About the Committee for Greenlandic Mineral Resources to the Benefit of Society – University of Copenhagen

About the Committee for Greenlandic Mineral Resources to the Benefit of Society

The Committee was established on the basis of an idea proposed by Professor Minik Rosing and Greenland’s Premier at the time, Kuupik Kleist, in a joint debate article in 2012. In this article, the two authors called for the establishment of cooperation at university level to contribute to qualifying the debate on such topics as Greenland's natural resources and their optimum exploitation.

The Committee was appointed on 1 March 2013, and completed it's work in january 2014. 

New core drillings for zinc at ‘Sorte Engel’, northeast of Uummannaq on the west coast of Greenland. Photo: GEUS.

New core drillings for zinc at ‘Black Angel’, northeast of Uummannaq on the west coast of Greenland. Photo: GEUS.

An interdisciplinary project

The interdisciplinary committee comprised 13 researchers from nine different research institutions in Scandinavia and Greenland. Together, the Committee's members covered a wide range of fields - from law and economics, to biology and geology. 

The members of the Committee

Chairman Minik Rosing
Professor of Geology, the Natural History Museum of Denmark at the University of Copenhagen. Research areas: the geological exploration of Greenland with focus on the environment in which the oldest sediments on Earth, found in Isua near Nuuk, were formed. In the Committee's work, Minik will focus on mineral resources and their potential, which mineral resources hold economic potential, and the investment requirement.
[Appointed by the University of Copenhagen and Ilisimatusarfik]
Anders Mosbech
Biologist, Senior Researcher at the Department of Bioscience - Arctic Environment, Aarhus University and DCE - Danish Centre for Environment and Energy. Research areas: pollution and how environmental impacts affect marine mammals, birds and marine ecology. In his research, Anders has focused on how ecosystems are affected by the exploration and extraction of mineral resources. Anders will contribute analyses of such topics as potential environmental effects and regulation to ensure the protection of the environment.
[Appointed by Ilisimatusarfik]
Anne Merrild
MSc Engineering, Associate Professor at the Department of Development and Planning, Aalborg University. Research areas: strategic environmental assessments and Social Impact Assessments (SIA) with focus on risk assessment, as well as how to increase the positive effects and reduce the negative consequences for the local communities and mining companies in Greenland. In the Committee's work, Anne will focus on SIA and the involvement of citizens on the establishment and extraction of mineral resources.
[Appointed by Ilisimatusarfik]
Bent Ole Gram Mortensen
LLM, Professor at the Department of Law, University of Southern Denmark. Research areas: legal issues in the energy sector, including oil and gas extraction, renewable energy and electricity supply. Bent Ole will contribute with analyses of the public statutory regulation of the awarding of concessions and the allocation of competence in the environmental area.
[Appointed by Ilisimatusarfik]
Frank Sejersen
Associate Professor at the Department of Cross-Cultural and Regional Studies, University of Copenhagen. Frank's research takes a humanistic and anthropological approach to Greenland's efforts to strengthen its self-determination and economic development. Frank has undertaken field studies in Sisimiut, Nuuk and Maniitsoq. In the Committee, Frank focuses on Greenland's mining history, and in particular on the experience that Greenland has already acquired in relation to mining activities.
[Appointed by the University of Copenhagen]
Geir Helgesen
Senior Researcher, Head of the Nordic Institute of Asian Studies, University of Copenhagen. Research area: Asian conditions, with focus on politics, culture and economic structure in a Nordic perspective. In the Committee's work, Geir will analyse various Asian countries' interests in Greenland's natural resources, and create a more differentiated picture of the countries involved.
[Appointed by the University of Copenhagen]
Klaus G. Hansen
Ethnographer, Head of the Ilimmarfik Department, Ilisimatusarfik. Klaus has previously held responsibility for the Government of Greenland's strategic environmental assessment for the aluminium project in Maniitsoq. Research areas: citizen involvement and democracy aspects of political decision-making processes, as well as problems relating to demography and urbanisation in Greenland. In the committee, Klaus contributes a mineral-resources perspective on societal assessments, citizen involvement and democracy in Greenland's society.
[Appointed by Ilisimatusarfik]
Mikkel Vedby Rasmusen
Professor with special responsibilities, Head of the Centre for Military Studies, Department of Political Science, University of Copenhagen. Research areas: Danish security and defence policy. Mikkel has been engaged in detailed study of the challenges in the Danish defence of the Arctic and  is co-author of the Centre for Military Studies' Keep Cool report. In the Committee, Mikkel focuses on analysis of Greenland's mineral resources in a foreign and security policy context.
[Appointed by the University of Copenhagen]
Odd Jarl Borch
Professor of Economics, working group for entrepreneurship, innovation and regional development, Nordland Research Institute, Norway. Research areas: commercial development and value creation in Arctic regions, with focus on entrepreneurship and manufacturing. Odd will contribute an analysis of Arctic business strategy and the structure of Greenland's society when the mineral resources projects are fully operative.  
[Appointed by Ilisimatusarfik]
Rasmus Ole Rasmussen
Senior Research Fellow (geography) at the Nordic Council of Ministers in Stockholm. Research areas: Rasmus has researched the vegetation in Greenland, as well as socioeconomic conditions. He has also contributed to Statistics Greenland. In his research, Rasmus has been engaged with assessment of the consequences of production restructuring in Arctic communities. Rasmus will contribute international experience with mining and impacts on local communities.
[Appointed by Ilisimatusarfik]
Søren Bo Nielsen
Professor of Public Economics at the Department of Economics, Copenhagen Business School (CBS). Research area: public economics, especially tax policy. Søren has previously chaired the working group on International Benchmarking Analysis of the Tax System in Greenland. He also served as external expert in the Greenland-Denmark Autonomy Commission, 2004-08 and as Chairman of the Economic Council of Greenland, 2009-10. In the Committee, Søren will focus on the financing and taxation of Greenland's mineral resources.
[Appointed by the University of Copenhagen]
Vibe Ulfbeck
Professor at the Centre for Enterprise Liability: Private-public law perspectives, University of Copenhagen. Research areas: private law and the law of torts, with focus on the contractual frameworks between public and private parties. Within the Committee, Vibe will be engaged with contractual challenges between the Government of Greenland and the mining companies, as well as the barriers to the economically beneficial exploitation of the mineral resources within the framework of the Kingdom of Denmark.
[Appointed by the University of Copenhagen]
Gudmundur Alfredsson
LLM, Professor at the Polar Law Master's programme, University of Akureyri, Iceland, and Ilisimatusarfik, Greenland. Research areas: Public International Law and Human Rights. In the Committee's work, Gudmundur will focus on legal challenges in the Arctic region, including the conclusion of contracts with mineral resources companies and legal compensation issues between the Government of Greenland and the companies.
[Appointed by Ilisimatusarfik]