Arctic Frontiers Abroad conference takes place in Aberdeen.
Continuing to build relationships with Arctic neighbours will help Scotland pursue shared ambitions and address common challenges, External Affairs Secretary Angus Robertson has said.
Mr Robertson was addressing the Arctic Frontiers Abroad conference in Aberdeen, where he confirmed further funding for the Arctic Connections Fund that aims to enhance knowledge sharing and cooperation between Scottish and Arctic organisations and communities.
As the world's most northernly non-Arctic nation, the conference builds on the many similarities and connections Scotland shares with Arctic countries. It helps mobilise leading Scottish and international voices across policy, science and the business community to jointly discuss issues such as renewable energy development, blue economy, rural resilience and the climate crisis.
Speaking in Aberdeen, Mr Robertson said:
While international interest in the Arctic is growing, few nations can count on such rich connections with the region. What Scotland and the Arctic also have in common is a wide set of challenges and ambitions, often arising from rurality and low population density.
We have long worked together and pooled our expertise to develop joint solutions to common issues. We also remain committed to supporting exchange of knowledge and best practice with our Arctic neighbours.
I am therefore delighted to announce that a third round of the Scottish Government's Arctic Connections Fund will open for applications today. The fund continues to address critical themes - including fuel poverty, food security, nature protection and inequalities. Scottish-based organisations can apply for grants worth up to 10,000 to work with Arctic partners and bring tangible benefits to our communities.
Scotland will always aim to be a Good Global Citizen, and with the powers of independence we will be able to bring that approach into Arctic and Nordic organisations. Scotland already meets the essential requirements for joining most of these organisations, except that of being an independent state.
Read External Affairs Secretary Angus Robertson's speech.
Read the Arctic Connections Fund guidance for instructions on how to apply.
In September 2019, the Scottish Government published Arctic Connections, Scotland's Arctic policy framework. The framework highlights existing links between Scotland and Arctic countries while encouraging transnational cooperation and knowledge exchange in relation to shared challenges, especially those stemming from rurality and low population density.