The 29th IPA Council Meeting was held online during two sessions on 22 and 23 June 2020. This meeting was meant to be held as two Council meetings on 21 and 24 June as part of the 12th International Conference on Permafrost, originally scheduled for 22-26 June in Lanzhou, China. The current pandemic and postponement of the conference to 2022 led the IPA to develop this alternate Council Meeting format so the association could continue its regular work and maintain dialogue with its Adhering Bodies. Even given the extreme spread in time zones among Council members, 21 of 27 member countries were able to participate. A major part of this meeting was the review and approval of the new IPA Strategy Plan 2020-2028. Another key aspect of the meeting was elections for the IPA Executive Committee. Dr. Isabelle Gärtner-Roer (Switzerland), Dr. Kjersti Gisnås (Norway), and Assoc. Prof. Dr. Gonçalo Vieira (Portugal) were elected to the Executive Committee, filling the positions vacated by Prof. Dr. Hanne Christiansen, Dr. Isabelle Gärtner-Roer, Dr. Andrey Abramov and Prof. Dr. Ma Wei as they finished their terms. Prof. Dr. Chris Burn is now the President of the IPA, taking over from Prof. Dr. Hanne Christiansen. The IPA Secretariat will transition to Canada, along with the Presidency. Given the success of the virtual meetings, it’s likely more online Council meetings will be convened in the future to foster even stronger activity within and between the Adhering Bodies.
Prof. Dr. Chris Burn has taken over as President of the IPA.