeted by a number of politicians, including Prime Minister Hammond. Titsiaat Johansen, 28, a tall Inuit with a tattooed face and broad cheekbones, said that he knew uranium was a necessary part of rare earths mining, but didn’t think the risks were worth taking. “I know that nuclear provides energy to a society,” Johansen said. “But it can also ruin a society.”

Fonte: http://www.foreignaffairs.com/features/letters-from/greenlands-rare-earths-gold-rush

A progressiva militarização do Ártico


Enquanto as partes interessadas adotam posturas cada vez mais territorialmente assertivas quanto ao Ártico, o foco regional se volta para a segurança. Rússia considera reativar uma base naval militar na sua região polar.

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The Creeping Militarization of the Arctic

The Diplomat – 16/10/2013 – por Abhijit Singh

Russia’s announcement last month that it was considering reopening a major northern naval base and resuming regular naval patrols has revived a debate over the militarization of the Arctic. In early September, a convoy of 10 Russian warships – led by missile cruiser Peter the Great and accompanied by four nuclear-powered icebreakers – completed a voyage across the Arctic Ocean. Starting from Severomorsk near Finland, the ships travelled nearly 2000 miles, reaching Kotelny Island in the Novosibirsk Archipelago, reportedly bringing construction material and personnel needed to reconstruct the old Soviet-era naval base shut down in 1993.

The Russian decision to rebuild a naval facility in the Arctic is a not-so-tacit reminder that as the northern ice-cap melts and critical sea-routes become navigable, Arctic nations will not be able to resist the impulse of militarizing the region. In the past few years, as vast spaces in the Arctic have opened up, a scramble has ensued for the region’s undiscovered natural resources (estimated to be 30% of the world’s undiscovered natural gas and 13% of its undiscovered oil). This has, in turn, resulted in increasingly assertive territorial postures being adopted by regional stakeholders, and the gradual dominance of a security-driven discourse.

Unsurprisingly, the rising military presence in the Arctic is being increasingly justified by the need to project national influence and sustain claims over the region’s sea-lanes and natural resources. When Russian President Vladimir Putin announced the reopening of the new naval base, he noted how important is was for Russia to assert control over the operation of the Northern Sea Route (NSR). Even though he did not mention it, Putin’s interest in securing the vital sea-lane seems driven by its potential to cut the regular travel time of cargo ships from Europe to Asia by almost a third.

Military Initiatives

More importantly, the latest development has drawn critical attention to the absence of a security framework in the Arctic. Russia has, arguably, been the most militarily active Arctic state. Since 2007, when a mini-sub planted a Russian titanium flag at the base of the North Pole, the Russian Navy has maintained a strategic presence in the Arctic. Its under-sea patrol program will soon be augmented by the new Borey class submarines based on the Barents Sea coast. Equally notable are Russia’s power-projection initiatives. In 2012, a large-scale Russian naval exercise was held in the High North that included more than 7000 personnel and about 20 naval units. During the exercise, the Northern Fleet conducted Russia’s first-ever amphibious landing on the Arctic archipelago of the New Siberian Islands.

This year in July, Moscow’s held a massive exercise in the Russian Far East region – reportedly the biggest “snap-drill” since the era of the Soviet Union. The exercises involved more than 160,000 servicemen, 1000 tanks, 130 planes and 70 ships, and came only a month after Russia submitted a claim to the United Nations to extend its 200-mile Exclusive Economic Zone by another 150 miles or 1.2 million square kilometers. Moscow’s “scientific evidence,” to buttress its contention of the claimed seabed being a continuation of the continental shelf, is bitterly contested by other Arctic nations.

Russia is, however, not the only country with plans to securitize the region. After assuming the presidency of the Arctic Council in May this year, Canada made clear that it will push for a change in the Council’s focus so as to seize the economic opportunities arising from the melting of the northern polar ice cap. Its follow-up plan includes initiatives to strengthen its Arctic sovereignty claims and bolster its northern military presence. Interestingly, a study by the Canadian military’s operational support command last year had recommended military outposts in the form of basic transportation hubs, after which Ottawa began seriously considering setting up small-but-permanent military presence in remote locations in the Arctic North.

