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ECA logo 2008 webThe action group on Environmental Contamination in Antarctica (ECA) ended in 2014.

During the SCAR Conference held in St Petersburg in June 2008, the Standing Scientific Group on Physical Sciences agreed to continue ECA. During the same meeting the 2nd ECA workshop took place (view the workshop report); there, the data collected by the groups formed during the 1st workshop (held in Venice) were presented and discussed.

The following priorities were identified for future activities:

  • to support the integration of the ECA data base in the JCADM by construction of one dedicated portal;
  • to recognize and separate local sources (bases, aircrafts, ships, traverses) from global contaminant signatures by identifying proxies of the potential sources. In this activity, the national individuals/officers responsible for the application of the Madrid protocol relevant to environmental impact monitoring of the logistic and scientific activities should be involved;
  • to optimize the use of samples collected for environmental characterization purposes and warranty reliable data by:
    • defining the role of specimen banks (international collaboration);
    • organizing proficiency tests for trace contaminant determination in environmental matrices which should take into account the possibility of preparing specific Antarctic reference materials;
  • to organize the 3rd ECA workshop aimed at:
    • completing datasets for environmental contaminants;
    • identifying gaps in the existing data;
    • defining topics for joint research projects on environmental contamination in Antarctica.

The 3rd ECA workshop took place in Venice from 22-23 June 2009. The programme presented contributions from scientists involved in programmes dealing with ECA and studying the transport of micro-components and pollutants in polar regions.

The main aims of the ECA group were:

  • Analysis and comparison of national research projects.
  • Coordination of studies on the Environmental Contamination in Polar Regions.
  • To identify new research subjects for a better understanding and analysis of Environment Contamination on a global scale.
  • Start up and implementation of an international program on the Environmental Contamination in Polar Regions