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21/11/17 19:32

Arctic Strategy for Scotland

Working closer with northern neighbours.

A new Arctic Strategy will be developed by the Scottish Government, External Affairs Secretary Fiona Hyslop has confirmed at the closing session of the Arctic Circle Forum.

The Forum brought together policy makers, academics, business leaders and others interested in the future of the Arctic region and was the first ever forum to be held in in the UK.

Speaking after the end of the two-day Forum, Ms Hyslop said:

“Scotland is the closest neighbour to the Arctic States and we have many shared interests and challenges, from renewable energy and climate change targets to social policies and improving connectivity.

“With the threat of a hard Brexit still possible, it is important we continue to work with our northern neighbours to build strong relationships. Our involvement with the Arctic Circle organisation is an excellent opportunity to do this.

“The forum has given us plenty of scope to identify policy links and there has been a lot of interest in our policies and practices in Scotland. As a result I am pleased to announce we will develop an Arctic Strategy for Scotland.

“There is growing global interest in Arctic issues and our new strategy will highlight Scotland’s role in both contributing to the flourishing of Arctic regions and benefiting from the exciting opportunities which are opening up now and in the future.”

Former President of Iceland and Arctic Circle Chairman Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson said:

“The new Arctic neighbourhood needs Scotland. Climate change is the most pressing issue of our time. In addressing it, it's important that Scotland's expertise is involved. The economic future of Scotland can in turn benefit from new opportunities in air and sea transport and the development of marine and tourism links.”

“Whatever Scotland's constitutional position, you can enter the Arctic discussion in a full and inclusive way. The new Arctic neighbourhood needs Scotland, and the development of a formal Arctic policy indicates the Scottish Government is beginning to prioritise this engagement.”

Background

 Arctic Circle Scotland took place in Edinburgh from 19-21 November and was co-hosted by the Scottish Government and Arctic Circle.

 The Scottish Government launched its Nordic-Baltic policy statement and gave evidence to the Scottish Affairs Committee on Scotland and the High North earlier this year.