Scientific collaboration is vital to observing, monitoring and understanding the rapid changes taking place in the Arctic region. Warming in the Arctic is about double the world average. Impacts have a global reach and represent a challenge of great concern and urgency. Communities and ecosystems around the Arctic are already experiencing the impacts of global change – science will contribute to minimizing the risks, finding methods of resilience and adaptation, and form a vital basis for decision-making. Existing national and international observation and research efforts are impressive, but they are not able to meet the demand for comprehensive and integrated information on the Arctic.
There is a need to enhance cooperation and collaboration in Arctic science. To address this need, the United States hosted the First Arctic Science Ministerial (ASM1) in Washington in September 2016. Science ministers from 25 governments and the European Union as well as representatives from Arctic indigenous peoples’ organizations gathered to discuss collective efforts to increase international scientific collaboration in the Arctic. The outcomes of the meeting, including a Joint Statement of Ministers, were published in the report “Supporting Arctic Science: A Summary of the White House Arctic Science Ministerial Meeting”.
Building on ASM1, the European Commission, the Republic of Finland and the Federal Republic of Germany are organizing the 2nd Arctic Science Ministerial (ASM2) in Berlin (Germany) on 25-26 October 2018. Under the auspices of German Chancellor Angela Merkel the international community of states at ASM2 will enhance their common engagement for the future of the arctic – for the current and coming generations.
The Ministerial is not an Arctic Council event, but coordination with the Arctic Council is ensured by Finland, current Chair of the Council. ASM2 is focused on science and research in the Arctic and in relation to the region. The participation of indigenous peoples is considered a priority.
Three themes were identified where improved and more closely coordinated international scientific cooperation will advance the understanding of the impacts of change in the Arctic and the ability to respond to these changes:
Thirty governments, 6 indigenous peoples’ and 10 selected international organizations were invited to provide input to these themes, with regard to both progress made since ASM1 and new activities related to ASM2. This input will feed into the main outcome of ASM2, namely a Joint Statement of Ministers.
Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, China, Czech Republic, Denmark, Faroe Islands, France, Germany, Greenland, Iceland, India, Italy, Japan, Korea, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, UK and the USA.
ASM2 will take place over two days on 25-26 October 2018 in Berlin, highlighted by three key events:
On the first day, an Arctic Science Forum will showcase the achievements since ASM1 and also highlight new developments. These discussions will prepare the ground for the meeting of the Ministers on the second day.
A reception will be held in the evening of this first day. This evening event will provide an opportunity for Ministers and their delegations to meet representatives of the broader Arctic scientific and stakeholder community.
The second day will bring together 26 Ministers and heads of six Arctic indigenous organisations. Based on the scientific outcome of the Arctic Science Forum a Joint Statement of Ministers will be signed, declaring enhanced scientific co-operation with regards to the future of the Arctic. Similar to the format of ASM1, the delegations for this high-level segment will be limited to Ministers plus 2 delegates and Heads of the Arctic indigenous organizations.
A press conference during the Ministerial will provide the significant outcome of the Joint Statement to national and international press representatives.