Suka K. Frederiksens tale ved international konference i København
Naalakkersuisoq Suka K. Frederiksen afholdte et oplæg med titlen "Sustainable Development Goals in the Arctic – Local and Global Perspectives" om implementering af FNs 17 verdensmål om bæredygtig udvikling i Arktisk generelt og nationalt i Grønland ved den internationale højniveau konference der blev holdt i København og som hun var medvært for, fredag den 1. december 2017. Talen er på engelsk
Your Royal Highness, Ministers, Distinguished guests,
I am honoured to be here today and to co-host this important event. The importance of this event is largely due to your valued presence. The Sustainable Development Goals are local - but the effort towards the goals will be much more successful through global cooperation. It is not something we can do by ourselves.
So thank you for being here today!
In the next couple of minutes I will briefly connect the local to the global in a Greenlandic perspective. Later today, my colleague, Minister of Finance and Internal Revenue, Aqqaluaq B. Egede, will tell you more about sustainable development nationally.
Internationally, in both Arctic and Nordic cooperation, Greenland has on several occasions stated the intention to work towards an implementation of the relevant Sustainable Development Goals. This includes signing the Fairbanks declaration in Alaska in May 2017.
These global challenges and goals are closely linked to the national challenges we are dealing with in Greenland. Especially on matters that cross land and maritime borders like the use of common stocks, climate related issues and contamination. But also the social aspects can be global. We are aware that trade agreements, exchange programs, import and export all can support – or hamper – a Sustainable development in relation to gender equality, education for everyone and for economic growth. So we welcome international cooperation on sustainable development, including in Greenland.
In terms of research We, the Government of Greenland, and I - as a Greenlandic citizen - welcomes the important contribution of data being developed in our country. But we need to improve the conditions and output of international research and involve the local communities before, during and after the research.
I acknowledge that Arctic States, the European Union and organisations all together are spending millions of money in research in the Arctic. Our feeling are maybe sometimes that this benefits more the international institutions and companies, while the local population does not even understand or have a reel chance to get the simplest information in relation to the studies.
It is for example positive for hunters to hear about trends of the animals and the land they are crossing. But not all understand scientific language or purpose. We have a responsibility to translate data and make it relevant for the local population.
In relation to the farming in South Greenland we have also initiated a study to see how the climate change is effecting the grassing and fields in terms of producing more and better feeding for the livestock. This is done together with our Institute of Natural Resources and relevant stakeholders in the region.
Such efforts provide information to the communities and make the goal of sustainable development more relevant and tangible. Something we can all contribute to, and not least benefit from.
The national network CSR Greenland is doing a great effort in informing about the Sustainable Development Goals to citizens and companies. They include companies to strive towards the Sustainable Development Goals and make individual goals relevant for individual companies and workers I look forward to hear the first panel later today and the expert’s elaborations on the human dimension and in connection best practices and international cooperation of the SDG’s implementation in the Arctic.
As you will have noticed today’s event is co-organized with the Arctic Economic Council. And this is no coincidence. The outset of the Government of Greenland is equality and stability – also economically.
The government of Greenland is fully aware of the need to strike the right balance – going forward – between protecting and the use of the living resources and the environment, it is important to keep in mind when we are negotiating and discussing the issues with other countries; this is how we can increase our level of food self-sufficiency and, ultimately, ensure our self-determination.
The Greenlandic culture is based on the sustainable use of the living resources, whether we are talking about marine or land-based resources. Since time immemorial, our food has become more and more diverse, and in this way become both enriched and challenged by imported food. Climate change is happening – and with increasing speed – and have an effect both on the vast inland ice and on how we hunt the animals, in general our way of life.
We have a lot of potential exploring our resources and export our products. But we need to think smart and sustainably. Innovation and technological development are key here. How can innovation and technology contribute scattered and small communities to develop their local economies in a sustainable manner?
It has already been proven that almost everything is possible. In Greenland 70 % of the electricity provided from the national energy company is produced by hydropower. From the grids, energy is daily transported over big fjords and mountains. Hydropower can also provide energy to potential large scale projects in Greenland in a sustainable manner.
Another example is the national tele company – that has provided internet to the most inaccessible places – even to the fjords were some of us are trying to escape from the daily rush and buzz. We are not only being more connected nationally - but also internationally. I am told that Greenland is one of the countries with the most Facebook accounts per capita.
Nevertheless, we need to advance the connectivity if we are to enjoy the full benefits of telecommunication, e-learning, telemedicine and business developments. Outside of the three bigger cities of Greenland it is currently extremely expensive and challenging to have a “simple and normal” Skype conversation.
I look very much forward to seeing how today’s second panel will elaborate on how to ensure a sustainable economic development despite and with the help of, our unique geographical and climatic conditions. Also here we need to translate the necessary information and involve the population if we want substantive ownership.
I wish you all a fruitful day and welcome you to Greenland next year when we will host the next Artic Dialogue high-level event.
Qujanaq / Thank you