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Advancing US Priorities within the International Roadmap for Arctic Observing and Data Systems (ROADS)

Authors: Sandra Starkweather*, Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences
Topics: Cryosphere, Polar Regions, Planning Geography
Keywords: Arctic, Observing, Indigenous Peoples, Societal Benefit
Session Type: Paper
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

In recent decades, sustained observations of Arctic environmental and socio-economic systems have revealed a pace, magnitude, and extent of change that is unprecedented by many measures. These changes include rapid depletion of the cryosphere, shifts in ecological communities that threaten biodiversity and increasing challenges to resilience across northern communities. SAON is a joint initiative of the Arctic Council and the International Arctic Science Committee (IASC). It was created to strengthen multinational engagement in and coordination of pan-Arctic observing. SAON’s intent is to unite Arctic and non-Arctic countries and Indigenous Peoples in support of a systematic network of activities through structured facilitation.

In its recent strategic plan, SAON identified the need for a Roadmap for Arctic Observing and Data Systems (ROADS) to set a course for the needed system and to specify how the various partners and players are going to collectively work towards getting it there. The purpose of ROADS is to stimulate multinational resource mobilization around specific plans with clear value propositions, to serve as a tool for the joint utilization of Indigenous Knowledge and science, to coordinate engagement and to ensure that maximal benefits are delivered. A well-defined assessment process is required to establish a communal view of “societal benefit”, and a key tool for such assessment will be The International Arctic Observing Assessment Framework (IAOAF). This paper will cover these evolving methodologies through highlighting how it supports broad US priorities like Advancing the Blue Economy and supporting Arctic Marine Domain Awareness.

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