At the end of every year, the Greenland government hands out a few environmental awards. For 2009 the government decided to recognize the efforts of Earth Charter Greenland. Throughout the past years, the Earth Charter group in Greenland has spoken out openly against the Greenland environmental policies, considering them as incompatible with the Rio precautionary principle, which Greenland co-signed with Denmark in 1992 and with the vision enshrined in the Earth Charter. The reason for this recognition is that Finn Lynge, on of the key leaders of The Earth Charter Greenland, has in many different occasions flagged the EC viewpoints and principles, and with this has championed the cause of good and solid democracy, showing that well argued standpoints have their place and should be respected in a free and open dialogue, be exchange of views even heated.
With this, the government wants to make a point out of signaling that people should not shy away from coming out and saying loudly what they feel and think, even if their opinions go against existing government policies and that a more lively democracy is highly needed.
“In matters of newly adopted mineral exploitation policies, we in Earth Charter Greenland have certainly made our position clear with regard to what the question of good management of nature ought to dictate in the situation which is ours. The least we expected was a positive gesture on the part of the government which we criticize. I feel surprised with this gesture on the part of the decision-makers, and I am obviously very happy about it.”
Henriette Rasmussen expressed the following at this occasion: “It is wonderful that Finn Lynge, who for years has been the person to be a qualified critical voice in domestic politics, is being awarded for his environmental work from the Self Government in Greenland. Besides his tireless concern pointing out publicly the need for clearer political focus on sustainable use of our natural resources, Finn Lynge has created Earth Charter Narsaq; thus being an anchor for awareness on these issues in Greenland. As an Earth Charter Commissioner, I welcome such kind of step taken by the Self Government and hope that it is a milestone for the involvement of the public, whose traditions indeed has been the sustainable use of resources. May Finn’s work among the grass roots lead a way for others in the Arctic. Big congratulations to Finn Lynge.”
The official award celebration took place on Tuesday, 8 December, in the little town of Narsaq, Greenland, where Finn Lynge lives.