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SCAR EXCOM 2005 35: A Strategy for Capacity Building and Education Popular

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SCAR EXCOM 2005 35: A Strategy for Capacity Building and Education
SCAR Executive Committee Meeting
4-7 July 2005, Sofia, Bulgaria

SCAR EXCOM 2005 35: A Strategy for Capacity Building and Education

Paper: 35
Agenda Item: 15.5
Deadline: 1 June
Person Responsible: Exec. Dir.

Executive Summary

SCAR is committed to helping scientists in all of its Member countries to participate in understanding scientifically the physical, biological, chemical and geological processes at work in the Antarctic region, to use that understanding to predict change both there and elsewhere in the world, and to provide objective and independent advice to policy makers. To achieve that goal requires that efforts be made to raise national scientific capacities, especially in developing countries. SCAR is also committed to promoting the incorporation of Antarctic science in education at all levels. The SCAR Strategic Plan 2004-2010 called for SCAR to develop a strategy setting out how it proposes to meet those objectives. This document is that Strategy. It explores ways in which SCAR can work with its Members, with COMNAP and with others to meet the stated needs.

The document describes the current situation, then spells out the scope, aims and objectives of the strategy. The strategy is designed to help Members’ scientists achieve the following objectives:

  1. to engage in high quality international scientific research in the Antarctic region, and on the role of the Antarctic region in the Earth system;
  2. to participate in, contribute to, and benefit from SCAR’s main programmes and other activities;
  3. to provide free and unrestricted access to their Antarctic scientific data and information, and make best use of others’ data and information;
  4. to provide objective and independent scientific advice to their own governments and to Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meetings and other organizations on issues of science and conservation affecting the management of Antarctica and the Southern Ocean.
  5. to make best use of Antarctic examples to illustrate key scientific principles in schools and universities.

The strategy recommends the application of ten principles, and emphasises the importance of developing partnerships to take the programme forward. It lists a number of possible mechanisms for achieving the aims and objectives, and notes that the International Polar Year provides an excellent opportunity to start a wide range of capacity building and education initiatives. It sets out a mechanism for implementation, which will be coordinated by a Capacity Building and Education Group working to clearly defined targets within a specified timeframe. Finally it provides a set of performance indicators that can be used to assess progress over time.

The SCAR Executive Committee, meeting in Sofia, Bulgaria (July 11-13, 2005) approved the distribution of this draft for consultation by e-mail with national committees and delegates, with the aim of providing a final version for the XXIX Delegates’ meeting in Hobart (July 2006). The Executive Committee noted that depending on consultation with and feedback from COMNAP, the draft may be modified in future to take COMNAP requirements into account.