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SCAR XXIX WP28: Capacity Building and Education Plan
XXIX SCAR Delegates Meeting
17-19 July 2006, Hobart, Australia

SCAR XXIX WP28: Capacity Building and Education Plan

Working Paper 28
Agenda Item:
Posted/Revised: March 1
Person Responsible: Colin Summerhayes

A Strategy for Capacity Building (Education and Training)

prepared by the Secretariat with the assistance of Professor Azizan Abu Sameh (University of Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur), Dr Bryan Storey (University of Canterbury, New Zealand) and Dr Sergio Marenssi (Argentine Antarctic Institute)

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, especially the Antarctic Treaty System. 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.

This document was approved in draft by the SCAR Executive Committee meeting in Sofia in July 2005, and circulated by e-mail for consultation with national committees and delegates in August 2005. The final version was approved by the XXIX Delegates’ meeting in Hobart (July 2006), pending minor amendments. Delegates noted that depending on consultation with and feedback from COMNAP, the draft may be modified in future to take COMNAP requirements into account.