Skip to main content

Action Group on Environmental Impacts of Polar Research and Logistics

Chair: T Gibéryen
Members: J Chappellaz, T Giberyen, J Jania, E Topp-Jørgensen, K Jones-Williams

During the POLAR2018 conference in Davos in June 2018, the European Polar Board held a workshop for its Members on ‘Minimising plastic use and waste in polar research and logistics’. During the workshop, discussion was held on how to reduce the polar research community’s contribution to plastic pollution globally. Workshop participants developed recommendations of how plastic use and waste can be reduced in four areas of polar research and logistics – logistics, scientific equipment and consumables, field equipment, and domestic uses as research stations and on vessels.

Jointly with INTERACT, the EPB convened a breakout session at the 2018 Arctic Circle Assembly in Reykjavik, on ‘Minimising the footprint of Arctic research’. The session featured a range of international experts in polar research and logistics management and planning. Building on the Davos workshop, the breakout session discussed possible ways to minimise, or optimise, the impacts of Arctic research, including social impacts on Arctic communities. Panellists provided key recommendations on how the footprint of Arctic research could be reduced, all of which were captured and will feed into the development of guidelines for EPB Members to minimise the negative impacts of their field research activities. While focused on Arctic research, the breakout session also included perspectives from Antarctica, and how existing tools and instruments used there may be transferable to the Arctic to help protect the environment. The session included discussion of both marine and terrestrial research activities in the Arctic.

Following these two sessions, the Action Group on Environmental Impacts of Polar Research and Logistics was formed at the EPB’s Autumn 2018 Plenary Meeting with mandate to develop this initiative further, working in collaboration with other organisations.