The Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR) is an inter-disciplinary committee of the International Council for Science (ICSU). SCAR is charged with initiating, developing and coordinating high quality international scientific research in the Antarctic region (including the Southern Ocean), and on the role of the Antarctic region in the Earth system. The scientific business of SCAR is conducted by its Standing Scientific Groups which represent the scientific disciplines active in Antarctic research and report to SCAR.
In addition to carrying out its primary scientific role, SCAR also provides objective and independent scientific advice to the Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meetings and other organizations such as the UNFCCC and IPCC on issues of science and conservation affecting the management of Antarctica and the Southern Ocean and on the role of the Antarctic region in the Earth system. SCAR has made numerous recommendations on a variety of matters, many of which have been incorporated into Antarctic Treaty instruments. Foremost amongst these have been the advice provided for the many international agreements which provide protection for the ecology and environment of the Antarctic.
SCAR meets every two years to conduct its administrative business at the SCAR Delegates' Meeting. At these meetings the members of SCAR, through their appointed Delegates, are responsible for formulating SCAR policy and strategy. They also elect an Executive Committee from among themselves which is responsible for the day-to-day administration of SCAR through its Secretariat at the Scott Polar Research Institute in Cambridge, England. The Executive Committee comprises the President, Past-President, four Vice-Presidents and the SCAR Executive Director. The SCAR Secretariat is staffed by the Executive Director, Executive Officer and a part-time Administrative Assistant.
SCAR also holds, prior to the Delegates Meeting, a major Open Science Conference to draw attention to Antarctic issues, along with meetings of the Standing Scientific Groups that are designed to finalise the Science Programmes for eventual approval by the Delegates.