Canada’s assertive strategy, however, is not limited to military bases. Since 2007, the Canadian military has held Operation Nanook in the country’s north every year. It is an exercise aimed exclusively at exercising Canadian sovereignty. In August this year more than 1,000 personnel from the Canadian Armed Forces took part in Operation Nanook 2013, held at four different locations in the Arctic, purportedly as a counter to Moscow’s renewed territorial claims in the Arctic Ocean.

Apart from Nanook, Canada has also been holding two other military drills in the region: Operation Nunalivut in the High Arctic and Operation Nunakput in the western Arctic. Norway, meanwhile, has played its own part in the securitization of the region. In July 2013, it conducted one of the largest Arctic maneuvers ever — Exercise Cold Response – in which more than 16,000 troops from 14 countries are believed to have participated. Despite its landmark pact with Russia over the Barents Sea in 2010, Norway apparently still fears a Russian takeover of the Arctic.

Moscow, meanwhile, appears concerned with the bilateral endeavors of other Arctic countries to press joint claims in the disputed regions. In 2012, Canada and the U.S. reportedly conducted a 42-day joint Arctic expedition to survey the continental shelf – only two weeks after a Russian research vessel was dispatched on a similar mission. Russia also seems anxious about the May 2010 military agreement between Canada and Denmark pledging closer collaboration in the Arctic, spanning the gamut of “consultations, information exchanges, visits, and military exercises.” In a sign of solidarity with Canada, Denmark even deployed a unit to participate in the Operation Nunalivut exercise in the High Arctic earlier this year.

While most military developments in the region have concerned the Northern Sea Route, the gradual opening up of the North West passage too might create further tensions. In January 2009, a U.S. Presidential National Security Directive contested – albeit indirectly – Canada’s sovereignty claims over part of the Beaufort Sea, also holding the Northwest Passage to have the legal status of “international waters.” This month, as a Danish-owned ship, the Nordic Orion, became the first cargo vessel to use the Northwest Passage as an international shipping route, the argument between the U.S. and Canada has been joined again.

Arctic Council Politics

A key reason why security issues are not easily discussed by Arctic Council nations is that five of the eight nations in the group are also NATO members, whose charter commits member states to mutual military assistance. This appears to preclude the possibility of fair and balanced deliberations on the territorial disagreements in the region. For instance, despite Canada’s sovereignty disputes with the United States (over the Beaufort Sea) and with Denmark (over the Hans Island), the three NATO partners have been coordinating their military strategies in the Arctic. Their collective participation in this year’s Nanook exercises, gives Moscow a sense that NATO countries are ganging up against Russia.

To complicate matters, the Arctic Council is formally prohibited from discussing military security in the Arctic. Members consequently discuss security issues in informal meetings, like the one that took place on a Canadian military base in early 2012. Needless to say, the existing mistrust has prevented any substantive discussion on addressing security concerns in the region.

Securing Asian Interests

Since they were granted “observer” status in May 2013, India, Japan, Singapore and South Korea have become more conscious of the politics of the Arctic. Even while recognizing the resource potential of the region and the importance of the North West Passage and the Northern Sea Route in future trade and energy transits, observer states realize that in all matters strictly strategic, it is Arctic Council states that call the shots. Needless to say, the slow militarization of the region is turning out to be the single biggest cause of worry among external stakeholders – especially against the backdrop of an increasingly conspicuous Chinese presence. The developments on the security front are being perceived as an indication that the future militarization of the Arctic will be marked by a growing desperation among Arctic states to stake control over the region’s resources and sea lanes.

 

Fonte: http://thediplomat.com/2013/10/16/the-creeping-militarization-of-the-arctic/?all=true

OBS: Esse tema será debatido no UFRGSMUN 2013.

