Greenland's Vice Premier and Minister for Housing, Infrastructure and Transport, Jens Frederiksen, made his first official visit to ESA's ESRIN Establishment on 29 August.
He was welcomed by Stephen Briggs, Head of ESA's Earth Observation Programme Planning and Coordination Service, on behalf of the Director General, Jean-Jacques Dordain, and of the Director of Earth Observation Programmes and Head of ESRIN, Volker Liebig.
Mr Frederiksen, accompanied by the Minister Counselor and Head of the Greenland Representation to the EU, Mrs Lida Skifte Lennert, attended a series of presentations that mostly discussed the monitoring of the Arctic, one of the regions most affected by climate change.
The region's new role in the strategic and geopolitical arena was one of the main issues highlighted during the day.
Rendered increasingly accessible by the melting of ice, the Arctic is being transformed from a region of primarily scientific interest into one attracting a complex set of environmental, security and commercial concerns.
The growing of commercial activities and use of the region's resources make infrastructure, mapping, accurate weather forecasting and climate applications key issues.
Satellites can offer unique opportunities to monitor this environment, facilitate navigation and communications, improve marine safety and help build the infrastructure needed in the Arctic to meet the region's challenges.
During his speech, Mr Frederiksen noted the stronger autonomy and the new role of Greenland within the Kingdom of Denmark and vis-a-vis European Institutions.
He expressed his strong commitment to developing more networks, connections and institutional actions of his country towards an improved and reliable space system that could contribute to increasing facilities, services and industrial applications in the region.