Exploration and exploitation of natural resources in the Arctic – University of Copenhagen

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Exploration and exploitation of natural resources in the Arctic

Led by: Assistant Professor Lone Wandahl Mouyal

Exploration and exploitation of natural resources form the basis for supply of central welfare services in society, notably energy. At the same time, the profits from exploitation of natural resources can often to a large extent basically finance central welfare services in society. The prospect of depletion of the traditional sources of natural resources combined with new technology and global warming has moved the focus to the Arctic region. At the moment, there are plans of severely intensifying efforts to explore and exploit natural resources, notably minerals and hydrocarbons, in the Arctic (Greenland). The basic plan is to outsource the task of exploring and exploiting the resources to private, transnational enterprises, raising the basic question of the interplay between public and private entities. Furthermore, such activities will lead to an increase in the maritime activities in this area which is notoriously dangerous, raising questions of safety, security and the role of the state. The purpose of this project is to focus on liability issues and related topics in this setting with a view to the special legal challenges which operations in the Arctic may give rise to.


  • Professor Vibe Ulfbeck
  • Professor Yoshifumi Tanaka
  • Professor Ulrik Rammeskov Bang-Petersen
  • Professor Bent Ole Gram Mortensen (ekstern partner)
  • Associate Professor Anders Møllmann
  • Associate Professor Anita Rønne
  • Assistant professor Lone Wandahl Mouyal
  • Assistant professor Sylvie Cavaleri
  • Lawyer Jingjing Su (external partner, law firm Bech Bruun)

Selected publications:

  • Vibe Ulfbeck, Anders Møllmann and Bent Ole Gram Mortensen ed., "Responsibilities and Liabilities for Commercial Activity in the Arctic: The Example of Greenland", Routledge Research in International Environmental Law, 2016. The book is available at Amazon