The Arctic Council’s Task Force for Enhancing Scientific Cooperation in the Arctic (SCTF) held its second meeting in Helsinki on April 8-9, 2014 at the Finnish Ministry of Education and Culture.  During the meeting, delegations exchanged views on proposals related to advancing scientific cooperation in the Arctic, and decided that the task force would begin work on negotiating an MOU or other instrument at its next meeting in Reykjavik, Iceland. 

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In the Arctic Council’s Kiruna Declaration, signed in May 2013, Ministers from the eight Arctic Council states agreed that cooperation in scientific research across the Arctic is of great importance to the work of the Arctic Council, and established a Task Force to work towards an arrangement on improved scientific research cooperation among the eight Arctic States.

The Science Cooperation Task Force (SCTF) held its second meeting in Helsinki on April 8-9, 2014 at the Finnish Ministry of Education and Culture. During the same week, Helsinki hosted Arctic Science Summit Week (ASSW) which offered many delegates of the task force an opportunity to take part in other events related to Arctic research alongside the task force meeting.

During the meeting, delegations exchanged views on proposals related to advancing scientific cooperation in the Arctic. On the second day of deliberations, they decided that the task force would begin work on negotiating a memorandum of understanding or other instrument at its third meeting to be held in Reykjavik, Iceland on May 27-28.  The goal is to present the memorandum of understanding or instrument at the Ministerial Meeting to be hosted by Canada in Spring 2015. 

Sixty delegates participated in the meeting, including representatives from all eight Arctic Council states (including the SAOs from Sweden, Iceland and Finland). Of the Arctic Council’s Permanent Participants, the Aleut International Association and ICC attended, as well as representatives of the Arctic Council Working Groups AMAP and PAME. The observers who were represented at the meeting included France, Germany, Japan, Poland, South Korea, the United Kingdom, the International Arctic Science Committee (IASC), the Nordic Council of Ministers, the Standing Committee of Parliamentarians of the Arctic Region (SCPAR), and the University of the Arctic. A representative from the European Union also attended the meeting.

The task force is jointly chaired by the United States, Sweden, and the Russian Federation.

 

Photo: NASA Goddard Photo and Video / Creative Commons BY license.