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EU-PolarNet 2 Releases White Paper with 80 Policy Recommendations to Strengthen International Collaboration in Polar Observations

In April 2024, EU-PolarNet 2, in collaboration with the European Polar Board and the Institute of Natural Sciences in Brussels, launched a white paper featuring 80 actionable policy-level recommendations aimed at enhancing international collaboration in polar observations.

The white paper identifies over a hundred polar initiatives and offers recommendations to defragment the polar observing landscape, minimise duplication, bridge gaps in the current polar observing strategy and enhance large-scale coordination.

Compiled over a two-year period of consultations and meetings with experts and stakeholders from the polar community, the recommendations cover areas of mutual interest between the Arctic and the Antarctic. Key focus areas include addressing user, stakeholder, and rightsholder needs, strengthening data systems, advancing infrastructure and technology, fostering international cooperation, establishing effective governance structures, promoting collaborative research, and emphasising societal relevance.

Each recommendation is tailored to strengthen collaboration among international scientific, stakeholder, rightsholder and funding communities, with the overarching goal of advancing polar observations and supporting well-informed decision-making processes. The target audience encompasses European and non-European decision-makers, funding agencies, academia, NGOs, and other stakeholders involved with polar observations.

The white paper launch sessions at the Arctic Science Summit Week and the Arctic Observing Summit in Edinburgh received significant attention, sparking engaging discussions and setting the stage for concrete action. The next phase will involve activating the recommendations from the white paper at the highest policy levels, necessitating commitment and goodwill from all parties.

In the coming months, a series of communications and discussions will be held at various polar events to initiate large-scale collaboration. These include the EU Polar Week in Copenhagen (September 2024) and the EU-PolarNet 2 Town Hall event scheduled in Brussels (November 2024).

Stay tuned for updates and opportunities to engage in this important initiative!

Lymer, G., Badhe, R., Elshout, P., Larsen, J. R., Savela, H., Scory, S., Spadetto, V., & EU-PolarNet 2. (2024). EU-PolarNet 2 White paper with recommendations to accelerate the development of a sustained and fully integrated Polar observing system. Zenodo: