What is the future of Polar Research? Can we build on the success of the IPY to continue to tackle Polar issues in a changing world? Plans are in the works for a new International Polar Initiative (IPI) that will do just that. Read on to see the IPI concept draft abstract and tentative timelines, and stay tuned for ways that you can get involved!
The Polar Regions of the world are undergoing dramatic transformation that impacts their environment, economy and the life of local residents. These changes are anticipated to increase in the century to come and result in significant global implications. The emerging overarching challenges call for a coordinated and resourceful response from international stakeholders with mandate and interest in polar activities. However, the magnitude and interdependence of the challenges implies that no stakeholder can effectively achieve its objectives in the Polar Regions without ramping up the level of coordination and sharing of resources with other stakeholders and partners. The current lack of sustainable polar observations and, as a result, of comprehensive information services, in case of the Arctic, is an impediment for the economic and human development of the North and adaptation of this region to changing climate and environmental conditions. There will be serious consequences for future generations if we now fail to adequately address key polar issues. Therefore we propose a new and novel framework for their long-term cooperation provisionally entitled “International Polar Initiative” (IPI). Based on input from the various communities we seek to design a common implementation plan for the development of observing systems, research, services, related education and outreach, and practical applications of scientific knowledge in the Polar Regions that would optimize the use of existing resources and identify areas where new investments in polar activities are necessary for environmental protection and sustainable development of the regions.
Read the full text here.
Tentative IPI Timeframe:
IPY 2012 Conference: initial discussion of the Concept; consultations with groups and agencies, determining interests and level of commitment
2013-2014: establishment of an advisory group; consultation with nations
2015-2016: completion of the first version of the joint plan of polar activities
2016-2017: signature of Framework Agreement and start of IPI