Observing the Arctic. December 2009. Report of the Sustaining Arctic Observing Networks (SAON) Initiating Group.

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Sustaining Arctic Observing Networks (SAON) Initiating Group
"This report, prepared by the SAON Initiating Group (IG), summarizes the collective efforts of 350 Arctic researchers, representatives of inter-governmental, national and subnational government agencies, representatives of indigenous peoples organizations, and residents of the Arctic. This report was drafted as a response to the request from Arctic Council ministers at their meeting in Salekhard, Russia in November 2006, but is also directed to other organizations, agencies, governments, networks and programs involved in all aspects of Arctic observing. The foundations of SAON are the existing networks and programs that already provide high quality Arctic observations. During the SAON process, it was revealed that present Arctic observing sites did not adequately cover the Arctic region, observing data are fragmentary and not easily available, and only a part of the Arctic observing is funded on a long-term basis. Participants in the SAON workshops identified many opportunities to enhance the value of observations through better coordination within and among existing networks. Some of the gaps (current and future) in Arctic observing were also identified. The primary recommendation of the SAON-IG is the creation of an Arctic Observing Forum (AOF). While the precise structure and mandate of the AOF has not yet been determined, there is a clear need to have a means to continue the work initiated by the SAON-IG. Ultimately, it will be the responsibility of organizations participating in the AOF to decide how to implement the recommendations outlined in this report. The full reports of the SAON breakout groups, the presentations at the SAON workshops (Stockholm, Edmonton, St. Petersburg, Incheon, Helsinki) and other related materials are available at www.arcticobserving.org."