At the IASC Council Meeting at the Arctic Science Summit Week (ASSW) in Helsinki, Finnland, on 7 April 2014, the International Arctic Science Committee (IASC), the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR) and the International Permafrost Association (IPA) renewed their longstanding partnership with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the next five years.

The three organisations share common goals of working internationally and across disciplines to increase our understanding of permafrost and Earth´s polar regions and their connections to the global system. The Parties share a number of common interests and practices, which will make it relatively easy for them to work together, for example in arranging workshops, conferences, and reports on topics of mutual scientific interest, in developing integrated plans for permafrost and polar research as well as the linkages between the inner aspects of polar research, and in providing advice to policy makers.

This MoU identifies a joint commitment to the excellence in the field of permafrost and polar research, to the pursuit of scientific advances, public awareness and advice to policy makers as well as professional development of young researchers.
SCAR, IASC and IPA intend to combine their efforts in permafrost and/or polar activities (to be decided by mutual agreement) so as to raise the level of impact of all three organizations. To facilitate the process, SCAR, IASC and IPA agree:

  • to invite each other to attend the meetings of their major bodies (SCAR Delegates' Meeting, IASC Council and IPA Council);
  •  to encourage representation of each organization in their relevant working committees;
  • to encourage appropriate linkages between the relevant existing SCAR, IASC and IPA science projects and to develop joint projects and approaches in appropriate fields;
  • to work together in arranging workshops, conferences, and reports on topics of common scientific interest;
  • to exchange ideas on best practices in data and information management; and to foster involvement of the parties in their respective data management committees;
  • to foster and promote integration of observing efforts lead by each organization (SCAR Pan-Antarctic Observing System, IASC Sustaining Arctic Observing Networks, IPA Global Terrestrial Network for Permafrost) by ensuring adequate representation of each party in these entities;
  • to exchange members updates, newsletters, publications and advertise each other's newsletters, publications and web sites on their own web sites;
  • to develop a combined approach to communicating the relevance of permafrost and polar research to societal issues with the wider community, including providing advice to political entities such as the Arctic Council and Antarctic Treaty bodies; and
  • to work together through their respective young researcher organizations to encourage involvement of young researchers to participate in participating in business, strategy, planning, and other meetings and activities.


Photo (left to right): President of SCAR (Jerónimo López-Martínez), President of IASC (David Hik) and Vice-President of the IPA (Vladimir E. Romanovsky)