IASC 25 years - Page 28

1.2 IASC Regional Board Odd Rogne Reviewer: Robert Corell However, in the ensuing IASC planning process, the discussion on regional science needs (with some governmental involvement) and more global science thinking led to extensive discussions, and a series of The roots of and the thinking behind an IASC Re- meetings (listed in other parts of this history docu- gional Board dates to the 1987 publication, “Inter- ment). For some countries, having this intergovern- national Communication and Coordination in Arctic mental forum was a condition for agreeing to join in Science. A proposal for action,”1 which was the first the founding of IASC. The challenge was to find a comprehensive working paper early in the IASC solution that accommodated rather diverse views. planning process, and one that influenced subsequent discussions on how IASC could be formed and The need for an IASC Regional Board was substan- what needs it could or should address. tially diminished with the establishment of AEPS. Still, some countries felt the need to have a division The authors of this contribution envisaged the of IASC that could keep an eye on IASC science dis- need for: cussions. The terms of reference for the IASC Regional Board, as given in the IASC Founding Articles, “1. A non-governmental scientific committee pro- are as follows: visionally called the “International Arctic Science Committee” to be established to promote interna- “The Regional Board will consider general regional tional cooperation in scientific research in arctic problems and other questions that will affect the areas. common interests of arctic countries. Its member- 2. Representatives of governments of arctic na- ship includes one representative from each of the tions—countries with territories north of the boreal eight arctic countries. The purpose of the Region- forest zone—to discuss the feasibility of establish- al Board is to ensure that the activities of IASC are ing a mechanism for regular, structured intergov- consistent with those interests.” ernmental discussions and liaison in arctic science matters. The discussions would deal with matters In reality, members of the Regional Board were of common interest, …..”. science managers with some links to their governments. However, having lost its main mission In other words, the authors called for a non-gov- (assumed by AEPS), and left with a watchdog role ernmental scientific committee and an intergovern- created some frustration for the Regional Board. mental forum. In the paper, this intergovernm