Especialistas criticam postura de Venezuela, Bolívia e Equador na CIDH


Especialistas criticam postura de Venezuela, Bolívia e Equador na CIDH

Sul21 – 27/03/2013 – por Samir Oliveira

Nos últimos anos, alguns países da América Latina têm feito uma série de críticas ao Sistema Interamericano de Direitos Humanos. A artilharia verbal, política e diplomática vem, principalmente, do Equador, da Venezuela e da Bolívia, mas já contou com forte apoio do Brasil.

Essas nações acreditam que a Comissão Interamericana de Direitos Humanos (CIDH) serve a interesses neocolonialistas e utiliza a defesa dos direitos humanos como forma de interferir na soberania dos países latino-americanos. Um dos principais argumentos utilizados para justificar essas críticas reside no fato de que os dois países mais desenvolvidos do continente americano – Estados Unidos e Canadá – não ratificaram a Convenção Americana Sobre Direitos Humanos, o chamado Pacto de San José.

Como não aderiram ao tratado, Estados Unidos e Canadá não estão sujeitos às decisões da Corte Interamericana de Direitos Humanos. De acordo com o site da CIDH, dos 35 países membros da Organização dos Estados Americanos (OEA), 25 são signatários do Pacto de San José, 22 aceitam a competência da Corte e apenas 10 aceitam a competência da comissão. (mais…)

Canadá e Paraguai enviarão militares para o batalhão brasileiro no Haiti


Haiti

Canadá e Paraguai enviarão militares para o batalhão brasileiro no Haiti

21 de março de 2013 – DefesaNet

Militares canadenses e paraguaios integrarão o contingente do Brasil que será enviado ao Haiti, entre 13 de maio e 4 de junho, para participar da missão de paz da Organização das Nações Unidas (ONU). Antes, os 61 militares e quatro oficiais passarão por treinamento em Campo Grande (MS), na área de influência do Comando Miltiar do Oeste (CMO).

A participação dos pelotões estrangeiros foi autorizada pela presidenta Dilma Rousseff e oficializada, nesta quarta-feira, em carta-resposta entregue pelo chefe do Estado-Maior Conjunto das Forças Armadas (EMCFA), general José Carlos De Nardi, ao embaixador do Canadá no Brasil, Jamal Khokhar. A carta-resposta que autoriza a participação paraguaia já fora remetida à autoridade daquele país.

Na oportunidade, o general De Nardi participou de reunião bilateral que contou com autoridades canadenses no Ministério da Defesa. No encontro, o embaixador Khokhar mostrou interesse de empresas canandenses em participar da disputa para a construção do satélite geoestacionário brasileiro que terá uma banda destinada às comunicações estratégicas militares. De Nardi informou que o assunto encontra-se no âmbito do Ministério das Comunicações. (mais…)

Canadá tem interesse em investir no Brasil em aviação, petróleo, energia e turismo


Canadá tem interesse em investir no Brasil em aviação, petróleo, energia e turismo

25 de outubro de 2012 – Agência Brasil/Renata Giraldi

Depois de visitar os Estados Unidos nos últimos dois dias, o ministro das Relações Exteriores, Antônio Patriota, está hoje (25), em Ottawa, no Canadá. Ele participa da 1ª Reunião do Diálogo de Parceria Estratégica Brasil-Canadá. Nas suas primeiras reuniões, o chanceler foi informado pelas autoridades do interesse do Canadá em investir no Brasil nas áreas de petróleo e energia, além dos setores financeiro, turístico e imobiliário.

Em discussão, há ainda a possibilidade de o Canadá fechar um acordo comercial com o Mercosul (Brasil, Argentina, Uruguai, Venezuela e Paraguai, que está suspenso até abril de 2013), incluindo a agricultura. As negociações estão apenas começando, é necessário aguardar as manifestações do setor produtivo canadense.

