A group representing Greenland Inuit has joined the Arctic Economic Council separately from its parent organization, as Greenland seeks to address concerns that political opposition to mining radioactive minerals will hobble the development of other mining efforts. The country is hoping to grow its mining sector in hopes that it could supplement its fishing industry as a source of exports.
“Greenland, like other Arctic communities, is in an urgent need for diversifying its economic activities,” said Kuupik Kleist, an ICC-Greenland representative. “We are almost completely dependent on the export of fish, which makes the economy fragile and pushes the limits of resources.”
Founded in 2014, the Arctic Economic Council seeks to promote business opportunities in the region.
The Inuit Circumpolar Council represents the interests of the 180,000 Inuit residents of Alaska, Canada, Greenland and Chukotka, Russia at the Arctic Council (where it is one of the six Permanent Participants representing Indigenous groups). The ICC was admitted to the AEC (a parallel but independent organization from the Arctic Council) as one of its original members.
By joining the AEC separately from its umbrella organization, ICC-Greenland hopes to gain a stronger, more independent voice that it can use to promote activities such as mining and tourism.