Arctic News Roundup: 2-9 March

Sámi flag in Tromsø [Photo by Marc Lanteigne]
by Mingming Shi

1) Some citizens in Greenland, in interviews conducted earlier this week by KNR, the Greenlandic Broadcasting Corporation, expressed their concerns over the situation with COVID-19, even though there was no confirmed cases in the country. However, the Epidemic Commission of Greenland had stated that they were confident and well-prepared to handle any possible cases if they arrived.

2) To honor International Women’s Day on the 8th of March, the Arctic Council published a series of stories about female specialists working on Arctic affairs from countries in the region. The backgrounds and vocations of the interviewees ranged from governmental officers, to team leaders in the Council’s Working Groups and Administrative Employers within the organisation. In the published pieces, they shared their motivations and working experiences.

3) An introductory video on the Arctic Council was launched on Over the Circle this week. This four-minute video, narrated and filmed by Marc Lanteigne, Chief Editor for OtC, presented a short précis of the foundations and development of Council in the past two decades, as well as its major organs and the functions of the organisation.

4) With climate change and the warming up of the Arctic Ocean, marine organisms in high northern waters might be disturbed by light pollution caused by increasing regional human activities in the future, according to National Geographic.

5) Reindeer herders and politicians within the Sámi organisations of Norway and Finland publicly voiced their disapproval of a potential plan to build a railway link connecting towns in Arctic Europe which could eventually be linked to rail systems connecting Russia and China to other parts of the European continent. The argument was that the railway plan was incompatible with defending the rights of regional Indigenous groups, as reported in the Barents Observer.

6) Sermitsiaq, a Greenlandic news agency, reported that reported cases of violence in Greenland, an autonomous territory within the Kingdom of Denmark, rose significantly, by 33 percent, in 2019 compared the previous year. Reported violence against children and young people included, but was not limited to, sexual abuse. However, according to  police representatives in Greenland, the change in figure may be an indication of a greater incidence of such crimes being reported to the police.

7) According to Bloomberg News, 1,300 Norwegian military personnel in Northern Norway were forced to be quarantined afer a case of the COVID-19 infection was confirmed within that group.