was a joint event of the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR) and the International Arctic Science Committee (IASC). The SCAR meetings, the Arctic Science Summit Week (ASSW) and the Open Science Conference were hosted by the Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research (WSL) under the patronage of the Swiss Committee on Polar and High Altitude Research.
Focusing on the science policy interface, the German Arctic Office contributed to the conference program by co-organizing a mini-symposium:
Polar Science and Policy: Status and future challenges
Thursday, 21 June 2018, 11am – 12.30pm
Main Audience: Polar scientists and policy makers
A sound scientific basis is the key to developing appropriate and effective policy-responses. Creating the conditions for science-based decision-making requires a two-way communication between researchers and policy-makers. To translate new polar scientific findings into policy recommendations supporting an evidence-based agenda, researchers should not only communicate their findings but must also listen to and address policy-makers´ questions.
The POLAR 2018 conference, assembling the latest science from both Polar Regions, presents an ideal venue to facilitate this science-policy dialogue while assessing the challenges that they face now and in the coming future. Both IASC (International Arctic Science Committee) and SCAR (Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research) are well connected to the main political bodies in the Polar Regions, namely the Arctic Council and the Antarctic Treaty system, and providing scientific advice to policy makers is an integral part of their mission. IASC has recently established an Action Group dealing with the science-policy interface and SCAR has a standing committee on the Antarctic Treaty System (SC-ATS).
This mini-symposium will include short presentations of Arctic and Antarctic researchers and policy-makers, followed by a panel discussion. The focus will not be on communicating scientific findings but rather on analyzing some success stories from the Polar Regions, such as the Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty (also known as the Madrid Protocol) and the Arctic Council Agreement on Enhancing Scientific Cooperation in the Arctic, among others. High-level policy-makers from both the Arctic and Antarctic will present their views on how science should be used for evidence-based decision-making and provide guidance to Polar scientists on research topics that require their input.
1. José Xavier - Chair (University of Coimbra, Portugal) and British Antarctic Survey, United
2. Volker Rachold - Introduction (German Arctic Office, Alfred Wegener Institute, Germany)
3. Ambassdor Aleksi Härkönen (Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Finland) - Chair of the Senior Arctic Officials of the Arctic Council
4. Birgit Njåstad (Norwegian Polar Institute) and Ewan McIvor (Australian Antarctic Division) - Chair and Ex-Chair, respectively, of the Committee on Environmental Protection of the Antarctic Treaty
5. Gosia Smieszek (Arctic Center, University of Lapland) - Chair of IASC´s Action Group on Communicating Arctic Science to Policy-Makers
6. Steven Chown (Monash University) – President of SCAR and Ex-Chair of SCAR´s Standing Committee on the Antarctic Treaty System
7. Ambassador Stefan Flückiger (Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs) – Coordinator of Arctic Policies
Panel Discussion moderated by Volker Rachold and José Xavier
Time allocated 1h and 30 min. = 50 minutes of 8 minute short talks + 40 minutes of panel with brainstorming between participants and the audience
Bio of all speakers
Volker Rachold, German Arctic Office, Alfred Wegener Institute (Germany);
José Xavier, University of Coimbra (Portugal) and British Antarctic Survey (United Kingdom)