Pinngoritaleriffk, the Greenland Nature Institute, Greenland

The Greenland Nature Institute was set up in 1995. The aim was to lay the scientific basis for sustainable usage and to safeguard biodiversity.

Over the last 10 years, the Institute has made a major contribution to documenting the status of exploited species.

The new findings have often been sharply at odds with traditional attitudes in society. Given the difficult geographical and physical conditions in the vast Arctic waters round Greenland, it has been a major challenge for a young institute to achieve the objectives.

The marine environment and the marine ecosystem are the very lifeblood of Greenlandic society, but Greenland today is at a crossroads when it comes to usage of marine resources.

Fishing is the main plank of the economy, but an important part of the culture involves catching many sea birds and mammals.

The high quality and integrity of the research work done by the Nature Institute, which now forms the basis of important decisions in Greenland, will not only contribute to safeguarding the marine environment but also to preserving a proud Greenlandic culture linked with the sea.

The Institute's pioneering work with sea birds and mammals is the main reason for its nomination for the Nature and Environment Prize.