Washington, August 6 : Researchers at Durham University in the UK have drawn up the first ever 'Arctic Map' to show the disputed territories that states might lay claim to in the future, in a new 'gold rush'.
The new map design follows a series of historical and ongoing arguments about ownership, and the race for resources, in the frozen lands and seas of the Arctic.
The potential for conflicts is increasing as the search for new oil, gas and minerals intensifies.
The move to comprehensively map the region illustrates the urgent need for clear policy-making on Arctic issues - an area rich in natural resources.
The Durham map shows where boundaries have been agreed, and where known claims are the potential areas that states might claim.
According to Director of Research at the International Boundaries Research Unit (IBRU), Martin Pratt says, "The map is the most precise depiction yet of the limits and the future dividing lines that could be drawn across the Arctic region."
"The results have huge implications for policy-making as the rush to carve up the polar region continues," he added.
"It's a cartographic means of showing, and an attempt to collate information and predict the way in which the Arctic region may eventually be divided up. The freezing land and seas of the Arctic are likely to be getting hotter in terms of geopolitics," said Pratt.
"The Durham map aims to assist national and international policy-makers across the world," he added.
The IBRU map shows what is currently possible and what might be permissible in terms of territorial claims under international law. It also highlights the areas of land and sea where clashes of interest are likely.
The new map will help politicians to understand areas of maritime jurisdiction and the methodology employed could be vital in helping to settle future sea territorial disputes.