Arctic News Roundup: 8-14 November

[Photo by Marc Lanteigne]

by Mingming Shi

1) Al-Jazeera featured an introductory video about how Iceland has become an example of sustainable food production, (including greenhouse-grown fruits and vegetables), despite its Arctic climate, using an environmentally friendly approach, including renewable energies such as the country’s plentiful hot water supplies.

2) A video report on the Arctic fox was published by BBC Scotland. As the narrator described, the living conditions of the species are greatly affected by both human activities, such as hunting, as well as climate change. Due to warmer temperatures in the far north, the reduction of lemming populations, (the common prey of the fox), has contributed to the declining number of Arctic foxes. However, projects have begun to relocate the foxes in order to bolster their populations in northern Norway and Sweden.

3) To mark the 75th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Iceland and Canada, as part of the celebration the two countries are organising five online seminars looking at various aspects of this lengthy and ongoing relationship, including an opening webinar on bilateral cooperation in Arctic affairs. Further information can be found via this link provided by the UArctic educational network.

4) Oxford University Press is adding The Arctic: A Very Short Introduction to its lengthy publication list. This pocket-size booked, written by two well-established regional scholars, Klaus Dodds and Jamie Woodward, was written to guide readers in developing an understanding of the major issues facing the Arctic, including its inhabitants, governance and discussions of the future of the High North. 

5) In the latest move by the government of Greenland’s Prime Minister Múte Bourup Egede to reform the mining industry in the country, his party, Inuit Ataqatigiit (IA) put forward a resolution in the Greenlandic parliament (Inatsisartut) to formally ban uranium mining on environmental grounds. The law was then passed, as reported by Reuters, but according to the Greenlandic news agency KNR there has been a push, led by the main opposition party Siumut, for a referendum on the matter. The ban is a further blow to longstanding plans to develop a rare earths and uranium mine at Kuannersuit (Kvanefjeld), near the town of Narsaq, with IA expressing strong opposition to the project.