International Conference on Arctic Research Planning (ICARP)


The International Conference on Arctic Research Planning (ICARP) is an Arctic Science Conference, convened periodically by IASC and its partners to identify key scientific questions and issues:

  • ICARP I, held in Hanover NH (USA) 1995, reviewed the state of Arctic science and resulted in a series of IASC-supported research projects;
  • ICARP II, held in Copenhagen (Denmark) 2005, developed twelve forward-looking science plans and resulted in several follow-up international projects and programs, mostly within the framework of the International Polar Year 2007-2008.
  • ICARP III, held in Toyama (Japan) 2015, provided a framework to further the development of cross-cutting, interdisciplinary and trans-disciplinary initiatives for advancing Arctic research cooperation and applications of Arctic knowledge. The IASC Strategic Plan (2018-2023) builds on the key priorities and overarching messages of ICARP III.
  • ICARP IV will be held in Boulder, CO (USA) in 2025. More information will be available starting March 2022. 


On the 35th anniversary of IASC in 2025, the occasion presents itself to sponsor our fourth International Conference on Arctic Research Planning (ICARP IV). 

The ICARP IV process during 2022 to 2025 must be well planned and coordinated with other ongoing international activities. ICARP IV will identify important research questions and priorities that cut across disciplines and knowledge systems, and that require new and innovative thinking and collaboration. ICARP IV will develop a vision for implementation and science plans for addressing these priorities. An integral aspect of the ICARP IV will be the inclusion of early career scientists (in collaboration with APECS), Indigenous Peoples, and local residents in the development of priorities and science plans to address the key questions.

The ICARP conferences have always been well-planned and well-executed events that allowed Arctic researchers, policy makers, residents and stakeholders from around the world to meet to collegially discuss the state of Arctic science, the place the Arctic occupies in global affairs and systems, and to consider the most urgent knowledge gaps and research needs that lie before us. The outcomes of ICARP I, II, and III have demonstrated that drawing the attention of the world’s researchers to critical problems can result in accelerated progress and far greater achievements than would be possible through uncoordinated efforts.

More information on ICARP IV and how to contribute will be available starting end of May 2022.


icarp3 logoThe third International Conference on Arctic Research Planning (ICARP III) provided a framework to:

  • identify Arctic science priorities for the next decade;
  • coordinate various Arctic research agendas;
  • inform policy makers, people who live in or near the Arctic and the global community and
  • build constructive relationships between producers and users of knowledge.
  • ICARP III does not undertake the development of new science plans but rather builds on the many comprehensive science plans that exist already and compliments those with processes to identify gaps that may need attention.

Considering the outcomes of ICARP II, the International Polar Year, recent assessments and upcoming and new initiatives, it was a process for:

  • integrating priorities for forward-looking, collaborative, interdisciplinary Arctic research and observing and
  • establishing an inventory of recent and current synthesis documents and major developments in Arctic research.

Engaging all partners, including funders, in shaping the future of Arctic research needs, ICARP III:

  • produced a consensus statement identifying the most important Arctic research needs for the next decade;
  • provided a roadmap for research priorities and partnerships and
  • identified the potential and specific contributions of Arctic research partners to the International Polar Partnership Initiative

ICARP III was governed by a Steering Committee established by the participating organizations. It was structured along scientific themes and includes a series of events, culminating in a final conference at the Arctic Science Summit Week 2015.

More information on ICARP III is available here:

The Second International Conference on Arctic Research Planning (ICARP II) was held in Copenhagen, Denmark, 10-12 November 2005. It brought together scientists, policy makers, research managers, indigenous peoples, and others interested in and concerned about the future of Arctic research.

ICARP II was structured around twelve major areas of potential research needs, each of which has been led by an international team of scientists and other experts (e.g., elders and other leaders in the Indigenous communities of the North).

This process led to the analyses and recommendations, the results of which are documented in eleven Science Plans and a Background Paper on Contaminants.

More information on ICARP II is available here:

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