A Parliamentary Resolution on Iceland’s Arctic Policy, (2011) Parliament (Althingi)


The Stefansson Arctic Institute, located in Akureyri, operates under the auspices of the Icelandic Ministry for the Environment and Natural Resources. It has a mandate to facilitate and coordinate Arctic research in Iceland and to advise the government on Arctic research matters. It is located in the same building as two Arctic Council secretariats hosted by Iceland,Conservation of Arctic Fauna and Flora (CAFF) and Protection of the Arctic Marine Environment (PAME). Also located in Akureyri is the Arctic Portal initiative, which provides the institutional infrastructure for a comprehensive gateway to Arctic information and data on the internet. It hosts a number of Arctic-related websites. The Icelandic Arctic Cooperation Network is an infrastructure to facilitate cooperation amongst Icelandic public and private organizations, institutions, businesses and bodies involved in Arctic issues – among other things in research, education, innovation and monitoring, or other activities relevant to the Arctic region. In terms of other research infrastructures, Litla-­‐Skard, an Icelandic INTERACT member is not a typical research station but a bio-­‐monitoring site. The site is operated jointly by the Agricultural University of Iceland, theIcelandic Institute of Natural History, the Icelandic Meteorological Office, theEnvironmental and Food Agency of Iceland, and the Iceland Forest Service.


Iceland is member at the Barents-Euro Arctic Council, the forum for intergovernmental and interregional cooperation in the Barents region that aims at providing a common platform for promoting dialogue and concrete cooperation as well as strengthening stability and promoting economic integration, competitiveness and sustainable development in Northern Europe. The EU is a principal partner in the BEAC through the Northern Dimension. The Northern Dimension is a policy framework for cooperation involving the EU, its Member States and partner countries Iceland, Norway and Russia

Regional Fisheries Management Organisations (RFMO) RFMOs are international organisations formed by countries with fishing interests in an area. RFMOs with an Arctic dimension that the EU is a partner of includes the North East Atlantic Fisheries Commission (NEAFC); North Atlantic Salmon Conservation Organization (NASCO) and bilateral agreements with Greenland, Faroe Islands, Iceland and Norway.

Soil Atlas of the Northern Circumpolar Region , The JRC, with partners from northern EU countries, as well as Norway, Iceland, Greenland, Canada, the USA and Russia produced the soil atlas in 2010 as part of their contribution to the International Polar Year (2010). The project included science communication to a broad group of stakeholders on the characteristics of northern soil, its environmental importance and global significance.


The Northern Dimension is a joint policy between EU, Russia, Norway and Iceland. The ND Policy was initiated in 1999 and renewed in 2006. The policy aims at providing a framework to:

  • promote dialogue and concrete cooperation
  • strengthen stability
  • well being and intensified economic cooperation
  • promote economic integration, competitiveness and sustainable development in Northern Europe.

In addition to the four ND Partners namely EU, Russia, Norway and Iceland, also participating are:

  • Members States in national capacity
  • Regional Councils, e.g. the Arctic Council (AC), the Barents Euro-­‐arctic Council (BEAC),
  • the Council of the Baltic Sea States (CBSS) and the Nordic Council of Ministers (NCM)
  • International Financial Institutions (IFIs), e.g. European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), the European Investment Bank (EIB), the Nordic Investment Bank (NIB) and the Nordic Environment Finance Corporation (NEFCO) as well as other financial institutions -- universities and research centers and business community
  • - Canada and the United States as observers
  • - Belarus participates in practical cooperation.

To facilitate ND project implementation, four Partnerships have been established to deal with the following thematic issues:

  • environment (NDEP)
  • public health and social well-­‐being (NDPHS)
  • transport and logistics (NDPTL)
  • culture (NDPC)

An ND Institute (NDI) and ND Business Council (NDBC) have been established to involve academia and business community into ND cooperation.


