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Renewed agreement with Greenland: DCE to provide increased environmental knowledge in the mineral resource area

DCE – Danish Centre for Environment and Energy, Aarhus University, will boost the knowledge base even more and thereby its expertise in areas where Greenland needs stronger specialised advice in the form of research-based environmental consultancy regarding mineral resources.

The soil around the former lead-zinc mine at Mestersvig in East Greenland is investigated for oil pollution. Photo: Lis Bach

Knowledge creation is an important element in the collaboration agreement regarding environmental consultancy in the mineral resource area between the Self-Government of Greenland and the Danish Ministry of Higher Education and Science. The agreement was renewed on 26 August at a ceremony in Nuuk, where the Self-Government’s Naalakkersuisoq (Minister) for Nature and Environment Kim Kielsen and Denmark’s Minister for Higher Education and Science Sofie Carsten Nielsen confirmed with their signatures the continued collaboration.

The Self-Government’s Environment Agency for the Mineral Resources Activities (EAMRA), the Greenland Institute of Natural Resources and DCE previously entered into a tripartite agreement in 2014 with a clear plan for the future collaboration and division of labour between the institute and DCE regarding environmental consultancy in the mineral resource area. The agreement includes substantial knowledge creation and competence transfer to the Institute of Natural Resources, which is in the process of building up a new academic unit – the Department of Environment and Mineral Resources – which also specialises in scientific consultancy and research regarding environmental protection in the area of mineral resources.

In connection with the renewal of the agreement on 26 August, Minister for Nature and Environment Kim Kielsen stated in a media release:

“We must at all times make sure that we make the right demands. We do this by building up our skills at home in Greenland at the same time as carrying out development and specialisation at DCE, where it makes most sense. And we do this by continuing the good and close collaboration that has always existed between DCE and the Greenland Institute of Natural Resources, as well as the mineral resource authorities in Greenland.”

Environmentally responsible development

Director of DCE Hanne Bach is pleased that the centre will continue via its research-based consultancy to contribute to the environmentally responsible development of the mineral resource area in Greenland.

“There are lots of challenges in the sustainable management of extracting mineral resources, and they don’t get any less when the environment is so special as it is in Greenland. When it comes to decisions regarding development, we feel it’s important to provide the best possible scientific information as a basis, and we look forward to continuing to make this contribution,” she says.

Head of Research and Advisory Services Anders Mosbech, DCE and Department of Bioscience, Aarhus University, emphasises that DCE can continue its collaboration with the Greenland Institute of Natural Resources regarding the creation of the scientific basis and expertise that are a prerequisite for ensuring that nature and environment considerations can be carried out as well as possible in connection with major mineral resource projects in Greenland.

“There is a need for more knowledge about possible long-term environmental effects in the Arctic ecosystems, as well as more understanding of the way biodiversity can be best protected in a dynamic system where new industrial activities are coming and major climate changes are occurring,” says Anders Mosbech.

Contact: Director Hanne Bach
             DCE – Danish Centre for Environment and Energy
             Aarhus University
             +45 8715 1348

             Head of Research and Advisory Services Anders Mosbech
             DCE – Danish Centre for Environment and Energy
             Department of Bioscience
             Aarhus University
             +45 8715 8686