Northerners, Aboriginal people, youth and northern communities are engaged in IPY activities
Given the high goals of IPY for engagement of Northerners, Aboriginal people, youth, and northern communities in IPY activities, it can be concluded that engagement was partially achieved. Considering the broader context and barriers, including northern organizational capacity challenges, limited previous experience with northern scientific research, and low levels of educational attainment in the northern population at large, the levels of engagement associated with IPY activities were a positive achievement. Overall, a small majority of key informants believe that the right level of engagement of Northerners, Aboriginal people, youth, and northern communities in IPY activities was achieved. The rest were relatively evenly divided between thinking that engagement goals were partially achieved and thinking that engagement did not occur to the intended or desired extent.
Engagement in scientific research - Many key informants reported that Aboriginal people and Northerners were involved in research, that IPY "brought people into the equation" for the first time. The project file review found that almost all science projects (96 percent) engaged Northerners and northern communities to some extent. Many key informants reported that many IPY projects engaged community groups in logistics (e.g., field support) leading to employment and economic benefits, in education, and in science projects, including linkages with traditional knowledge (e.g., through the Inuit Health Survey and the Voice of the Caribou People project). Of the 45 projects funded at AANDC by the Government of Canada's IPY Program, 33 included the integration of traditional knowledge as part of the research. An IPY highlights report indicates that more than 1,800 Northerners were involved in IPY research projects, in positions ranging from researchers to field guides for on-site research teams.
Communications and outreach - IPY involved northern and Aboriginal youth, adults and elders through communication and outreach activities such Polar Days, researchers in classrooms, and films (e.g., as sponsored by the Ontario Science Centre). Approximately 2,000 Northerners participated directly in various ways through communication and outreach activities. The project file review found that most IPY projects undertook communication and outreach activities and those that did not were technical projects (e.g., chemical sampling and analysis) or projects conducted in remote locations where these activities were not applicable. Northerners and community members almost always benefited from communication and outreach activities.
Almost all researchers (96 percent) made some type of presentations to Northerners and northern communities when visiting communities before, during or after the fieldwork, often during activities organized by Northern Coordinators. Final project reports indicate that these presentations often provided a good opportunity for exchanges between the researchers, community members and northern organizations to discuss the relevance and implications of the research and results for communities.
Student engagement - Student activities were a strong focus of IPY and many students participated in IPY activities such as Students on Ice and the Alianait Arts Festival. Key informants representing northern organizations reported that southern scientists often wanted to use northern research assistants - who were often students - wherever possible because this reduced costs and northerners brought their knowledge of northern logistics and safety to the project. According to the IPY Program, a total of 226 northern students were engaged in IPY research projects.
Traditional knowledge integration - Approximately half of the projects examined in the project review had a traditional knowledge component. Knowledge on different topics such as nutrition (country food), sea ice and climate change and their impact on communities was shared with researchers. Some researchers reported that this traditional knowledge was an important factor in the success of their studies by making the research process more effective and by providing knowledge for future studies. Traditional Knowledge (TK) was collected in many cases during exchanges with elders, hunters and trappers, teachers, nurses and other community representatives. To collect this information, local researchers, translators and interpreters in the community were hired on many projects. In one project, a Traditional Knowledge Steering Committee that involved community and regional representatives was put in place to guide and coordinate traditional knowledge collection and to develop the project from the community level.
The consensus among northern-based key informants was that, while some IPY projects presented a "gold standard" in engagement, true engagement and collaboration remain a challenge. Despite the IPY design, which incorporated significant engagement requirements, northern research license permit requirements, and considerable effort by all stakeholders, key informants reported that local engagement was missing in many instances. Key informants attributed this lack of local engagement to the absence of ongoing, meaningful consultation with territorial governments except in the early planning stage, the high cost of travel to northern communities, and researchers' lack of experience and knowledge about how to engage Northerners in research. They also noted that the degree of success in engagement, even though partial, is an indicator of success for the program given the challenges of conducting research in the North.
Almost all researchers recognized the importance of engaging Northerners and northern communities in their project. Many researchers, as well as other key informants, observed that the participatory processes of IPY research set a new precedent for how research is conducted in the Canadian Arctic. The views of an Aboriginal organization, which reported that, "for the first time, people were involved in science", were typical. The experiences of researchers varied widely, however, with both successes and challenges in engaging Aboriginal people and Northerners in IPY activities.
For successes, the visibility of IPY was high and there was a lot of engagement by the public in Arctic science. Many projects involved Aboriginal organizations, community groups and other northern organizations in the planning, implementation, and dissemination of results. Some researchers reported that their projects engaged these organizations and the wider public. For example, researchers engaged NCOs/community groups to hire local people for logistics, as guides, translators and for field support, which led to employment and economic benefits. The level of cooperation between the Northern Coordinators and northern organizations was reported to be very good and contributed to engagement. Northern Coordinators contributed to forums for community engagement were set up through IPY.
