A new holistic science program of Arctic Challenge for Sustainability (ArCS) was launched under the Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) of Japan in the autumn of 2015. ArCS promotes observation and prediction researches related to climate change, sea ice distribution and ecosystem dynamics in the Arctic region. The unique point of ArCS compared to other foregoing science projects is that ArCS is requested to contribute not only to science community but more to society widely (e.g. decision makers of Japan and Arctic countries, world socio-economic stakeholders and Arctic indigenous people.) This unique point of ArCS derived from the Japan’s Arctic Policy adopted on September 2015 by the Cabinet of Japan where Japan will contribute to Arctic countries and other communities through science and technology as an Observer country of the Arctic Council.
The natural environments of Arctic region suffered from the vast and rapid changes being associated with the Global Warming. And on the contrary, recent researches concluded that those changes in the Arctic region affect global climate and weather. As the Arctic natural environment changes, developments of mineral resources, commerce and industry, which have been blocked by ice and/or permafrost, came to be feasible. The prediction of the changes in the Arctic is indispensable for planning these human/economic activities. On the other hand, there is still lack of knowledge regarding the impacts of economic activities on the natural environments, which is low resilient against the impacts, and the societal structure of the Arctic regions. Results of the scientific research should be disseminated to and shared with the society accurately but in “easy-to-understand” manner.
The launch of “ArCS Blog” is an approach based on the above concept. This blog is expected to deliver a wide range of research results from research communities including socio-human researches to other communities. While the impacts of “ArCS Blog” on both researchers and societies have not emerged yet, we hope the linkage of scientists with society will be further enhanced towards the sustainable future of the Arctic.
Masao Fukasawa (ArCS PD)