Arctic Connections

Scotland is among the Arctic region’s closest neighbours. Connections between Scotland and the Arctic, however, go much further than geographical proximity and deep historic ties. We share many features, outlooks and objectives. Links forged through history continue to spur rich collaborations across a range of areas, from invigorating rural economies and improving connectivity, to promoting sustainable growth and cultivating cultural heritage.

Arctic countries are also major trading partners for Scotland and we have long worked together through international cooperation programmes.

Arctic Connections, Scotland’s first Arctic policy framework, offers a prospectus for knowledge and policy exchange on the many issues and ambitions that Scotland and the Arctic have in common, which include:

  • mental health
  • climate change
  • rural healthcare
  • depopulation
  • science and research 
  • sustainable tourism

The policy framework reflects on shared challenges, sets out relevant Scottish expertise and encourages greater mutual learning with a view to improving the resilience and wellbeing of our communities. With climate change posing a devastating threat to the wellbeing of the Arctic region and of our planet, the need for even closer cooperation has never been greater. For this reason, while promoting neighbourly engagement with the Arctic, we also appeal to the wider international community to increase collective action, accelerate decarbonisation and jointly build a sustainable future for all.

Against the challenging backdrop of Brexit, we will continue to promote Scotland as the international partner of choice for our Arctic neighbours, opening new opportunities for bilateral and multilateral collaboration.

Arctic Connections webinar series

We are holding a series of digital events around the themes of the policy framework from October 2020 to early 2021. Past events are below, more dates will be released in due course.

  • 19 October - Circular Economy in Arctic Industries 
  • 26 October - Rural and Thriving: Scottish and Nordic Lessons on Reversing Depopulation 
  • 9 November - Mental Wellbeing in Rural and Remote Communities: A Scottish-Arctic dialogue 
  • 24 November – Scotland’s Offer to the Arctic – in partnership with the Wilson Centre Polar Institute
  • 2 December – At the Forefront of Climate Resilience : Empowering communities & Indigenous People 
  • 10 December – Connecting Rural Health – Digital Solutions in Scotland and Denmark


Recordings of all of the webinars will be available to view in the Arctic Connections playlist on YouTube.



Email: Francesco Bertoldi, Head of Nordic and Arctic Unit

Twitter: @ScotGovInter