Monday, 26 November 2012 13:50

Kleist and Rosing: Denmark and Greenland should jointly develop resources

Greenland Premier Kuupik Vandersee Kleist Greenland Premier Kuupik Vandersee Kleist IPS

It is high time we, having lived together for three centuries and most of the time joyously so, openly declare our love and mutual respect for each other. To the present day, we still awkwardly face each other, stepping on each other’s toes and failing to make decisions essential to the common good of the Kingdom’s parties.”

The emphatic proposal was made in a feature article published in the national Danish newspaper Politiken as well as in the Greenlandic newspaper Sermitsiaq last week. It was co-authored by two of the most well merited players inside and outside of the Kingdom, Greenland Premier Kuupik Vandersee Kleist and Professor of geology Minik Rosing.

The article outlines the history of Danish colonial politics in Greenland and particularly focuses on the scientific achievements made under the auspices of various national committees and, in recent decades, the Home Rule and the Government of Greenland.

Kleist and Rosing point out how Danish research in Greenland has resulted in long series of scientific publications, many of which are in English and range among the most frequently quoted and referenced literature on the Arctic.

The current financial setup means each year a block grant of billions of Danish kroner flows from the Southern part of the Kingdom to its sparsely populated Arctic possession replete with all kinds of natural resources. The article’s authors suggest that the former be viewed as a subscription taken out by Denmark to the latter, i.e., the natural splendors of Greenland.

The Danes and the Greenlanders, Mssrs Kleist and Rosing write, as equal partners under the existing self government legislation agreed upon by both nations, must furthermore agree to create a framework for investigating and assessing commercial investments in resource development in Greenland. The aim, the say, is to establish a more diversified and sustainable industrial base in both countries, and to protect the nature in Greenland.

To secure a sustainable development of Greenland’s natural resources, the two authors urge that steps be taken, within next summer, to determine collectively in Denmark and Greenland possible ways ahead. Specifically, they suggest that the Danish and Greenland Governments each appoint members of a working party that will, within this time frame, clarify how the gigantic capital of knowledge about Greenland can best be managed and invested in development of the equally gigantic resource deposits.

“Open up the windows wide and let enlightenment and fresh air oust the ghosts that have for much too long been feeding on suppression and unfound rumors, and that have remained the main reason why initiatives like the one suggested here have never been carried out,” the distinguished authors end their visionary message.


Arctic Council Indigenous Peoples' Secretariat
Fram Centre, Postboks 6606 Langnes, NO-9296 Tromsø, Norway