IASC 25 years - Page 87

advice to the main political body in the Arctic. IASC is The next step was bilateral cooperation in the North supporting the work of the Arctic Council, its Work- (USSR-Canada, USSR-Norway). ing Groups and Permanent Participants by providing scientific expertise from all its members, including The discussions on and planning of circumarctic the non-Arctic countries, and IASC´s contributions cooperation among scientists, seem to have stimu- have resulted in a number of very successful joint lated governmental people to think about intergov- ventures (see Chapter 4.2). ernmental cooperation. The first document expressing the potential need for arctic intergovernmental As an International Scientific Associate of the over- cooperation was in a paper by Roots, Rogne and arching non-governmental science organization Taagholt (1987),2 suggesting an “Intergovernmen- ICSU, IASC is well connected within the broader tal Forum on Arctic Science Issues.” During the IASC ICSU family (see Chapter 4.3). In particular, coop- planning process, this ‘forum’ evolved into the IASC eration with its Antarctic sister organization SCAR Regional Board, whereas the need for it was taken resulted in various bipolar science activities and has over by the AEPS. led to the formation of a joint Action Group (see However, we should take one step back and start Chapter 4.5). with the ‘Finnish Initiative.’3 How this initiative came Over the past years, IASC signed formal partnership about, is described in Chapter 1.1. Although its start agreements with several other Arctic or Polar orga- lacked some enthusiasm by some countries, the nizations, which have resulted in numerous joint sci- AEPS as an intergovernmental cooperation was entific and/or outreach activities. Table 1 provides agreed at a meeting on 14 June 1991 in Rovaniemi, an overview of the organizations with which IASC is Finland. Over the years, a broadening of the scope formally cooperating. of the AEPS to encompass all areas was suggested, ending with the Ottawa Declaration of 19 Septem- To provide opportunities for coordination, coopera- ber 1996 that laid the foundation for the estab- tion, and collaboration between the various scien- lishment of the Arctic Council. IASC was invited to tific organizations involved in Arctic research and become an accredited official observer of the Arctic to economize on travel and time, IASC initiated the Council at the formational meeting. ASSW (see Chapter 2.9). An additional partner in orIn the early years of the Arctic Council, IASC under- ganizing the ASSW is NySMAC. took several efforts to represent science to gov- 4.2 ernment and permanent participant communities, and in 1998 the role of science became clear. At a Arctic Council Odd Rogne and Volker Rachold, with contributions from Robert Corell Reviewer: Lars-Otto Reiersen meeting chaired by the Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs, an exercise to understand the connection between the Arctic Council´s policy agenda and IASC´s research priorities clearly showed that IASC, representing Northern Hemisphere scientific capabilities for research in the Arctic, was an important and legitimate addition to the Arctic Council’s agen- The need for intergovernmental cooperation in the da. It should be noted that, during this time, conver- Arctic has varied over time, and has been closely sations began between IASC and the two leading linked to the geopolitical situation. Like most of scientific working groups of the Arctic Council— the world, the Arctic was divided in an eastern and AMAP and CAFF, which led significantly toward the a western part. There were some short thaw peri- development ACIA established a few years later ods, and one of them led to the Polar Bear Treaty. (Chapter 2.5). 1 86 04 Cooperation with Other Organizations