Arctic Yearbook 2015 - Page 442

442 Arctic Yearbook 2015 also pinpoints major challenges that lie ahead of Arctic science and our understanding of changes occurring in the region which transformation spurs global interest and unprecedented attention. Arctic Science Summit Week 2011 held in Seoul, Korea, March/April 2011. Into the Future Nothing better confirms the organization’ focal position in promotion and facilitation of international research on the Arctic than the incoming applications for IASC member status. Since the time of its foundation in 1990 the IASC membership has been constantly growing and today includes twentythree countries conducting research in the Arctic. Throughout the time IASC has become a market place (Rogne et al. 2015) or a “forum where an idea first germinated before being brought to fruition through extensive international collaboration in other organizations (particularly those controlling infrastructure and other resources)” (Stone 2015). The organization played also an important role in moving Arctic science onto the cutting edge of science at large and deepening our comprehension of the dynamics of the coupled socio-ecological systems (Rogne et al. 2015). Yet today, changes in the Arctic are still challenging our understanding of their consequences both on the regional as well as on global scale, and the scientific community’s ability to provide relevant and timely knowledge for decision-makers (Toyama Conference Statement). Addressing those challenges requires sustained scientific observations and combining them with insights from local and traditional ecological knowledge - both efforts strongly encouraged and supported by IASC. And while the Arctic moves from the periphery of international relations closer to the center of the world’s political and economic interests, science still remains the key to sustainable development and future of the region. As the long historical tradition of polar research shows, greatest achievements down this road come through international collaboration and cooperation where over the last twenty-five years the role of IASC has been indisputable. 25 Years of IASC