Arctic News Roundup: 18-24 May

[Photo by Marc Lanteigne]
by Mingming Shi

1) According to the Canadian regional news service Eye on the Arctic, Greenland and Denmark have settled on an agreement for joint cooperation on responding to marine pollution. This deal would allow for a greater sharing of information and resources. 

2) After years of planning, Yukon College has officially become Yukon University, as reported by CBC News. The University, the first to be situated ‘North of 60’, is based in Whitehorse, Northeast Canada, and the new institution will also enable local indigenous students to pursue higher education without travelling long distances away from home.

3) The Reykjavík Grapevine, a local news service in Iceland, revealed the results of a troubling survey by the University of Iceland which suggested that sexual harassment and bullying within the country’s Parliament (Alþingi in Icelandic) was a serious problem. Despite the high ranking of Iceland in global measures of gender equality, and regulations against such practices within the Parliament, this is not the first time that scandals like this have been exposed to the public.

4) Tomas Norvoll, the Nordland County Councillor in Norway, warned that the development of the economy of the Arctic may not guarantee prosperity for local populations, and that Arctic regions were also comparatively lagging in higher education levels. The councillor called for further protection of the regional environment and further awareness of the problem of ‘brain drain’ in the Arctic, according to the High North News.

5) The Kingdom of Denmark Strategy for the Arctic 2011-2020 is going to fulfil its mandate by the end of the year, and Copenhagen was scheduled to publish a new document on Arctic affairs soon. However, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the drafting process may be postponed since some planned Arctic-related events by Greenland, and other activities which were to contribute to the drafting of the updated strategy, would have to be delayed, as reported by Eye on the Arctic.

6) Morgunblaðið, an Icelandic news agency, told a story of a seal and his marvellous 550 km journey from Iceland back to Greenland. Kári, a ringed seal who was found in poor health in southern Iceland in January 2020, was rescued and nursed back to health. On 2 May, Kári was released into the Westfjords of Iceland, where he began his trip back to East Greenland, a journey which took slightly over two weeks.