COVID-19 could delay Kingdom of Denmark’s Arctic strategy

Greenland’s government is looking for ways to continue discussions on the Kingdom of Denmark’s new Arctic strategy despite ongoing COVID-19 restrictions. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
The COVID-19 pandemic may delay the Kingdom of Denmark’s Arctic strategy, which expires at the end of the 2020, the Greenlandic government said in a news release.

The Kingdom of Denmark, made up of Denmark and the two autonomous territories of Greenland and the Faroe Islands, released their current strategy in 2011.

The document outlined the Kingdom’s main goal as development of the Arctic for Arctic residents, peaceful cooperation and avoiding militarization in the Arctic.

A number of meetings and sessions were planned by Greenland this year to feed into the new document, but have been put off because of the coronavirus crisis.

“Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, some of the planned events have been postponed, including the parliamentary Grand Assembly in Ilulissat,” the Greenlandic government said in a news release.

“However, (Greenland’s Minister of Education, Culture, Church and Foreign Affairs) Ane Lone Bagger plans to continue activities to ensure broad involvement and input in connection with education, culture, church and foreign affairs in preparation for the new Arctic strategy.”

Discussions to continue amidst COVID-19 restrictions
Greenland's flag in the Old Town of Greenland's capital city of Nuuk in 2010. (Eilís Quinn/Eye in the Arctic)
Greenland’s flag in Nuuk’s Old Town in 2010. (Eilís Quinn/Eye in the Arctic)

Some of the events planned for this summer include a web-based meeting between the parliaments of Greenland, Denmark and the Faroe Islands as well as a public meeting in Greenland where the public, or interested institutions, give could give feedback or ask questions about the upcoming document.

The Greenlandic government also says, depending on the epidemiological situation, a physical parliamentary meeting may still be held in the fall where the strategy can be discussed.

Write to Eilis Quinn at eilis.quinn(at)

Related stories around the North:

Arctic: Roundup of COVID-19 responses around the Arctic, Eye on the Arctic

Canada: More than 100 people refused entry to Canada’s North under COVID-19 travel bans, CBC News

Finland: Traveller stuck between Finland and Russia, can’t cross either border, Yle News

Greenland: COVID-19: Arctic science expedition postpones flight campaign after trainee tests positive for virus, Eye on the Arctic

Norway: Norway deploys Home Guard soldiers on border with Finland in the Arctic, The Independent Barents Observer

Russia: “Catastrophic” economic situation prompts merger talks for two Russian regions in,  Eye on the Arctic

Sweden: Swedish Public Health Agency says border closures ‘won’t work’ against coronavirus spread, Radio Sweden

United States: COVID-19 pandemic raises hard questions about health disparities, says Int’l Inuit org, Eye on the Arctic

Eilís Quinn, Eye on the Arctic

Eilís Quinn is an award-winning journalist and manages Radio Canada International’s Eye on the Arctic news cooperation project. Eilís has reported from the Arctic regions of all eight circumpolar countries and has produced numerous documentary and multimedia series about climate change and the issues facing Indigenous peoples in the North.

Her investigative report "Death in the Arctic: A community grieves, a father fights for change," about the murder of Robert Adams, a 19-year-old Inuk man from Arctic Quebec, received the silver medal for “Best Investigative Article or Series” at the 2019 Canadian Online Publishing Awards. The project also received an honourable mention for excellence in reporting on trauma at the 2019 Dart Awards in New York City.

Her report “The Arctic Railway: Building a future or destroying a culture?” on the impact a multi-billion euro infrastructure project would have on Indigenous communities in Arctic Europe was a finalist at the 2019 Canadian Association of Journalists award in the online investigative category.

Her multimedia project on the health challenges in the Canadian Arctic, "Bridging the Divide," was a finalist at the 2012 Webby Awards.

Her work on climate change in the Arctic has also been featured on the TV science program Découverte, as well as Le Téléjournal, the French-Language CBC’s flagship news cast.

Eilís has worked for media organizations in Canada and the United States and as a TV host for the Discovery/BBC Worldwide series "Best in China."

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