Senior Adviser, Nordic Council of Ministers
Geir Oddsson is a senior adviser at the Nordic Council of Ministers Secretariat (NCMS) in Copenhagen. The Nordic Council of Ministers is the formal cooperation of the governments of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden as well as Aland, Faroe Islands and Greenland. Geir is responsible for the policy area of fisheries and aquaculture, marine governance and the bioeconomy. The NCMS works with the bioeconomy within the context of Nordic cooperation, Arctic cooperation and is leading the Policy Area Bioeconomy in the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region.
Geir has degrees in biology, fisheries science and natural resource management from the University of Iceland and University of Washington. He was the director of the Environmental Research Institute at the University of Iceland and the first director of the multi-disciplinary master’s program in environment and natural resources at the same university. Subsequently he was responsible for Iceland’s development aid program in fisheries and renewable energy, at the Icelandic International Development Agency . He has been posted in Uganda, Nicaragua and Sri Lanka for the Icelandic government and has consulted on various issues for the World Bank and the FAO.
NCM as facilitator of Nordic cooperation
The Nordic Council of Ministers is the official cooperation of the Nordic governments and consists of eleven Councils of Ministers. One of the Councils of Ministers is the CM for Fisheries, Aquaculture, Agriculture, Forestry and Food.
The Nordic cooperation on Fisheries and Aquaculture has a long history and is market by strong collaboration and a common understanding on issues like sustainable natural resource management based on best available scientific data, growth in the blue bioeconomy, role of innovation in the ocean economy, plastic in the ocean environment and fisheries criminality.
Lately the Nordic cooperation on Fisheries and Aquaculture has been focusing on the role of research and innovation in the blue bioeconomy, especially in increasing the value throughout the value web.
As an indication of the political importance of the blue bioeconomy in the Nordic Region, the last four chairmanship programs of the Nordic Council of Ministers (IS, DK/FO, FI, NO) have had the Blue Bioeconomy as one of their main thematic areas.
To support this political emphasis a number of strategic activities have been initiated involving all the eight Nordic countries. The relevant Nordic institutions, such as Nordic Innovation, NordForsk and Nordregio have been actively involved and have funding programs that have been very important in moving the blue bioeconomy agenda.
The Nordic Council of Ministers is dedicated in supporting the development of a sustainable and circular blue bioeconomy in the Nordic Region, through policies and strategies, through research and innovation agendas and through public and private investment.