Quick Facts

Arctic Territory:
All of Iceland

Arctic Population:
365,000

Iceland and the Arctic Region

Iceland is an Arctic State where the Arctic Circle passes through its northernmost community, Grimsey Island, 40 kilometers off the north coast of Iceland. Iceland has approximately 365,000 inhabitants.

Iceland’s key industries have been largely based on the sustainable utilization of natural marine and energy resources. The country has the highest share of renewable energy in any national total energy budget, with about 85 percent of the total primary energy supply derived from domestically produced renewable energy sources and geothermal water is used to heat around 90 percent of Icelandic homes. In recent years, tourism has become a key pillar of the Icelandic economy and growing emphasis has been placed on innovation and the creative sector.

Indigenous Peoples

Iceland is the only Arctic State that does not have an Indigenous population. From the start of settlements in the ninth century AD to today, Iceland inhabitants have mostly come from Northern Europe.

Iceland in the Arctic Council

Iceland held its first Chairmanship from 2002-2004. Throughout its first Chairmanship, Iceland’s priorities included:

  • Arctic human development
  • The use of information and telecommunication technology in the Arctic
  • Strengthening cooperation on Arctic research

Throughout its current chairmanship, Iceland’s priorities include:

  • The Arctic marine environment, including plastics, micro-plastics and marine litter, the blue bioeconomy and sustainable shipping
  • Climate and green energy solutions to reduce emissions and improve air quality
  • People and communities of the Arctic, including economic opportunities, telecommunications and gender equality
  • Strengthening the Arctic Council through constructive cooperation

Key accomplishments include:

  • Under Iceland’s lead, the Arctic Human Development Report (AHDR) was approved by Ministers at the Inari-meeting in 2002 as a priority project, forming an integral part of its Chairmanship program. The report was an effort to strengthen the cultural, social and economic dimensions of the work of the Arctic Council. The report represents the first comprehensive attempt to document and compare systematically the welfare of Arctic residents on a circumpolar basis.
  • In order to make better use of financial and other resources allocated to Arctic research, the Icelandic Chairmanship emphasized the strengthened relationship and cooperation among parties involved in Arctic research. The increased involvement of science and education authorities, as well as Arctic residents, in such cooperation was considered instrumental to its success.
  • Resulting from the work of the Arctic Council Project Support Fund Expert Group, Arctic Ministers requested at the Reykjavik Ministerial meeting in 2004 that Senior Arctic Officials establish an Arctic Council Project Support Instrument (PSI) that should focus on funding activities aimed at preventing and mitigating pollution in the Arctic, and develop a set of guidelines for the Instrument in close cooperation with the Nordic Environment Finance Corporation (NEFCO) and the Arctic Council’s Arctic Contaminants Action Program (ACAP) Working Group.

Iceland is committed to the principle of sustainable development and recognizes the necessity of close cooperation between the States and peoples of the region and beyond. Iceland will hold its third Chairmanship in 2035-2037.

Fridrik Jonsson
Fridrik Jonsson
Senior Arctic Official; Ministry For Foreign Affairs, Iceland

Контактная информация для прессы

Свейнн Гудмарссон
Пресс-секретарь
Министерство иностраных дел
Rauðarárstíg 25, IS 150 Reykjavík
+354 545 9974

@IcelandArctic

  • ‼️@ArcticCouncil #Internship An opportunity for an #Arctic citizen to experience international work environment. 🇨🇦🇩🇰🇫🇮🇮🇸🇳🇴🇷🇺🇸🇪🇺🇸 Application deadline: 27 June 2021 See more ℹ️👇 twitter.com/ArcticCouncil/… June 11 4:29 pm

Related news

Arctic states on track to reach the collective goal on black carbon emissions

The Arctic Council’s Expert Group on Black Carbon and Methane releases its Summary of Progress and Recommendations 2021
26 May 2021

Arctic Council Foreign Ministers sign the Reykjavik Declaration, adopt the Council’s first Strategic Plan and pass the Chairmanship from Iceland to the Russian Federation

The Arctic States reaffirmed the Council’s commitment to maintain a peaceful, prosperous and sustainable Arctic region during the Arctic Council Ministerial meeting – the...
20 May 2021
Credit: Hugi Ólafsson

Fish collagen and Senegal flounders

Iceland is leading the way in the blue bioeconomy and initiated a study to explore its potential in the Arctic. While there’s no one-size-fits-all business model, ocean i...
10 May 2021
Посмотреть все

Featured Projects

Marine Biodiversity Monitoring

Working with partners across the Arctic to harmonize and enhance long-term marine monitoring efforts

Региональный план действий по морскому мусору

Reducing the negative impacts of marine litter, including microplastics, to the Arctic marine environment.

Arctic Remote Energy Networks Academy (ARENA)

Sharing knowledge and establishing professional networks related to energy resources for remote Arctic communities.
Photo: CAFF

Terrestrial Biodiversity Monitoring

Working with partners across the Arctic to harmonize and enhance long-term terrestrial monitoring efforts.

Local 2 Global

Circumpolar collaboration for suicide prevention and mental wellness
Photo: Hjalti Hreinsson

Gender Equality in the Arctic

An international collaborative project focusing on gender equality in the Arctic
Ship in the Arctic. Photo: iStock / Alexey_Seafarer

Arctic Marine Tourism: Development in the Arctic and enabling real change

Analyzing and promoting sustainable tourism across the circumpolar Arctic.
Arctic Council logo

Sustainable Development Goals in the Arctic

Developing tools to apply SDGs in the Arctic
Harald Finkler

Arctic Food Innovation Cluster

Pulling together relevant people in the Arctic foods value chain for a cluster-based approach to food production and regional economic development.
Arctic Council logo
Arctic Council logo

Raising awareness in the Arctic Council of the provisions of the 2012 Cape Town Agreement

For the safety of fishing vessels and the experience gained in the implementation process by Arctic States and other nations, recognizing the importance of fishing vessel safety in the Arctic due to t...

Sustaining Arctic Observing Networks (SAON)

SAON's vision is a connected, collaborative, and comprehensive long-term pan-Arctic Observing System that serves societal needs.
Cod drying. Photo: iStock

Blue Bioeconomy in the Arctic Region

The sustainable and intelligent use of renewable aquatic natural resources, with a focus on improving utilization and creating higher-value products.