IASC’s International Science Initiative in the Russian Arctic (ISIRA in English & Russian) is a Russian and international cooperative initiative which provides a forum for linking on-going or planned bilateral projects, facilitates improved scientific cooperation and access in the Russian Arctic, and more. On 7-8 November 2017, ISIRA convened a workshop at the Presidium of the Russian Academy of Sciences in Moscow to build the ISIRA network, revisit challenges facing international and interdisciplinary Arctic science, and provide suggestions as to how IASC, through ISIRA, could help overcome some of these issues. Over 50 participants (half Russian, half representing 12 other countries) participated, including a number of Indigeous participants (from RAIPON and other groups), as well as early career researchers.

Worshop participants highlighted bureacracy, institutional silos, lack of communication regarding ongoing projects, and logistical issues as some of the largest challenges facing science in the Russian Arctic. Suggestions for IASC actions included:

  • A mechanism for IASC to help implement the recently signed ´Arctic Science Agreement’
  • Letters of support from ISIRA, to endorse projects at the governmental level
  • Making education and research opportunities for indigenous and local people possible
  • Increased reporting and (bilingual) communication within IASC of scientific activities in the Russian Arctic
  • Support for capacity building and mobility activities

Participants are currently refining worshop materials, which will be shared with the IASC community in due course. If you are interested in receiving the full worshop outcomes and/or other ISIRA communications, please contact the IASC Executive Secretary.