Arctic Connections online conferences launched
Climate change, the rural economy, and a sustainable recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic are among themes to be discussed in a series of online events between Scotland and the Arctic nations.
The Arctic Connections seminars will feature Scottish and international speakers – including from Canada, US and the Nordic nations – and discuss commons issues including rural life, the challenge of low populations, new economies and shared cultural ties.
The online events, part of Scotland’s ongoing Arctic policy, will aim to share valuable international lessons and experiences that can be put into practice domestically.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the new series of conferences involving Scottish Government ministers will be staged online between October 2020 and early 2021.
Constitution, Europe and External Affairs Secretary Michael Russell said:
“Scotland is an outward looking nation which engages with the world – despite the imminent threat and disruption of Brexit, we are determined to play our full role in discussing common issues with countries across the globe.
“This sustained engagement and dialogue with Arctic nations is based not only in common interests, but the reality of our population and geography – Shetland is closer to the Arctic circle than it is to London, and at a higher latitude than Juneau, Alaska.
“These discussions will be with some of our closest neighbours and important trade partners, in Europe, as well as nations further afield, and will address our many common concerns and challenges.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has also underlined just how important multilateral dialogue and the international exchange of knowledge is, not only in responding to the crisis, but in building back, fairer and greener.”
In September 2019, the Scottish Government published Arctic Connections, Scotland’s Arctic policy framework.
The document highlights existing links between Scotland and Arctic countries while encouraging transnational cooperation and knowledge exchange in relation to shared challenges, especially those stemming from rurality and remoteness.
The first three events in the Arctic Connections series are Circular Economy in Arctic Industries on 19 October, Rural and Thriving: Scottish and Nordic Lessons on Reversing Depopulation on 26 October, and Mental Health in Rural and Remote Communities: A Scottish-Arctic dialogue on 9 November.
The webinar series has a dedicated page on the Scottish Government website.