A Method for Assessing the Socio-Economic Impacts of
Oil Spills in Arctic Area
Mawuli Afenyo, and Adolf K.Y. Ng,Changmin Jiang
This paper develops the Socio-Economic Model for the Arctic (SEMA), a probabilistic graphical model based on Bayes’ theory, in assessing the socio-economic impacts of oil spills in the Arctic area. It is illustrated through a case study and scenario-based analysis. The results of the latter using SEMA is that the size of vessel and the oil type spilled during shipping in the Arctic are the most critical factors contributing to the impact of oil spill. Further, to a small
extent, the response methods used, and the season of operation can also be determinants. The contribution of the latter would increase when more ice melts and ice-breakers are deployed.
SEMA however faces challenges related to limited and non-existent of data in some cases. To overcome this shortcoming, a participatory modeling approach has been proposed which will
involve collecting data from all stakeholders in Arctic shipping especially the indigenous communities to be used as inputs. Despite the limitations of SEMA at the moment, we believe that the model is valuable for contingency planning for oil spill, allocation of resources, and decisions to insure ships going through the Arctic region. The details can be found here: https://static.wixstatic.com/ugd/d186f1_a0b9714a4cc449718f597680a37f14c0.pdf