The future from our perspective

Qaasuitsup Municipality has great potentials, partly due to the size of the municipality, partly because of a diverse culture and unique natural resources. The municipality has gone from having fishing as the only principal industry to having two principal industries, namely fishing and tourism. On top of this, the oil, gas and mineral extractive industries may become a third principal industry within a number of years.

Over the next years, development is expected to be primarily related to the extractive industries and associated businesses. Areas and facilities for the development of the offshore industry are already part of spatial planning in the form of 25 subareas in seven towns and settlements along the shores. The subareas, designated as main supply bases or supplementary supply bases, are expected to cover the total area needed for offshore and offshore-related industries throughout the entire planning period until 2026.

The development of the fishing industry primarily depends on whether port facilities can be upgraded, including new and large quays, as well as extension possibilities and/or new trading facilities for the fish industry. Similarly, the potential of the tourism industry depends on the municipal infrastructure, e.g. port navigation conditions and landing facilities for cruisers and passenger liners as well as road etc. providing access to nature and recreational facilities in the open country. Strengthening the tourism industry is also closely tied to new service functions, overnight accommodations and the development of new facilities related to natural and cultural sights, e.g. a visitor and experience centre by the Kangia ice fiord.

Over the next years, Qaasuitsup Municipality will have to address the challenge of a growing number of senior citizens, many children and young people as well as an overall low educational level. At the same time, the development of, e.g., the extractive industries will increase the demand for a highly educated workforce.

Other challenges – or possibilities – will follow in the aftermath of the climatic changes so vividly felt by the municipality. The changes result in rising temperatures, less sea and inland ice as well as declining permafrost. This, again, leads to concrete changes in fauna and flora, e.g. changes in fish stocks and deteriorated sealing possibilities. The climatic changes pose a threat to the cultural heritage due to the risk of increased erosion and undermining of in-situ national treasures as the permafrost disappears.

On the other hand, the rising temperatures might allow access for tourists to more parts of north-western Greenland for a larger part of the year. Thus, tourism might not just spread geographically, but also develop to the benefit of remotely placed settlements. Changes in fauna and flora might boost the possibilities for hunting, fishing and cultivation of vegetables which will enhance self-sufficiency. Therefore, experimental farming areas will continue to be part of spatial planning.

Qaasuitsup Kommunia · Postboks 1023 · 3952 Ilulissat · Grønland · www.qaasuitsup.gl · E-mail: plan@qaasuitsup.gl · Tlf.: +299 947800
Last edited 14-1-2014