Arctic Connections: Scotland to join international conference line-up

SCOTTISH Government ministers are to take part in online conferences looking at the “common concerns and challenges” faced by Arctic nations.

The Arctic Connections seminars will feature speakers from Canada, the US and the Nordic nations, as well as Scotland.

Climate change, the rural economy, and how to build a sustainable recovery from the pandemic are some of the key issues to be discussed.

The events are taking place between this month and early 2021, and will be held virtually due to coronavirus restrictions.

Constitution, Europe and External Affairs Secretary Michael Russell said ministers’ participation shows Scotland is still an “outward looking nation which engages with the world”, despite the “imminent threat” of Brexit.

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He added: “We are determined to play our full role in discussing common issues with countries across the globe.

“This sustained engagement and dialogue with Arctic nations is based not only in common interests, but the reality of our population and geography – Shetland is closer to the Arctic circle than it is to London, and at a higher latitude than Juneau, Alaska.

“These discussions will be with some of our closest neighbours and important trade partners, in Europe as well as nations further afield, and will address our many common concerns and challenges.

“The Covid-19 pandemic has also underlined just how important multilateral dialogue and the international exchange of knowledge is, not only in responding to the crisis, but in building back, fairer and greener.”

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