Belmont Forum and JPI Climate Scoping Workshop on Arctic Observing systems and science for Sustainability – 22/23 October 2013, Oslo

The Arctic – often considered distant or isolated – is actually closely connected to a number of global systems. The Arctic has been identified as a global heat sink, a tie point between ventilated and forming deep waters, and cold storage for greenhouse gases; a rich resource of natural foods, seafood, minerals, and petroleum products; a sometimes treacherous but potentially attractive intercontinental transport route; and a region with a burgeoning multi-level governance structure that includes local autonomy, indigenous leadership and home rule, national regulation, international agreements both amongst Arctic and non-Arctic countries, as well as extra-territorial action by non-Arctic countries. Changes in the Arctic could have lasting and far-reaching repercussions, threatening more than just the Arctic environment and northern societies.

This creates a need for more integrated observations and research on both natural and human systems in the Arctic and their interactions, as well as their interactions with the rest of the world. Research could take as starting point existing observing systems and their data, or sustainability theories and what they identify as needs of observing system development.

A workshop was organised by Belmont Forum and JPI Climate held in Oslo, October 22/23, 2013. The objective of the workshop was to elaborate further on a proposal for a joint Collaborative Action between the Belmont Forum and JPI Climate in the field of Arctic research. 

The workshop attracted 40 participants from 12 nations (Austria, Canada, Finland, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Norway, Sweden, Russia, USA) in addition to representatives from The European commission, Nordforsk, and from the science community (AMAP, ECRA, LOICZ, IASSA).

The participants discussed possible themes and topics, funding instruments, etc for a potential joint call. A draft proposal will be discussed at the Belmont Forum and IGFA meeting in Cape Town 2-4 December 2013, and in JPI-Climate Governing Board meeting 12-13 December 2013 in Copenhagen.

Presentations during this workshop

Suggested objectives of the Scoping Workshop and expected outcomes
Kirsten Broch Mathisen, The Research Council of Norway, Wednesday 23 October 2013
Sustainability Social Science in the Arctic- Arctic Observing Systems. Challenges and need for inter-, trans-, disciplinary approach
Tatiana Vlasova, IASSA councillor, Russian Academy of Science, Institute of Geography, Wednesday 23 October 2013
Observing the Arctic: Towards Better Coordination and Efficiencies
David Hik, University of Alberta, Wednesday 23 October 2013
Objectives of the Scoping Workshop and expected outcomes: day one synthesis
Ari Asmi, Sanna Sorvari, Forskningsradet, Wednesday 23 October 2013