IASC 25 years - Page 29

IASC had been managing two major projects on cli- also had an advisory function for project leaders. mate impact studies (as an important part of the At their annual meeting, IASC Council approved the IASC science agenda). Members had also been dis- projects. Council members also had the important cussing assessments as a tool to identify important task of informing their national scientific commu- gaps in the science agenda. Two working groups nities, encouraging national participation, and stim- of AEPS—the Arctic Monitoring and Assessment ulating their communities to suggest project ideas. Programme (AMAP), and the Conservation of Arc- This system was based on well-organized national tic Flora and Fauna (CAFF)—started to use assess- committees appointing active Council members ments for their own needs, so IASC invited them to that took their two-way reporting task seriously. As participate in a joint venture—ACIA—which engaged in all international cooperation, those who engage many scientists, and became a success story (see will profit and those who only attend will not. Chapter 2.5). In the beginning, the IASC science agenda was Reference 1 Roots, E.F., O. Rogne, and J. Taagholt. (1987). Internation- al Communication and Co-ordination in Arctic Science—A Proposal for Action. Ottawa, Oslo, Copenhagen, 21p. (see Historical Document #4 at http://iasc25.iasc.info/) developed and based on four themes: - Impacts of global changes on the Arctic region and its peoples - Arctic processes of relevance to global systems - Natural processes within the Arctic, and - Sustainable development in the Arctic. 1.3 It was also agreed (1994), that it would be useful to convene an international planning conference bringing together arctic scientists to develop these From Project Groups to Working Groups Odd Rogne and Volker Rachold Reviewer: Kristjan Kristjansson themes further. The first International Conference for Arctic Research Planning (ICARP) was held in 1995. It was quite successful, and laid the foundation for many of the inaugural IASC projects or Initially, IASC was designed with a Working Group those to be implemented over the next few years (WG) concept and some strong ideas about multi-dis- (see further details in Chapter 2.3). ciplinary groups. However, in practice it was too ambitious. The first and immediate challenge was to Most of these early projects were quite successful, develop east-west cooperation as there had been and each year new projects emerged. IASC became very limited contact between the scientific commu- a ‘market place’ for testing new ideas that scientists nities in the two blocks during the cold war. Second, could suggest to the organization either through scientists preferred to interact with colleagues in their national committees or directly. The ideas their own discipline; and third there was a language were screened by the IASC Executive Committee barrier that had to be overcome. and circulated to all Council members for consultations in the national committees. Members gave ad- For a new organization, there was also a need to vice and comments during this process, and project demonstrate tangible outcomes within a reason- ideas could be developed into an attractive propos- able period of time; hence the project concept was al. (A list of IASC Projects is given in Appendix 6.3). adopted. For international projects, what is needed is a simple and easily understood organization with clear goals, main objectives and a timeline, and operation expanded in the Arctic, there was a need progress reports. Internally, project proposals were to renew the IASC project portfolio. A Second ICARP discussed by the IASC Executive Committee that 28 As Arctic changes became more apparent, and as co- was agreed to in 2003, and took place in 2005 (see 01 Development of IASC