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Denmark, Greenland and the Faroe Islands adopt new strategy for the Arctic

22.08.2011  15:58
Foreign Minister Lene Espersen presents today together with the the Prime Minister of the Faroe Government Kaj Leo Holm Johannesen and the Premier of Greenland, Kuupik Kleist, the Arctic strategy 2011-2020 of the Kingdom of Denmark. It has been prepared by the Danish government and the governments of the Faroe Islands and Greenland. The main goals of the Arctic strategy are to ensure a peaceful, secure and safe Arctic, with sustained economic growth and development, with respect for the vulnerable Arctic climate, environment and nature and close cooperation with our international partners.

Foreign Minister Lene Espersen:

"I am delighted that we have worked out an Arctic strategy 2011-2020 for the Kingdom of Denmark in a fine and constructive cooperation with Greenland and the Faroe Islands. The strategy is needed at a time of major changes in the Arctic. Not least because of climate change and melting ice. We are facing big new challenges but also great new opportunities, and we want to strengthen our common engagement in the development in the Arctic.

The three parts of the Kingdom agree on the strategic priorities for the development of the Arctic towards 2020. We must ensure sustainable development in the Arctic with respect for nature and the environment. This must be done in close cooperation with our international partners. With our neighbours in the Arctic and with everybody who can contribute to the development in the region.

The Arctic strategy will make it possible for the three parts of the Kingdom to address the challenges in a coordinated way. To the benefit of the entire Kingdom, to the peoples in the Arctic and to our businesses. We must now make certain that the strategy is implemented and consistently followed up. We will achieve this by pursuing the constructive cooperation between all three parts of the Kingdom."

The reason is the rapid change in the Arctic, primarily climate change and the melting ice. The Arctic is opening up to the world. This means new challenges and new opportunities: How we handle the consequences of the melting ice? How can we use the resources in the Arctic - oil, gas and minerals? How do we at the same time protect the fragile Arctic nature and environment? How do we ensure the best possible safety of shipping in Arctic waters, which is increasing as the ice melts? And how do we secure the living conditions of the Arctic peoples?

That is what the strategy seeks to answer.