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Arctic policy to be launched in Orkney

Scotland’s first Arctic Policy Framework will be launched in Orkney, a move welcomed by the local authority.

OIC leader James Stockan said: “I am delighted that our islands have been chosen to host the publication of this important policy framework, the Scottish Government’s prospectus for Scottish-Arctic co-operation and knowledge-exchange.

“We are taking an active approach to building new links with Arctic  and Nordic states and I look forward to the launch event — and a wealth of discussion on past, present and future connections with our northerly neighbours.”

Staged in partnership by the Scottish Government, the council and Highlands and Islands Enterprise, the event will take palce on Monday, September 23, at the Orkney Research and Innovation Campus in Stromness.

The key-note address will be given by Fiona Hyslop MSP, cabinet secretary for culture, tourism and external affairs.

The new Arctic Policy Framework highlights existing links between Scotland and the Arctic region, looks at shared challenges and explores avenues for even greater Scottish-Arctic co-operation.

“Our islands have much to contribute to this on many fronts,” councillor Stockan said.

“World-leading research and development in renewable energy and hydrogen generation is taking place in Orkney — and in Scapa Flow, our internationally famous natural harbour, we have an asset of major strategic importance to Scotland.

“We are determined to play our part in contributing to the future prosperity of other communities as well as our own. The launch event will be an important milestone in taking this forward.”

The Council is exploring new economic opportunities for the islands and has taken part in discussions at a meeting in Oslo of the Nordic Council and at a gathering of the Arctic Circle Assembly in Iceland.

Councillor Stockan added: “We found a great willingness to look at future opportunities to collaborate with us.”