[MUSIC] Development in the Circumpolar North has been largely prompted by a desire for natural resources, which have a huge impact on population geography. Humans live in places where they can find the kinds of stuff they need. The nature of that stuff, whether it's animals for food or diamonds for trade, affect all kinds of things. How many people can live there? Are they indigenous, or did they migrate in from other areas? How close together do they live? Is the population growing or shrinking? How much do people move around? What kinds of environmental challenges exist? We'll explore more about these questions later. For now, let's take a step back and break down what a natural resource actually is. Official definitions vary slightly, but essentially natural resources are all the stuff in the world that humans could make use off but which were not created as a result of human influence. So, for example, forests are a natural resource. We can use them for lumber, firewood or paper. However, if humans had never walked the earth, trees would still be there. This is in contrast to stuff we use that exists because of humans such as glass plastics, the internet or ice cream. Natural resources are essential for survival not just for humans but for all living organisms. Everything that walks, swims or crawls on our planet is made up of and uses natural resources, which is why we need to be careful how we manage them. How we do this depends on the type and properties of that resource. In this course, we will focus on three broad groups. Renewable, non renewable and living resources. Renewable resources are things we could draw from the environment that will naturally replenish themselves in finite time on a human timescale. So, for example, the wind or sunlight is a renewable resource as our resources, such as fish or plants, because they can restore their numbers by reproducing. By contrast, non renewable resources are only there until they've been used up. This includes minerals such as copper or diamonds and fossil fuels such as oil. These resources are replenished as a result of natural geological processes, but take a super long time to do so, like millions of years. Living resources are what you might expect, the living flora and fauna that humans could make use of. Despite the harsh conditions, the Circumpolar North is home to a vast array of life, including trees and other plants, caribou and bears, whales and seals, fish and birds. The boreal forests of the far north are among the world's largest. Perhaps because the remote nature of this resource and lack of infrastructure has so far prevented significant logging. The Arctic's fish stocks are considered some of the most productive in the world. The bearing sea in particular, contains fisheries for halibut, shrimp, scallops, squid, pollock, crab and more. Living resources are of significant importance for the indigenous populations throughout the Circumpolar North and act both as a key source of food and income. Traditional and contemporary food acquisition activities include hunting, fishing and gathering berries, shellfish and eggs. Many indigenous groups also based their economy on hunting sea mammals such as seals, while others are herders such as the Sami of the Nordic Arctic. Much of this course is about how resources located in the Circumpolar North are accessed and managed. But what does that mean? Why do resources have to be managed? At its core, management is about the responsible use of resources, ensuring that when we draw from resources, we're not creating a bad situation we could never come back from, in other words, ensuring that resource development is sustainable. We've talked about a number of consequences already where resource development happened rapidly and without consideration of the possible negative impacts such as pollution, community disruption, infrastructure damage and health hazards to the local people. Another, more general threat is when a resource that should be renewable is itself threatened from a lack of management. For nearly as long as humans have lived near it, the Northwest Atlantic Ocean was home to a truly staggering amount of fish, specifically cod. One English ship, captain of the 16th century, described them as so thick by the shore that we hardly have been able to row a boat through them. Cod are relatively easy to catch, and over the millennia, where a seemingly unlimited source of food and later income for coastal communities in the areas that eventually became Canada, England, Spain and more. However, things began to change in the 1950s. Up until that point, most fishing had taken place from smaller vessels, which stuck to coastal areas, but now the industry was expanding to include industrial bottom fishing, using trawling nets and commercial operations were expanding into deeper waters. Thes strategies were hugely effective and catches increased considerably in the short term. But now fish were being consumed faster, much faster than the cod could replenish their numbers. Populations took a nosedive. Attempts to regulate catches with international fishing quotas were not successful. Global demands for cod were high, and there was widespread neglect, both of existing regulations and recommendations for conservation. By the 1980s, cod populations off Canada's eastern coast had collapsed. Bands on commercial and artisanal fisheries came with severe social and economic consequences to the communities that relied on the industry. It's estimated that over 35,000 lost their livelihoods in Canada alone. Even with these mass closures, many biologists now believe that the marine ecosystem thes cod were a part of has passed a tipping point and stocks may never completely recover. The term tragedy of the Commons was coined in 1968 by American Ecologist Garrett Harden and is a situation where each person accessing a shared resource will maximize their own gain to the point of thinking that if they just add or take one more thing, it won't be a problem. The benefit of that decision is gained just by the individual, while the negative effects are shared by all people using the resource. However, as we saw in the case of the Atlantic cod of the Grand Banks, the world is a limited place. If a resource is open to be accessed by people who act only in their own interests, overuse will eventually wipe it out. One solution to this problem is government regulation, however enforcement presents a challenge. It's not always simple or easy to exclude potential users from a common resource. This can happen not only with common public spaces but also with privately owned property and resources as well.