Declaration on the International Polar Year and polar science

Participants in the joint meeting of the Antarctic Treaty Parties and the Arctic Council, in Washington in April this year (see Antarctic Treaty turns 50), released a declaration on the International Polar Year and polar science, acknowledging the work that was done and highlighting the scientific research and collaboration that must continue. Ten future goals were noted for states, national and international scientific bodies, and other interested parties in the Antarctic and Arctic:

  • Continued cooperation to deliver a lasting legacy from the IPY, and to support appropriate infrastructures to achieve this.
  • Using science to help inform the cooperative development of measures to address the threats to the polar regions.
  • Making data available in an open and timely manner.
  • Strengthening international cooperation at all levels in polar regions in areas such as educational outreach, human and ecosystem health, environmental protection, and scholarships for young scientists.
  • Development of coordinated research and scientific observations at both poles to compare the current dynamics of polar areas and their contributions to the Earth’s processes and changes.
  • Continued government support to create and link observational systems to improve the modeling and prediction of climate change on both regional and temporal scales.
  • Using the scientific understandings derived from IPY research to support efforts to protect the environment in the polar regions.
  • Providing scientific data and information collected from the polar regions for future assessments by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, and other efforts to address climate change and future Arctic Council assessments.
  • Continued engagement of states, organisations, scientists, and other stakeholders with young people, to cultivate the next generation of polar scientists, and communication with the general public to develop an awareness of the importance of polar research for life in all regions of the world.
  • Affirming the value of collaboration and coordination between states and Arctic residents, including indigenous peoples, for the benefit of polar research.

Read the entire IPY Ministerial Declaration 2009 [PDF].