The venue for Arctic Circle Assembly, Harpa, Reykjavik. Photo: Thomas Nilsen

Largest Arctic conference cancelled over COVID-19

The Arctic is being challenged like never before by climate changes, geopolitics and hunt for natural resources. Debating it in large crowds, though, will have to wait. The October Arctic Circle, Assembly in Reykjavik is postponed till 2021.
August 10, 2020


“Due to the COVID-19 pandemic the October Assembly is postponed,” announced Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson, former president of Iceland and Chairman of Arctic Circle in a tweet on Monday.

According to, there are currently 114 infected persons in isolation and another 938 people in quarantine on Iceland. The rate has slightly increased lately.

Arranged every year since 2013  in the Icelandic capital, Arctic Circle Assembly is the largest annual international gathering on the Arctic, attended by more than 2,000 participants from 60 countries. The participants are a good mixture of ministers, diplomats, NGOs, researchers, business people and other stakeholders from Europe, Asia and North-America.

The 2021 Arctic Assembly is scheduled for October 14-17.

Another large conference, the Arctic Frontiers in Tromsø, is currently considering how the event will be. Scheduled for February 1-4, the Norwegian organizers are currently asking former participants to come with input on how to develop the optimal structure and content for next winter’s conference, either by traveling to Tromsø or possible online happenings.



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