Statement by Mayor Eiríkur Björn Björgvinsson

Why should a municipality like Akureyri, located in northern Iceland with 18.000 inhabitants, put emphasis on Arctic cooperation? 

Geographically Iceland and the town of Akureyri are a part of the Arctic Region and the island of Grímsey, which is a part of Akureyri municipality, has the Arctic Circle running straight through it. That is one reason.

In my opinion it is important for municipalities in the Arctic area to take part in Arctic cooperation and Arctic discussion with the interests of their inhabitants as the main focus. The discussion should not be done by government and businesses alone. That is another reason.

The third reason is that our municipality has been an active member of the Northern Forum since 2003 and is the only Icelandic member in this association of regions and countries in the North. In the last few years Akureyri has become a centre for Arctic research institutes, activities and events in Iceland. This has been officially established by the Icelandic government and we now host a great number of diverse conferences, workshops and lectures on Arctic issues.

The main purpose of the website ArcticAkureyri is to make the variety of Arctic related institutions and companies located in Akureyri visible and accessible.