Arctic scientific cooperation goes into effect
A legally binding international agreement on cooperation with scientific research in the Arctic went into effect on May 23, the U.S. Arctic Research Commission has announced. The agreement, which was signed by the eight Arctic nations during a meeting of the Arctic Council in Fairbanks in May 2017, is designed to facilitate access for scientists to Arctic areas that each government has identified. Access arrangements include the ability of scientists from different countries to operate in the designated areas; the use of equipment and materials in the areas; the use of infrastructure and facilities; and access to data.
The agreement includes the whole of Arctic Alaska and an extensive area along the western side of the state.
“Many countries engage in research in the Arctic because the changes happening here are impacting people both in and beyond the Arctic in significant ways,” said Fran Ulmer, chair of the USARC. “Because it is a large and challenging place to do research, it’s essential that we take steps to make it easier for international and interdisciplinary research across borders. The hope is that this agreement will reduce some of the barriers that have made some of that research challenging in the past.”
- ALAN BAILEY