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GEO 2017-2019 Work Programme

 

Arctic GEOSS

Activity ID: 151

Overview

The Sustaining Arctic Observing Network (SAON) is a joint initiative of the Arctic Council (AC) and the International Arctic Science Committee (IASC). The SAON process was established in 2011 via the AC Nuuk Declaration. This declaration recognizes the importance of the Sustaining Arctic Observing Networks (SAON) process as a major legacy of the International Polar Year for enhancing scientific observations and data-sharing. The declaration also defines the SAON governance structure and Terms of Reference, which were formally approved in 2012.

SAON's Vision is to realize a connected, collaborative, and comprehensive long-term pan-Arctic Observing System that serves societal needs. The Mission of SAON is to facilitate, coordinate, and advocate for coordinated international pan-Arctic observations and mobilizes the support needed to sustain them. The SAON Board has approved the Strategy for SAON in May 2018 (1) and adopted the following three goals:

  1. Create a roadmap to a well-integrated Arctic Observing System;
  2. Promote free and ethically open access to all Arctic observational data; and
  3. Ensure sustainability of Arctic observing.

The SAON Leadership Team, responsible for programmatic implementation and overall strategic development, consists of two bodies: 1) the SAON Board, responsible for providing guidance and direction on programmatic operations, including science priorities, and project approval and integration; and 2) the SAON Executive Committee, responsible for overall governance issues, including alignment of SAON strategic direction with the goals and objectives of both the AC and IASC. The Arctic Council provides the Chair of SAON and IASC provides the Vice-Chair.

Activities

The following activities will contribute to the realization of SAON’s goals.

  • Goal 1: Create a roadmap to a well-integrated Arctic Observing System. The goal has these objectives:
    • Conduct an inventory of national observational capacities.
    • Complete an assessment of adequacy of Arctic observational capacity in support of Arctic Societal Benefit Areas (SBAs).
    • Provide recommendations for a roadmap for future Arctic observational capacities.
    • Create opportunities to develop and implement observations in support of Arctic Societal Benefit Areas (SBAs).
    • Develop a long-term repository for relevant project deliverables.

The Committee on Observations and Networks (CON) is responsible for the implementation of Goal 1.

  • Goal 2: Promote free and ethically open access to all Arctic observational data. The goal has these objectives:
    • Create a road map outlining the steps towards achieving a system that will facilitate access to Arctic observational data.
    • Advance a system to facilitate access to Arctic observational data.
    • Establish a persistent consortium of organizations to oversee the development of a sustainable, world-wide system for access to all Arctic data.

The Arctic Data Committee (ADC) is responsible for the implementation of Goal 2 in partnership with a wider range of different partner organizations.

  • Goal 3: Ensure sustainability of Arctic observing.
    • Develop a strategy for long-term financial commitment in Arctic observations;
    • Apply the strategy developed in 3.1 to advocate to funding agencies and states to ensure sustainability of Arctic observing; and
    • Secure funding for international SAON secretariat and operational costs

The SAON Board is responsible for the implementation of Goal 3. The implementation of Goal 3 has a dependency on the two other SAON Goals, especially Goal 1

User engagement

Addressing the goals of SAON requires the expertise and cooperation of a wide range of stakeholders and knowledge systems. SAON as members currently has 18 country members, two AC Permanent Participants (Arctic indigenous peoples’ organizations) and a series of regional and international organizations. This inherently means that SAON maintains strong connections to national level research policy priorities and activities of its member countries and organizations.

Additionally, SAON seeks to involve users through meetings and conferences at the widest possible level:

  • The Arctic Observing Summit (AOS) engages researchers, indigenous organizations, the public, private and not-for profit sectors and all others involved or interested in the Arctic.
  • The Arctic Data Committee (ADC) is a co-organiser of the Polar Data Forum (PDF) in 2013 and 2015 (8). The next PDF is planned for 2019.
  • The Committee on Observations and Networks (CON) is continuously engaged in fora to establish a dialogue with end-user, most notably during the Arctic Science Summit Week and the Arctic Circle.
  • The physical meetings of the SAON Board are open to the public.

Future plans

Currently, the Arctic Data Committee is co-sponsoring a working group that is examining the different data discovery portals for the Arctic and polar regions in support of federated search. This includes the GEO Cold Regions Initiative as a partner. As this develops, a much better understanding of the full scope of data that fall within SAON’s mandate will be established and along with the tools and protocols to share metadata, including more extensive connection to the GEOSS Data Portal. It is expected that a comprehensive study of Arctic/Polar data discovery resources and systems will be published late 2018.

Resources

SAON Board members are expected to seek financial resources needed to undertake SAON tasks. Since 2011 Norway has supported the SAON Secretariat, including a full-time Executive Secretary and funds to support SAON activities. From 2018, it is expected that a series of member countries will contribute with an annual amount of 5-15.000 € per member. In addition, it is expected that a series of member countries will provided in-kind contributions. The SAON web site is hosted by Arctic Portal.

Leadership

Jan René Larsen (SAON), jan.rene.larsen@amap.no

Contributors

Members: Canada, China, Denmark, European Commission, Finland, Norway, Russian Federation, Sweden, United States.

Participating Organizations: ESA, SAON, WMO.

Linkages across the Work Programme

Initiatives: GEOCRI.

Leadership & Contributors (this list is being populated)

Role

Name

Member/PO

Implementing Entity

Email

Lead (PoC)

Jan René Larsen

SAON

n/a

jan.rene.larsen@amap.no