Skip to content
Arctic Circle
  • Jun 7, 2022
  • 11:00-12:00 GMT

Greenland and Iceland: Arctic Research Strategies and Cooperation

The Icelandic Arctic Cooperation Network (IACN), The Icelandic Centre for Research (Rannís), and the Greenland Research Council invite you to take part in a dialogue on Iceland's and Greenland‘s Arctic Research Strategies; exploring synergies and forms of existing and potential cooperation.

Bilateral relations between Iceland and Greenland have been steadily increasing, especially over the last decade as reflected – inter alia - by the establishment of diplomatic missions in Nuuk in 2013 by Iceland, and in Reykjavik in late 2018 by Greenland. Following this line, in 2022, Rannís, The Icelandic Centre for Research, and the Greenland Research Council signed an MoU seeking to strengthen cooperation between the scientific and educational communities in Greenland and Iceland. This session introduces both Iceland and Greenland‘s Arctic Research Strategies and explores synergies and forms of existing and potential Cooperation. The aim is three-folded:

1. It explores Greenland and Iceland Arctic research strategies and priorities;
2. It outlines how the respective National research council/centre implements Arctic research strategies and priorities;
3. It discusses synergies and areas of current and potential Arctic research cooperation between Iceland and Greenland.

Tove Søvndahl Gant, Head of Representation, Greenland Representation in Reykjavik

Þorbjörn Jónsson, Consul General, Consulate General of Iceland in Nuuk

Josephine Nymand, PhD, Chair, Greenland Research Council; Head of Department, The Greenland Institute of Natural Resources, Dept. of Environment and Minerals
Ágúst Ingþórsson, General Director of The Icelandic Centre for Research (Rannís)

Rasmus Leander Nielsen, Head, Nasiffik
Embla Eir Oddsdóttir, Director, Icelandic Arctic Cooperation Network

Maliina Jensen, Secretary, Greenland Research Council

Moderator: Pétur Ásgeirsson, Arctic Ambassador, Iceland

Ambassador Pétur Ásgeirsson

Senior Arctic Official of Iceland – Arctic Ambassador

Ambassador Pétur Ásgeirsson is Iceland’s Senior Arctic Official to the Arctic Council. He has worked for the Government of Iceland for nearly 30 years. He first joined the Foreign Service from the Ministry of Education, Science and Culture in 1999. He was appointed Ambassador in 2013 and that same year became Iceland’s first Consul General in Nuuk, Greenland, the first foreign diplomat to reside in Greenland since World War II. He served as Ambassador to Canada from 2017 to 2021. Ambassador Ásgeirsson served as Director and then Director General of Administration and Consular Affairs of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs from 1999 to 2013. He is married to lawyer, Mrs. Jóhanna Gunnarsdóttir. They have two sons.

Ambassador Ásgeirsson is the co-author of Á norðurslóð – ferðasaga frá Grænlandi. (On the Arctic route – a travelogue from Greenland). Published with his son Ásgeir Pétursson in 2017. He is also an enthusiastic woodworker and boatbuilder.

Tove Søvndahl Gant

Head of Representation, Greenland Representation in Reykjavik

Tove is an official of the Greenland Government and is currently serving as the head of the Greenland Representation in Reykjavik, Iceland. Throughout her career she has primarily dealt with issues pertaining to indigenous peoples’ rights, human rights and sustainable development in various international fora and institutions (Arctic Council, Nordic Council of Minister, the European Union and the United Nations). Apart from covering the bilateral relations between Iceland and Greenland, she is also responsible for the international cooperation files pertaining to human rights, including the rights of indigenous peoples of the Greenland Government’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Nuuk. In her private capacity she is also a member of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues. Tove served as member and chairperson of the Board of Ilisimatusarfik for the years 2008-2012 as well as a member and vice-chair of the Board of the Governors of UArctic, University of the Arctic through the years 2010-2019.

Josephine Nymand

Head of Department, Greenland Institute of Natural Resources; Chair of Greenland Research Council

Ágúst Ingþórsson

General Director of The Icelandic Centre for Research (Rannís)

Ágúst Hjörtur Ingþórsson is General Director of The Icelandic Centre for Research (Rannís) and was appointed on 1. April 2022. Ágúst Hjörtur joined Rannís in 2013 and served as Director of Education and Culture 2013-2020 and Director of Research and Innovation 2020-2022, as well as being Deputy Director. Prior to joining Rannís, he had been in charge of the University of Iceland Research Liaison Office for 13 years and served three years as a science counsellor at the Icelandic Mission to the EU in Brussels. Ágúst holds a BA in philosophy and literature study from the University of Iceland, a master's degree in philosophy from the University of Ottawa and is currently working on a doctoral dissertation on science and technology policy.

Rasmus Leander Nielsen

Head of Nasiffik

Dr. Nielsen is Head of Nasiffik – Centre for Foreign & Security Policy at the Department of Arctic Social Science and Economics, Ilisimatusarfik (University of Greenland). His main research interests include Greenlandic foreign policy, Arctic security dilemmas, and regional cooperation. Dr. Nielsen is a widely used expert and commentator on Greenlandic and Arctic Affairs.

Embla Eir Oddsdottir

Director of the Icelandic Arctic Cooperation Network (IACN) and the Polar Law Institute

Embla Eir Oddsdottir is the Director of the Icelandic Arctic Cooperation Network (IACN) and the Polar Law Institute in Akureyri, Iceland. Embla is a national delegate in the Arctic Council Sustainable Development Working Group and a representatives in the Sustainable Development Working Group´s Social, Economic and Cultural Expert Group (SECEG). Embla is project lead of the SDWG project Gender Equality in the Arctic, which was an Arctic Council Icelandic Chairmanship project 2019-2021. Embla represented Iceland as co-chair in the Arctic Science Ministerial III Science Advisory Board co-organized by Iceland and Japan. Embla is currently Chair of the Joint Organizing Committee on Arctic Affairs, a Council member in the International Arctic Social Sciences Association and a member of the European Polar Board, among other things. Embla holds a Msc in law, anthropology and society from the London School of Economics with undergraduate studies on socioeconomic development at the University of Akureyri and interdisciplinary studies at the University of Northern British Columbia in Canada. Additionally, Embla has completed Diploma level courses in Polar Law at the University of Akureyri.

Maliina Jensen

Secretary to the Greenland Research Council.

Maliina is responsible for the secretarial and administrative affairs of the council’s work and assists in the coordination of council activities.

Follow Arctic Circle on Social Media