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SAON logoThe Sustaining Arctic Observing Networks (SAON) and the Institute for Defense Analyses Science and Technology Policy Institute (STPI) announce the release of the International Arctic Observations Assessment Framework.

The Framework was developed in January 2017 as STPI and SAON co-hosted a workshop, convening experts from international, state, and local governments; industry; academia; and non-governmental organizations to review and revise a framework for assessing the societal benefits derived from Arctic observations. The methodology involved a review of international Arctic strategies for common objectives that rely on Earth observations. The resulting international Arctic Observations Assessment Framework will provide the foundation and justification for future international efforts to assess the value of Arctic observations and to structure a pan-Arctic observing system.

This Framework defines 12 Social Benefit Areas (SBAs) that rely on Arctic observations, including:

  • Disaster preparedness,
  • Environmental quality,
  • Food security,
  • Fundamental understanding of Arctic systems,
  • Human health,
  • Infrastructure and operations,
  • Marine and coastal ecosystems and processes,
  • Natural resources,
  • Resilient communities,
  • Sociocultural services,
  • Terrestrial and freshwater ecosystems and processes, and
  • Weather and climate.


The Framework is available to view or download through the SAON website.

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