by Mingming Shi
1) Estonia submitted its official application to the Arctic Council this week to be an observer in that organisation, according to the country’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In a brief application statement [pdf] the Estonian government emphasized the impact of climate change on the country, and the potential contributions Estonia could make to emerging policy-making in the circumpolar north. If the bid is successful, Estonia would be the fourteenth observer government within the Arctic Council, (Switzerland was the most recent country to attain Council observer status, in 2017).
2) The Polar Connection published an article which detailed recommendations for US Arctic policy, in light of the incoming administration under President-Elect Joe Biden. Dwayne Ryan Menezes, the author of the piece, put forward twenty major points that Washington should consider, ranging from addressing climate change, to strengthening security cooperation with other Arctic states, as well as further respecting the rights of Indigenous peoples and participating more directly in local communities.
3) Three experts from different disciplines were interviewed by Country Reports (Newsweek) on the topic of Iceland’s chairing of the Arctic Council for the past two years, (this position will be assumed to Russia in early 2021). The speakers shared their viewpoints on various issues, including Iceland’s achievements as Chair, academic projects related to the Arctic spearheaded in Iceland, and other relevant areas.
4) As CBC reported, young students at a primary school in Whitehorse, in Canada’s Yukon Territory, were taught how to prepare traditional food from the region, including filleting fish and drying meat.