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SCAR XXXIII WP11: Report on AntEco (State of the Antarctic Ecosystem) Popular

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SCAR XXXIII WP11: Report on AntEco (State of the Antarctic Ecosystem)
XXXIII SCAR Delegates Meeting
1 - 3 September 2014, Auckland, New Zealand

SCAR XXXIII WP11: Report on AntEco (State of the Antarctic Ecosystem)

Working Paper: 11
Agenda Item: 4.3.2
Posted/Revised: 28 Jul 2014
Person Responsible: A. Terauds

Executive Summary

Title: State of the Antarctic Ecosystem (AntEco)

Authors: Aleks Terauds, Don Cowan, Jan Strugnell, AntEco Steering Group.

Introduction/Background:
The Scientific Research Programme - AntEco (State of the Antarctic Ecosystem) has a focus on understanding and clarifying the processes driving patterns of biodiversity in all environments across the Antarctic, sub-Antarctic and Southern Ocean regions.  The programme prioritises applied research and aims to provide scientific knowledge on biodiversity that can also be used for conservation and management.

Important Issues or Factors:  
Since its formal inception in 2013, AntEco has focused on building and extending research networks, facilitating research that is aligned with the research priorities of the programme, and publishing research findings.  Members have not only published papers in high quality journals, but also ensured that findings are disseminated widely, through conference symposia, media and popular articles. Publications in high quality journals continue to be a priority, and we are currently on track to exceed the ambitious targets set out in the Implementation Plan. One of the primary goals of AntEco is to foster collaboration between scientists, institutions and countries.  To this end, AntEco has provided several letters of support for a number of large-scale multinational research proposals, at least one of which has recently been approved. As a group, we have invested considerable time and resources into the 2014 SCAR OSC, with three workshops and a diverse range of sessions, all of which were very well subscribed.

Over the next two years, AntEco will not only continue to support new research, but also focus on the delivery of advice to stakeholders, in particular to the ATCM through the CEP.

Recommendations/Actions and Justification:  
Given the substantial progress made in its first year, and the momentum that is building in the AntEco research community, we recommend that the Delegates (1) note and approve of AntEco actions to date, and (2) continue to support AntEco at current levels for the next two years.

Expected Benefits/Outcomes:  
Continuing support will allow the number and quality of important publications to continue, will ensure outreach delivery, facilitate advice to stakeholders and enhance SCAR’s profile and reputation.

Partners:
All outputs to date involve partners and collaborators both within and external to SCAR. So far these groups include SC-ATS, EG-BI, AnT-ERA, CAML, and a range of institutional research partners. Cross-disciplinary and cross-group collaborations will continue to be a driving theme in AntEco supported research.

Budget Implications:
To achieve the objectives and goals over the next two year period, we request that funding is maintained at $US20 000 per year.