International Council for Science (

IASC is an International Scientific Associate of the International Council for Science (ICSU). Since it’s founding in 1931, ICSU mobilizes the knowledge and resources of the international science community in order to strengthen international science for the benefit of society.

As an associate of ICSU, IASC promotes Arctic and (together with SCAR) Bipolar science in ICSU and advises, supports and cooperates on activities that are of importance to the whole of the polar science community. The International Polar Year 2007-2008 was an excellent example of cooperation with ICSU.


Arctic Council (

IASC has been an accredited observer of the Arctic Council from its very beginning and is supporting the work of the Arctic Council, its Working Groups (WGs) and Permanent Participants (PPs) by providing scientific expertise from all its members, including the non-Arctic countries. IASC´s contributions so far have resulted in a number of very successful joint activities, such as the Arctic Climate Impact Assessment (ACIA) and the Snow, Water, Ice and Permafrost in the Arctic (SWIPA) report.

The ongoing collaborative activities of IASC and the Arctic Council and its WGs and PPs include both joint activities, IASC involvement in Arctic Council activities, and involvement of Arctic Council WGs and PPs in IASC activities.

Joint activities:

  • Sustaining Arctic Observing Network (SAON) was initiated by IASC and the Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme (AMAP) in 2007 and is now managed by a SAON Board, with the Arctic Council appointing the Chair and IASC appointing the Vice-Chair. Secretarial support is provided by AMAP and IASC.
  • The ASSW 2016 in Fairbanks (USA) will be held back-to-back with the Arctic Council SAO meeting and the third Arctic Observing Summit. A common session will allow interactions between the scientific and the Arctic Council communities.

IASC involvement in current Arctic Council activities:

  • To ensure the factual content and scientific quality of Arctic Council reports and assessments, the IASC Executive Secretary coordinated or is coordinating the scientific review of the Arctic Resilience Report (ARR), the 2nd Arctic Human Development Report (AHDR II) and the Adaptation Actions for a Changing Arctic (AACA) assessment.
  • IASC has participated in all meetings of the Arctic Council Task Force on Science Cooperation and on the invitation of the chairs the Executive Secretary presented status reports on the International Polar Partnership Initiative (IPPI) and an overview of the lessons learnt from the International Polar Year (IPY).

Involvement of Arctic Council´s WGs and PPs in current IASC activities:

  • Since 2013 the Arctic Council Indigenous Peoples Secretariat is involved in the Arctic Science Summit Week and IASC is providing travel support to enable the participation of indigenous session conveners and presenters.
  • Arctic Council WGs (AMAP and CAFF – Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna) as well as PPs (Indigenous Peoples Secretariats) are partners within the 3rd International Conference on Arctic Research Planning (ICARP III).
  • The Steering Group of the International Polar Partnership Initiative (IPPI) is co-chaired by IASC and also includes an AMAP representative.

A detail report on IASC´s recent interactions with the Arctic Council can be found here: IASC_Observer_Report_Arctic_Council.pdf