Initiated by the Icelandic president, the Arctic Circle is a forum with a mission to facilitate dialogue and strengthen the decision-­‐making process through involving a range of decision-­‐makers across all sectors. Participants include a cross section of funding bodies, universities, companies, NGOs and media partners. The inaugural summit will be held in October 2013. The Arctic Frontiers (AF), an independent Norwegian network organising an annual summit in Tromsø, Norway, provides a platform for all arctic stakeholders to define priorities for development and research.

The Iceland Responsible Fisheries Foundation is an initiative funded by the Icelandic government and operates the Iceland Responsible Fisheries logo. This logo indicates the Icelandic origin of fish catches in Icelandic waters and responsible fisheries management. Major Icelandic fisheries companies such as HB Grandi, ISI Seafood and Samherji use the logo.


HAFRANNSOKNASTOFNUNIN is partnet to EPOCA (European Project on Ocean Acidification) a project for Advancing the understanding of the biological, ecological, biogeochemical, and societal implications of ocean acidification. EPOCA is partially financed by the EU by the 7th Framework Programme.

Arctic Portal is partner to Page21, a project aimed at understanding and quantifying the vulnerability of permafrost environments to a changing global climate, and to investigate the feedback mechanisms associated with increasing greenhouse gas emissions from permafrost zones. Page21 is partially financed by the EU

Agricultural University of Iceland (AUI) is partner to INTERACT, (International Network for Terrestrial Research and Monitoring in the Arctic) a project aimed at build Capacity for identifying, understanding, predicting and responding to diverse environmental changes throughout the wide environmental and land-­‐use. INTERACT is partially financed by the EU by the 7th Framework Programme.

ICE-SAR is partner to SMACS (Small Craft Emergency Response and Survival Training for Arctic Conditions) a project aiming at developing of a safety and survival training programme specifically focused on the needs of small-­‐craft Arctic mariners. SMACS is partially financed by the EU by the Northern Periphery Programme.

Holar University Collage is partner to Northcharr (Sustainable Aquaculture of Arctic charr), a project for a Secured and expanded national breeding programs; coordination of the farming industry in all participating countries initiated; input to the governmental inquest “Sweden, an Aquaculture nation in the making”; advice services and help to farmers.; establishment of the Aquaculture Centre North. Northcharr is partially financed by the EU by the Northern Periphery Programme.

The Icelandic Centre for Research i s partner to BOREAS, a coordinated programme of research on the North to enable the humanities to collaborate more effectively and to offer synergies between social, natural and medical sciences through innovative collaboration between Europe, the US, Canada And Russia. BOREAS is partially financed by the EU by the 7th Framework Programme.

Innovation Center Iceland is partner to Craft International, a project To use integrated visitor/local sales/e-­‐sales activities to improve chances of survival for selected and badged artisan businesses. Craft International is partially financed by the EU by the Northern Periphery Programme.

The Nursing Homes in Akureyri, Health Care Center and Community Hospital of Southeast Iceland, and Municipality of Hafnarfjördur, Department of Social Services are partners to OLE 2 (Our Life as Elderly – implementation), a project aiming at defining and implementing actual changes the four different project areas, and developing a product format for easy use by other municipalities. OLE 2 is partially financed by the EU by the Northern Periphery Programme.

FSA University Hospital is partner to Recruit and Retain (Recruitment and Retention of Health Care Providers and Public Sector Workers in Remote Rural Areas), a project aiming at putting in place mechanisms whereby front line health care providers can be identified, encouraged, trained and supported to work in a remote rural community. Recruit and Retain is partially financed by the EU by the Northern Periphery Programme.

Icelandic Public Road Administration is partner to ROADEX IV (ROADEX Network Implementing Accessibility), a project to encourage the everyday use of ROADEX techniques and innovations on Northern Periphery low volume public roads, forest roads and private roads within the framework of climate change and increasing environmental awareness. ROADEX IV is partially financed by the EU by the Northern Periphery Programme.

Icelandic Centre for Retail Studies is partner to TG4NP (Tourist Guide for Northern Periphery), a project to support tourism industry of peripheral regions by enhancing the visitors’ experiences in cultural and natural heritage destinations with the help of multimodal mobile information services. TG4NP is partially financed by the EU by the Northern Periphery Programme.


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