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Arctic Yearbook 2012
State of the Arctic Strategies and Policies – A Summary
The four chapters of the Strategy, each of which has a certain number of mentioned tasks,
correspond to the above-mentioned main aims. Each of them also takes into consideration
the three parts of the Danish Realm, emphasizing the positions and roles of the Faroe
Islands and Greenland, particularly Greenland’s new status, as the northern-most parts of
the Danish Realm.
In the first chapter, “A peaceful, secure and safe Arctic” the Strategy emphasizes the
importance of sovereignty and national security, as do the strategies of the other littoral
states of the Arctic Ocean, and also emphasizes the importance of NATO and the
cooperation between the ‘Arctic 5’. A more sophisticated picture is revealed through
emphasizing the importance of sovereignty and national security as the strategy highlights a
linkage between the importance of security and for protecting the economic base of
Greenland’s economy.
Although the exploration of off-shore hydrocarbons is viewed as critical to Greenland’s
development, in the second chapter, “Self-sustaining growth and development”, high
standards for the exploitation as well as the use of renewable (marine) resources are
emphasized. The rhetoric concerning “the use of renewable energy resources” and that living
resources “shall be harvested in a sustainable manner based on sound science” (ibid: 23)
indicates a more comprehensive and sophisticated method of linking the utilization to
sustainable use of natural resources, as well as to environmental protection. Growth and
development is described as knowledge-based and consequently, international cooperation in
research as well as Greenland’s prominent role in such cooperation is highlighted.
In the third chapter, “Development with respect for the Arctic’s vulnerable climate,
environment and nature” the Strategy includes a discussion on the protection of the
environment and biodiversity, and the managing of the Arctic nature “based on the best
possible scientific knowledge and standards for protection” (ibid: 43). It also emphasizes the
importance of international cooperation and the reinforcement of “the rights of indigenous
peoples in negotiations towards a new international climate agreement” (ibid: 44).
The main tasks included in the final chapter, “Close cooperation with our international
partners” are to prioritize global cooperation in relevant fields, such as climate change,
maritime safety and indigenous peoples’ rights, enhance cooperation in the AC, with the EU
and regional councils, and emphasize the ‘Arctic 5’ and the ‘Polar Sea Conference’ (of 2008)