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Greenland; the biggest of islands

Greenland is part of the Kingdom of Denmark. With the status of Self-rule Governance, Greenland has control over its own internal matters. It has modern, well-functioning welfare society, where education, pension, health service and unemployment benefits are established. Well-establishments on the rights of indigenous peoples and principles of self-determination, Greenland serves as a model to follow for other indigenous peoples and works to promote indigenous rights globally. As Greenland is a part of the Kingdom of Denmark it has close relations to Denmark.

Still with great potential
The economy is closely tied to exploitation and production of living resources and economic subsidies from Denmark in form of block grants of over DKK 3.2 billion. Fishing industry is the main revenue to the economy. With well-functioning welfare society, also due subsidies from the state, the public sector (in both municipal and Self-rule Government level) is the main employer in the country. Greenland is a big island with riches of non-living resources. But the exploitation and production of non-living resources has yet to be fully realized.

The continuous and cyclic melting of the second greatest ice sheet of the world and mountainous landscape makes it a great place for creation of electricity from hydroelectric plants. This strategy is also being used as bigger cities mainly use electricity produced by hydroelectric plants. The Government of Greenland has continuously invested in developing hydropower and other renewable energy sources. Today more than 60 % of public supply comes from renewable energy sources.

landscape Unique geography
Greenland is a part of the North American continent in the middle of the northern part of the North Atlantic Ocean, as the largest island of the world mainly covered by the ice sheet.

People live around the coast in cities and settlements, isolated from one to another. The majority of the population lives at the western coast. The transportation from city to city happens by the sea or by the air, which makes the travelling dependent on weather conditions. That kind of infrastructure limitations makes local communities isolated, forming unique histories and milieus. There are 17 bigger cities and around 60 settlements. Nuuk as the capitol and largest city have approximately 17.000 inhabitants, while other cities have around 2000-4000 inhabitants. Settlements have around 100-500 inhabitants.


 

Isolated by Nature
As every city or settlement is isolated, it is surrounded by enormous and untouched areas of land/nature. This delimitation by and closeness to nature is an ideal to fishing and hunting for personal nutrition as subsistence use and exploitation of living resources that are up for industrial production for economic gain. Fishery is mainly for economic purposes with respect to sustainability while hunting is mainly subsistence use. Also agriculture and sheep farming exists in South Greenland. It is an efficient and sustainable use of living resources.

Closeness to the nature can also be seen and experienced. Whale and seal watching, icebergs, mountains and islands in the horizon and sunsets into the ocean from your window if you are at the right time and the right place.

While just sailing or walking away from the limits of the cities could get you to be one with the nature, without disturbances of phones ringing where there are no more signals and the sounds of cars driving. Just be there with nature by your side and around you, and breathing fresh air to experience what the nature has to give and living for the moment.


Arctic - On top of the world Cold but fresh air
The climate is arctic to subarctic or tundra. In South Greenland the average temperature during the warmest month is less than 10oC. East Greenland is dominated by polar currents covering it with a sheet of ice over a meter thick during the six winter months. North of the Arctic Circle Greenland has winter darkness and summer solstice depending on the place and season. Poles of the planet are most sensitive to climate change and warms more rapidly than any other places. This creates unique challenges and opportunities. That is why Greenland offered for the purpose of scientific research to be the window of the Arctic for the effects made by the climate change. If the ice sheet melts the water level of the oceans will rise with 7,2 meters.

Facts & figures

Name: Greenland – Kalaallit Nunaat,

Areal:
2.166.086 km², 82 % is covered by ice sheet approx. 1.800.000km2, ice free area: 410,449 km2

Coastline:
44,087 km
Cape Farewell, the southernmost extent of Greenland has latitude with Oslo, and Cape Morris Jesup the northernmost extent is only 708 km away from the North Pole.

Form of Government
: Parliamentary democracy (Self-rule governance within the Kingdom of Denmark).

Population:
56.370 per January 1st 2013 (total inhabitants in 17 cities: approx. 48000 and total inhabitants in around 60 settlements: 8.000) Male: 52,9 % Female: 47,1 %

Population density:
Approx. 0,02 inhabitants per km2 including the ice sheet. Excluding the ice sheet: approx. 0,14 inhabitants per km2.

Capital:
Nuuk, 16.740 (year 2014)

Bigger cities:
Qaqortoq (3229) in South Greenland, Tasiilaq (2017) in East Greenland, Sisimiut (5598), Ilulissat (4541) anno 2013

Language:
The official language is Greenlandic, kalaallisut. Danish is widely spoken.

Religion:
The majority of the population belongs to the National Lutheran Church

Currency:
Danish krone (DKK)

Average life expectancy:
women: 73,5 men: 68,7

GDP per capita:
198.700 (2013, 2005 prices)

Climate:
Arctic to subarctic or tundra

National flag:
Erfalasorput (Our Flag) is inspired by the ice sheet, the sun, the iceberg and the ocean. Featuring two equal horizontal bands, the top colored white symbolizing as the ice sheet, the upper half-circle colored red as the sun, the bottom colored red as the ocean and the lower part of the half-circle colored white as the iceberg. It is the sun setting in the horizon over the ocean where the sun is reflecting onto the ocean with the iceberg that has eroded from the ice sheet in sight and the ice sheet in the background.

National anthems:
´Nunarput utoqqarsuanngoravit` (You Our Ancient Land) is one of two national anthems. The second is ´Nuna asiilasooq` (The Land of Great Length)