Patriota tem reuniões com o ministro das Relações Exteriores do Canadá, Stephen Harper, que indicou interesse também em firmar parcerias nas áreas de educação, defesa e cooperação humanitária. (mais…)

Avião russo patrulha território dos EUA


Avião russo patrulha território dos EUA

Diário da Rússia – 08/10/2012

Entre 8 e 22 de outubro, a aeronave russa Tupolev TU-154M fará voos de observação sobre o território dos Estados Unidos como parte do Tratado Céus Abertos. A informação foi divulgada por um funcionário do Ministério da Defesa da Rússia, nesta segunda-feira, 8. A aeronave fará duas viagens, decolando das bases aéreas Wright-Patterson e Travis. (mais…)

Compania francesa envolvida em escândalo de corrupção nas eleições para o Kenya


French Company in Corruption Scandal to Supply Voter Kits

30 de agosto de 2012 – All Africa

A French IT company that was caught in a corruption saga in Nigeria about eight years ago is now primed to supply the biometric tender registration kits to the electoral body.

According to sources, Safran Morpho has been picked to supply the biometric voter registration kits for the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission. This is after the Canadian company, Code Inc., was left out because it could not manufacture the kits in time for the exercise.

Safran Morpho, previously Sagem S. A. is understood to have already ordered up to 15,000 parts of the BVR kits from Dell, an American multinational computer technology corporation. The company was among the bidders for the IEBC tender that was cancelled. It however did not make it to the shortlist that included 4G of India, Symphony of Kenya, Face Technologies of South Africa and Ontrack Innovations of Israel (mais…)

MAPLE FLAG – C-130 da FAB realiza primeiro voo no exercício


Fonte: Sgt Johnson/Agência Força Aérea

MAPLE FLAG – C-130 da FAB realiza primeiro voo no exercício

DefesaNET, com Agência Força Aérea – 29/05/2012

A aeronave C-130 Hércules da Força Aérea Brasileira (FAB) realizou nesta segunda-feira (28/5) o primeiro voo de treinamento no exercício Maple Flag, promovido pela Força Aérea Canadense, na Base de Cold Lake.

Pela manhã, o avião do Primeiro Grupo de Transporte de Tropa (1o GTT) voou em uma formação com mais duas aeronaves C-160 Transall da Força Aérea Francesa. Durante o voo, a tripulação brasileira teve que realizar formaturas táticas, a fim de vigiar as aeronaves da formação e simular a defesa contra caças inimigos. Também foi feito o treinamento de lançamento de CDS (conteiner delivery system), além de aproximação em pista curta com arremetida no ar.

No retorno da missão, foi feito treinamento de pouso tático, com aproximação em alta velocidade à baixa altura perpendicular à pista de pouso (off set shallow), manobra realizada pela primeira vez pelo C-130 da FAB.

Esta foi a primeira de diversas missões previstas para as próximas duas semanas de exercício. Para o Major Aviador Osmário Jorge Souza Cabral, comandante da aeronave, todos estavam muito ansiosos pelo primeiro voo. “Na verdade, essa missão iniciou em janeiro, com muito estudo de inglês e participação em duas manobras no Brasil. Tivemos uma preparação minuciosa para que pudéssemos aproveitar o exercício ao máximo. Todos estavam ansiosos, mas conseguimos desempenhar muito bem essa primeira missão”, disse.  (mais…)

Canadá será a primeira nação a deixar o Protocolo de Kyoto


Canada first nation to pull out of Kyoto protocol

Reuters / David Ljunggren, Randall Palmer – 12/12/2011

Canada on Monday became the first country to announce it would withdraw from the Kyoto protocol on climate change, dealing a symbolic blow to the already troubled global treaty.

Environment Minister Peter Kent broke the news on his return from talks in Durban, where countries agreed to extend Kyoto for five years and hammer out a new deal forcing all big polluters for the first time to limit greenhouse gas emissions.

Canada, a major energy producer which critics complain is becoming a climate renegade, has long complained Kyoto is unworkable precisely because it excludes so many significant emitters.

“As we’ve said, Kyoto for Canada is in the past … We are invoking our legal right to formally withdraw from Kyoto,” Kent told reporters.  (mais…)