This week his Royal Highness Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark opened a high-level conference on the topic The SDGs in the Arctic: Local and Global Perspectives, hosted by The Kingdom of Denmark in partnership with the Arctic Economic Council.

The resource rich Arctic faces both challenges and opportunities when it comes to securing sustainable economic growth and development for the people living in the Arctic.

In 2015 the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were adopted as a way of ending poverty, protecting the environment and ensuring prosperity for all. Achieving these goals will require participation from both public sector and private sector.

The conference that took place in Copenhagen gathered perspectives from stakeholders in both public and private sectors at a local and global level. The discussion centered around how these stakeholders can engage to contribute to sustainable economic development in the Arctic, and how the Arctic can contribute to the achievement of the SDGs.

The overall objective of the conference was to identify ways to keep the Arctic on a path towards a peaceful, prosperous and sustainable future.

The AEC was represented at the event by both Chair Tero Vauraste and Vice Chair Róbert Guđfinnsson. Mr Vauraste spoke at a panel focusing on the SDGs in the Arctic.

Tero Vauraste spoke of his consern of increasing global protectionism, which is making the idea of an Arctic Free Trade zone more pertinent.  An idea that has been with the AEC since its inception. In the Arctic region there are a number of different and incompatible trade regimes, unifying these regulations would lower the barriers of trade.

The full program can be read here.