Arctic Council produces agreement on scientific cooperation

Mark Henderson
May 17, 2017

The Arctic Council wrapped its 10th Annual Council Ministerial meeting in Fairbanks AK with the signing of Agreement on Enhancing International Arctic Scientific Cooperation and the passing of the chairmanship from the US to Finland. The meeting — attended by Foreign Affairs minister Chrystia Freeland — also witnessed the signing of the Fairbanks Declaration — which recognized the need for action “at all levels” to combat activities outside the region that were contributing to climate change and pollution and “noted with concern” the need for climate change mitigation and adaptation actions to strengthen resilience. The scientific cooperation pact is the third binding agreement to be signed by the council and includes provisions for intellectual property, access to research infrastructure and facilities and access to research areas and data as well as education, career development and training opportunities and traditional and local knowledge. A week prior to the meeting, Science minister Kirsty Duncan made her third official trip to Washington, meeting with top science officials to discuss cross-border research and collaboration in “supporting a robust culture of scientific excellence including how to further scientific cooperation in the Arctic and polar regions”.

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