The government of Iceland accepted this morning the proposal by the Prime Minister of Iceland to allocate funding to the operation of the International Arctic Science Committee (IASC) secretariat for the next 5 years (2017-2021). The government decided to allocate 35 million Icelandic kroners annually (approx. 250.000 Euro) to the IASC secretariat office located in Akureyri.
The aim of IASC is to promote and support leading-edge multi-disciplinary research in order to foster a greater scientific understanding of the Arctic region and its role in the Earth system. IASC brings together public research institutions and organisations from 23 countries and is regarded as one of the most important international cooperation venues for research and observations in the Arctic.
“This is a very interesting project and there are multiple advantages of getting the secretariat to Iceland. With it the Icelandic science community would get access to a strong network of scientists in the Arctic and likely the interest of foreign scientists to cooperate with Iceland will increase. It is not least important that the secretariat could further increase the already existing important Arctic operations in Akureyri” said Prime Minister Sigmundur David Gunnlaugsson.
Akureyri hosts institutions dealing with Arctic issues, including the Stefansson Arctic Institute, the Arctic Council working groups: PAME (Protection of the Arctic Marine Environment) and CAFF (Conservation of Arctic Fauna and Flora); and the Iceland Arctic Cooperation Network. Akureyri is also the host of the Arctic Portal, company specializing in collecting and communicating information and data on the Arctic.
IASC is an observer to the Arctic Council and plays and important role in communicating information on research on natural and social changes in the Arctic region from the science community to the Arctic Council. Since 2009, the IASC office has been located in Potsdam, Germany. Earlier it has been located both in Sweden and Norway. The secretariat is responsible for the daily operations of IASC.
Iceland is represented in IASC by the Icelandic Research Council (Rannis).
The decision on the relocation of the IASC secretariat will be taken at the IASC Council meeting held in Fairbanks Alaska, middle of March. If accepted by the IASC Council, Iceland will host the secretariat from the beginning of 2017.
Source: Prime Minister’s Office
The Arctic Portal is a long-term supporter of IASC and hosts its website: www.iasc.info. We welcome the decision of Icelandic government and we are looking forward to continue our fruitful cooperation with IASC in the beautiful town of Akureyri.
Þorsteinn Gunnarsson Ph.D.
Rannsóknamiðstöð Íslands – Rannís | The Icelandic Centre for Research – RANNÍS
IS-600 Akureyri, Iceland
(Source: based on the Press Release by the Icelandic Government (in Icelandic))