Greenland is now once again faced with the big challenge of figuring out how the country’s economy is going to function in the future. Industrial fishing is still by far the nation’s largest industry and source of income. But this may also be in danger, in part due to climate change concerns.
With a population of roughly 56,000 people, Greenland is the least populated country in the world. According to data compiled by the U.S. Geological Survey, East Greenland may offer the most promise of undiscovered oil, gas and gas liquids, but drilling is expected to be concentrated on the country’s west coast due to its longer potential exploration season and comparably milder weather. The town of Sisimiut, located on the west coast of Greenland almost 200 miles north of the capital, Nuuk, is the nation’s fastest growing city economically.
Photojournalist Lasse Bak Mejlvang traveled to Sisimiut in 2014 to document the rise in the number of young people in the town, the hope of Greenland’s economy. Sisimiut has attracted an array of newcomers from nearby towns and villages, eager to take advantage of its wealth of raw materials and educational opportunities. Some have made Sisimuit their hometown, and even after having gone to work in other countries plan to return.