IASC 25 years - Page 23

In the twentieth century, scientists learned that zation was established to encourage and facilitate polar research had to be undertaken cooperatively. international consultation and cooperation in scien- Subsequent to the third IPY, several initiatives, such tific research concerning the Arctic. This committee as the establishment of SCAR and the Comité Arctic covers all fields of Arctic science and provides a International (CAI) were established by scientists in forum for discussion, exchange of information, and order to work together in polar areas, and this led to cooperation.12 the foundation of IASC. In the 4 IPY (2007-2008) scientists from more Reaction of the Science Organizations in Non-Arctic Countries than sixty countries worked together in both polar In the meantime, leading scientists in some non-Arc- areas. The research was highly multidisciplinary, with tic countries felt excluded from the process of the strong engagement from biological and social disci- founding of IASC. On 20 February 1989, represen- plines to complement the geophysical sciences. tatives of Arctic research institutes from Germany, th 9 the UK, and the Netherlands met with officers from The IASC Plan their ministries of foreign affairs in Bonn, in the On 20 June 1986 at the SCAR meeting in San Di- Federal Republic of Germany. Participants at this ego (USA), delegates of some Arctic rim countries meeting were of the opinion that all scientific activ- came together with those of non-Arctic countries ities should be conducted according to the principle such as Japan, the Federal Republic of Germany, the of scientific openness and that scientists from all UK, Poland, and France to discuss a plan for the es- countries should be able to participate in scientific tablishment of a Science Committee to stimulate work in the Arctic. They discussed the founding of and facilitate international cooperation in Arctic the IASC to date, concluded that if these scientists scientific research. The plan was well-received and wanted to proceed with their research in the Arc- it was decided that representatives of the Arctic tic, their science organizations had to become full rim countries would further explore the possibility members of the IASC and asked their governments of establishing an IASC. During this so-called IASC to take action. Planning Process, discussions were held in Oslo in February 1987, in Stockholm in March 1988, in The governments of these countries, together with Leningrad in December 1988, and in Helsinki in May the government of France, decided to ask the Arctic 1989. Already by the time of the Oslo meeting, countries to explain their policy regarding the IASC. the Arctic rim countries were joined by two other In the second week of March 1989 the quatre ex- countries with territories within the Arctic Circle - clus (as the four non-Arctic countries called them- Sweden and Finland. “Then” said Odd Rogne, the selves) executed a common démarche to the Minis- then chairman of the IASC Planning Process, “I got tries of Foreign Affairs of the eight Arctic countries a phone call from the Icelandic embassy informing which caused various reactions.13 Some represen- me that they had some square meters north of the tatives of the eight countries held the opinion that Arctic Circle and consequently they were invited. the demarche had politicized the establishment of The eight Arctic countries were then defined and IASC and blamed the quatre exclus for it; others this was later adopted as a definition by the AEPS agreed with them and supported the four in their and the Arctic Council (AC).” The planning process endeavor to involve their science organizations in finally culminated with the signing, in Resolute Bay, the IASC process.14 Canada of the founding articles for an IASC by rep- The reaction of the IASC Planning Process group resentatives of the national science organizations to the demarche was to postpone the Helsinki of Canada, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Swe- meeting in order to have time to contact science den, the USA, and the USSR. administrators in non-Arctic countries to provide 10 11 In this way, a non-governmental scientific organi- 22 01 Development of IASC them with more background information about the