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SPRI Review 2001: Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research

Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research

Dr P.D. Clarkson

The Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR) of the International Council for Science (ICSU) is housed within the Institute. Dr P.D. Clarkson continued as Executive Secretary and Mrs M.J. Hassett continued as Senior Clerk.

The Executive Secretary represented the SCAR Executive Committee at the Eighth Meeting of the SCAR Group of Specialists on Global Change and the Antarctic in Roosendaal, The Netherlands, during October-November 2000. During December 2000 he was able to pay an opportunistic visit to the Instituto Antártico Argentino in Buenos Aires, Argentina, to discuss environmental matters in preparation for the forthcoming Antarctic Treaty meeting.

The Executive Secretary represented SCAR at a meeting of ICSU Unions held in Paris, during February 2001.

Dr R.H. Rutford, President of SCAR, and Dr Clarkson represented SCAR at the Twenty-fourth Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting (XXIV ATCM) held in St Petersburg, Russia, 9-20 July 2001. A particular concern for SCAR was to seek protection for Antarctic meteorites from unrestricted, non-scientific collectors, and Resolution .2 (2001) to this effect was adopted by the meeting. Perhaps the most important outcome from the meeting was the agreement by consensus that an Antarctic Treaty Secretariat will be established in Buenos Aires, Argentina, (Decision 1 (2001)).

During August, Dr Clarkson provided secretarial support to two meetings held in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. The meeting of the ad hoc Group on Transition was to determine the details for the implementation of the changes in SCAR recommended by the ad hoc Group on SCAR Organization and Strategy. The Executive Committee meeting followed to receive the report of the ad hoc Group on Transition and to conduct the routine business of SCAR. Both meetings were held alongside the annual meeting of the Council of Managers of National Antarctic Programmes, giving the opportunity for the respective Executive Committees to hold a joint meeting.

The Secretariat also provided some administrative support to a SCAR Workshop on Marine Acoustics Techniques held in Cambridge during September 2001.

Four issues of SCAR Bulletin (nos 139-142) were published within Polar Record and as separates during the year with the assistance of Polar Publications. SCAR Report nos 18, 19, and 20 were published in January, February, and May 2001.

SCAR continues to initiate, promote, and coordinate scientific research in the Antarctic and to provide scientific advice to the Antarctic Treaty System.