OTTAWA — Canada and Denmark reached an agreement on Tuesday to resolve the long-standing boundary disputes over the sovereignty of an Arctic island by creating a land boundary.
According to a news release issued by Global Affairs Canada (GAC), the new agreement “also modernizes the 1973 maritime boundary within 200 nautical miles and establishes the maritime boundary in the Lincoln Sea. It further established a boundary on the continental shelf beyond 200 nautical miles in the Labrador Sea.”
The island, known as Tartupaluk in Greenlandic or Hans Island in English, is situated in the Kennedy Channel of Nares Strait between Greenland — an autonomous territory within the Kingdom of Denmark — and Canada, said the release, adding that the island is approximately 1.2 square km and is uninhabited and without vegetation or wildlife.
The island has a traditional, symbolic and historic significance to the local population, and the two sides have discussed the sovereignty of the island for more than 50 years, according to GAC.
“Continued access to and freedom of movement on the entire island for Inuit and local people living in Avanersuaq, Kalaallit Nunaat, and in Nunavut, Canada, including for hunting, fishing and other related cultural, traditional, historic and future activities, will be maintained,” the release said, adding that a practical and workable border-implementation regime will be established for all visitors.