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pdf SCAR Strategic Plan 2011-2016: Antarctic Science and Policy Advice in a Changing World

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SCAR Strategic Plan 2011-2016: Antarctic Science and Policy Advice in a Changing World

A SCAR Strategic Plan is a forward-looking vision of what SCAR should do to achieve its mission, vision and goals.  It provides an internal and external overview of SCAR and is a framework and guide to conduct SCAR activities in the coming period.


The study of Antarctica and the Southern Ocean, and their role in the Earth system, has never been more important as the region experiences change that has global implications. The Antarctic region is a "natural laboratory" for scientific research of importance in its own right and impossible to achieve elsewhere on the planet. SCAR's strategic vision is for a world where the science of the Antarctic region benefits all, excellence in science is valued and scientific knowledge informs policy. SCAR's mission is to be the leading non-governmental, international facilitator and advocate of research in and from the Antarctic region, to provide objective and authoritative scientific advice to the Antarctic Treaty and others, and to bring emerging issues to the attention of policy makers.

SCAR will accomplish its vision and mission by:

  • encouraging excellence in Antarctic and Southern Ocean research by developing transformational scientific programmes that address issues of regional and global importance;
  • scanning the horizon to identify evolving issues and emerging frontiers in Antarctic science;
  • expanding its activities to include the human element (e.g., history, social sciences and the value of Antarctica);
  • providing objective and independent scientific advice on the conservation and management of Antarctica and the Southern Ocean;
  • partnering with other Antarctic Treaty advisory bodies to provide objective and authoritative scientific advice (e.g., the Convention for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources and the Council of Managers of National Antarctic Programmes);
  • expanding its advisory sphere of influence on global issues to other audiences (e.g., the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change);
  • affiliating with organizations with complementary interests to address regional and global issues;
  • providing venues for presentation of the latest research results, exchange of up-tothe- minute scientific findings, and promotion of cross- and interdisciplinary communication (e.g., Science Conferences, Symposia, workshops, reviews, assessments, and syntheses);
  • promoting an interdisciplinary philosophy and eliminating barriers to crossfertilization of ideas;
  • motivating cooperation with Arctic counterparts (e.g., International Arctic Science Committee);
  • preserving and building on the legacies of the IPY 2007-2008;
  • facilitating unrestricted access to Antarctic scientific data as a portal to repositories;
  • developing the capacity of students and early career scientists (e.g., Association of Early Career Scientists);
  • encouraging emerging national Antarctic programmes;
  • recruiting countries that have not traditionally participated in Antarctic research;
  • promoting and facilitating the incorporation of Antarctic science into education at all levels; and
  • informing the public and the media of the importance of the knowledge gained by the study of Antarctica and the Southern Ocean.

SCAR re-dedicates itself to its founding values, which are as valid today as they were more than 50 years ago.