Arctic GIS Workshop Presentation Abstract
GIS and the Northern Sea Route: Applications During INSROP
The International Northern Sea Rote Programme (INSROP) was a comprehensive, multi-disciplinary research program conducted 1993-1999 and led by three primary organizations: Fridtjof Nansen Institute (Norway), Ship and Ocean Foundation (Japan) and Central Marine Research & Design Institute (Russia). More than 350 researchers from 14 nations were involved; 167 working papers or technical reports, an environmental atlas, and three books were produced. INSROP's key objective was to build a knowledge base on Russia's Northern Sea Route (NSR) - the shipping lanes established from Novaya Zemlya to Bering Strait across the northern coast of Eurasia. INSROP was divided into four sub-programmes:
A GIS was developed to facilitate the storage, retrieval, and analysis of geographic INSROP data; the system also provides researchers and decision-makers with a tool for future access to INSROP information and studies. The INSROP GIS was designed using ArcView version 3.0a and the INSROP GIS database includes 150 megabytes of unique data on the NSR and Russian Arctic (core database topics include coastal zone characteristics, indigenous peoples, sea ice, climatic conditions, navigation, NSR infrastructure, marine plant and animal life, administrative boundaries, and environmental impact assessment). Metadata within the INSROP database provide the GIS user with documented information on core data characteristics and allow for an assessment of data quality. The INSROP GIS was critical to the development of an environmental atlas of the NSR region and to the effectiveness of environmental impact assessments conducted during the study. Wide use of the INSROP GIS was made to catalogue the spatial and temporal distribution of natural resources in the region, and analyze the vulnerability of those resources to Arctic shipping and other human activities along the Russian maritime Arctic. Particularly effective was the aggregation and impact analysis of traditional NSR sailing routes (with added buffer or influence zones) with the spatial distribution of regional species. A CD-Rom on the INSROP GIS (software and database) and two technical reports on the subject (Working Papers 165 and 166) are available from the Fridtjof Nansen Institute. Information on INSROP can be obtained at: [www.fni.no/insrop].