Arctic News Roundup: 10-16 May

The Harpa concert hall and conference centre in Reykjavík, where this month’s Arctic Council Ministerial meeting will take place [Photo by Marc Lanteigne]

by Mingming Shi

1) A story in the Iceland Monitor (Morgunblaðið) revealed how fish skin has been used for medical purposes in Iceland, by citing a case of a local patient who suffered from skin burns in an accident, and who received treatment which included fish skin is used to promote the healing process.

2) According to the Greenlandic news service KNR, Naaja H. Nathanielsen, (representing the Inuit Ataqatigiit party), the Minister of Raw Materials in the current Government of Greenland, has been planning to propose a zero tolerance policy against extraction of radioactive elements to the Parliament of Greenland (Inatsisartut). The ban on the mining of such materials was lifted in 2013 by the administration of Prime Minister Aleqa Hammond (until now). Minister Nathanielsen also stressed that her party does not oppose mining activities in general in Greenland, but there would be no green light in regards to mining uranium.

3) India’s expanding polar interests were the subject of a study paper by the Arctic Institute. New Delhi had published a draft governmental policy statement on the Arctic in January this year, the first document of its type. As with other countries in the Asia-Pacific, India’s Arctic interests include scientific and economic areas. The paper recommended that India’s Arctic policies include a clarification of how it views the region as a ‘global commons’, and that the Indian government appoint an Arctic ambassador.

4) Over the Circle published a new post, describing how developing Arctic security policies by Russia and the United States might affect the prospects of great power cooperation (or competition) during and after the Arctic Council’s Ministerial meeting in Reykjavík this week. US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken had expressed optimism about new prospects for multilateralism with the other members of the Council. Russia will be assuming the chair position of the Council for the next two years.