Arctic Policy Framework launched

Arctic landscape
Norette Ferns

Scotland's first Arctic Policy Framework has been launched in Orkney by Cabinet Secretary for External Affairs Fiona Hyslop.

The framework sets ambitions for Scotland across the Arctic while encouraging academia, civic society and government organisations to have a greater level of collaboration with international counterparts.

Ms Hyslop said that Scotland has the expertise and vision to serve as a link between the Arctic region and the wider world with opportunities to help tackle issues such as sustainable tourism, renewable energy and climate change.

The launch of the Arctic Policy Framework brought together policy makers, academics, business leaders and others interested in the future of Scotland’s relationship with the High North and was hosted in conjunction with Highlands and Islands Enterprise and Orkney Islands Council.

Speaking at the Orkney Research and Innovation Campus in Stromness, Ms Hyslop said:

"Scotland remains an outward looking European nation, committed to positive relationships with both our European neighbours and those further afield, despite the uncertainty surrounding the UK’s exit from the EU.

"Scottish-Arctic partnerships have intensified over recent years, acknowledging that international challenges require international solutions. The launch of Arctic Connections creates opportunities to take forward key environmental and climate change work and strengthen trade and investment links in areas such as renewable energy as well as promoting Scotland as a well-placed marine transport and logistics hub. We will also use this launch to share Scotland’s world leading expertise in areas of shared interest such as safety commissioning and decarbonisation.  

"As part of our offer to the High North, we are establishing a fund to support people to people links to help communities build Arctic relations and encourage Scottish universities to participate even closer with the University of the Arctic. We will promote knowledge exchange within digital heath care and education in remote areas and advance our cultural connections.

"The Arctic Policy Framework launch is the starting point in a new exciting era for Scottish-Arctic relations. Our commitment to the region is clear and I am determined that Scotland remains an active partner in facing both the challenges and opportunities our ever changing world presents."

Visit the Scottish Government website for more information