Norwegian polar research policy 2010-13:
Leading force in polar research
A new policy for Norwegian polar research was adopted in September 2009. Now an English version of the publication has been published, in time for the International Polar Science Conference in Oslo in June.
For the first time the Research Council of Norway has drawn up a polar policy document that covers research in the Arctic, including Svalbard, as well as in the Antarctic. The document has been formulated on the basis of key challenges and opportunities for Norwegian polar research, new trends in the polar regions and Norway’s overall interests in this context.
Wide spectrum of research activities
Norwegian polar research comprises both basic and applied research, including management- and industry-oriented research related to polar issues. The policy document gives priority to research fields where Norway is a leading force, such as climate, pollutants and biodiversity, economic activity and important topics in social science, law and the humanities.
International focal points
The changes in the polar areas are of global importance and the research conducted in order to understand them must be based on international cooperation to be successful. The importance of Norwegian polar research in this perspective lies in the vital input it can provide to efforts to deal with political issues such as environmental protection, climate change, the utilisation of natural resources and the law of the sea.
Norway is host nation to the international research activities on Svalbard. The policy document stresses the importance of providing a well-functioning arena for research collaboration there, including access to extensive research infrastructure such as the the Svalbard Integrated Arctic Earth Observing System (SIOS) which is entering its preparatory phase in the autumn of 2010, with completion being planned for 2013.
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