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Arctic Environment

The pressure on nature and the environment in the Arctic has increased due to climate change and increased interest in raw material extraction, ship traffic and infrastructure projects. Also in Greenland, there are many activities such as mineral exploration and mine projects. Arctic Environment helps the authorities to handle and minimise the environmental consequences based on research and solid background knowledge about nature and the environment in the Arctic/Greenland.

Our research and consultancy are based on more than 50 years of work in Greenland. We play a leading role in research and research-based consultancy on the effects of pollution and human disturbances of Arctic nature. All impact should be understood in combination with climate change.

We conduct research into habitat requirements, pollution, environmental effects and biodiversity and gather knowledge in area analyses to map important nature areas and their vulnerability. We examine how different human activities, including especially exploitation of raw materials, affect nature and the environment, and how we can minimise this impact.  

We provide consultancy to Greenlandic and Danish authorities on nature and environmental issues related to, among other things, raw material activities and nature protection in the Arctic.

We participate in international research and consultancy co-operation in the Arctic Council and in the EU. In this connection, we play leading roles in the programme for monitoring of biodiversity and in projects such as research station collaboration, invasive species, mining operations and the coastal zone.


Research areas in brief

The species, ecosystems and their vulnerability

We undertake research into the habitat requirements of species and the biodiversity of ecosystems, and we conduct area analyses to map the sensitivity and vulnerability of natural areas.

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Impact of mineral raw materials on nature and the environment

We investigate how exploration and exploitation of mineral resources affect nature and the environment, including how to minimise the impact of resource activities, the establishment of infrastructure, shipping and other physical interventions into the Arctic nature.

We identify particularly important areas and assess their vulnerability to specific activities, and potential pollution is an important area together with the development of methods for future nature and environmental monitoring in both the marine and terrestrial environment in the Arctic.

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Environmental conditions in connection with raw material exploitation in Greenland

We advise on environmental issues in connection with raw material exploitation in Greenland in order to build up general knowledge about nature and the environment and understand the ecological dynamics in Greenland and the Arctic in order to assess vulnerability and the possible impact from raw material activities. This knowledge is gathered and summarised in strategic environmental assessments (SMEs), which also identify significant deficiencies and uncertainties in the knowledge that must be used to regulate, for example, oil activities.

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International cooperation

Our research and advice on species and ecosystems and their vulnerability are based on more than 45 years of work in Greenland. Knowledge about the state and sensitivity of ecosystems and biodiversity in Greenland is important for the international cooperation among researchers and authorities on sustainable development in the region, e.g. the Arctic Council, where our researchers are leading in some areas, and we also participate in other international forums.

Below, some of our partners:

  • Isaaffik Arctic Gateway - Arctic dynamic web portal for everyone who works in the Arctic
  • niki.gl - information page about migratory animals in Greenland

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