For challenges, northern-based key informants stated that, overall, there were deficiencies in communications with communities.Footnote 14 Key informants reported that communications and outreach projects were successful at engaging Northerners but that science projects were less successful at involving communities. Some researchers did not appreciate community interests and the mechanisms to bridge researchers and communities were not always adequate, despite the efforts of Northern Coordinators. Several key informants reported that small community organizations could be overwhelmed by the number of inquiries from researchers and by the expectation to review research proposals and reports.
Increased capacity by northerners for participation in northern scientific research / Increased capacity of Northerners to carry out northern scientific research
Almost all key informants agreed that IPY initiatives have increased northerners' capacity to conduct northern scientific research. Some notable projects, such as the Inuit Health Survey, were particularly strong at developing research capacity through research techniques learning and training of Inuit surveyors. The Logistics for Health and Safety component was identified by key informants as IPY successes for increasing capacity through new health and safety equipment, enhanced search and rescue infrastructure, and personnel training, including training of youth as research participants.
Research infrastructure - IPY contributed to an enhanced scientific research infrastructure across the North, both through research and academic institutions (e.g., Nunavut Research Institute, Aurora Research Institute, Nunavut Arctic College, Aurora College)Footnote 15 and the engagement of Aboriginal organizations in all northern regions and other key organizations. Strong networks and relationships were established among scientific organizations, scientists and northern organizations for monitoring the Arctic (and the Antarctic among the scientific community, for example, the Polar Earth Observing Network). IPY funding criteria also required researchers to do multidisciplinary work, which broadened networks both within the scientific community and between the scientific community and northern organizations.
Employment of Northerners - A review of 29 project reports (of 45 projects in total) found that a total of 566 Northerners were hired on these projects during the IPY years. While in a few cases, their contribution was participating on projects through interviews, some others assisted directly with the project by doing wildlife monitoring (e.g. bears), guiding, tagging, translating, interpreting and providing support in areas such as transportation, accommodation, hunting, wildlife protection and logistics. This review and cases studies found that several of the Northerners who have been involved in IPY projects have become valuable local scientists who have collaborated on other research projects or with local government departments.
Youth and student engagement - An important success of capacity development from IPY was the learning and practical research experience provided to young people. IPY research projects exposed northern students to on-site research, which provided an excellent training experience and motivation to follow a science path in their education and future careers. Many projects hired northern students or involved them as participants. For example, 32 of 75 students participating in the most recent Students on Ice project were northern and Aboriginal students. Northern students were hired by researchers during the IPY years for many different roles, including data archivists, community liaisons, organization of the key informant interviews and focus groups, recruitment of participants and as field assistants during field work activities (for example, training in sampling and excavation methods, and measurements on the sea ice).
Other projects (e.g., communications and outreach) had student mentorship and training components for technical and administrative positions. A Northern Coordinator called IPY "a good experience [for youth], especially for capacity building." Some schools involved students and teachers (e.g., studying the cryosphere). Some key informants stated that getting youth involved and emphasizing the importance of staying in school was a very positive impact of IPY.
It was widely agreed that the involvement of students in IPY projects will help to build the next generation of northern and Canadian polar scientists, technicians and trained individuals (see long-term outcomes; enhanced northern research capacity). IPY generated increased interest in the North and northern science among students from both the South and North. The review of IPY project files found that many of the northern students that worked on IPY activities are continuing in the field they were part of either by working in their community or by continuing their studies or research with academics, all of which is helping to build a foundation for science and technology in the North.
Pool of researchers - Most IPY projects were led by well-established northern researchers, and the pool of senior researchers (Principal Investigators) did not expand. The IPY project file review found that, of 45 projects, eight projects were led by Northerners or Aboriginal organization (based on Project Lead affiliation). As one key informant said: "there were not a lot of rookie researchers... most Principal Investigators had done work in the North." Key informants emphasized that the selection of IPY projects and scientists was only a two-year event and that, although the pool of senior scientists did not expand, the pool of next generation and science students expanded greatly.
Building a foundation for Science and Technology (S&T) expertise in the North - non-Northerners - The project file review found that, in the 29 project final reports submitted as per November 2011, a total of 536 non-northern students (mostly in post-graduate studies) were involved with IPY activities. These students learned research techniques, and quantitative and qualitative analysis methods, and gained experience and insights in Aboriginal life and culture. One report stated: "These students form the basis of a new generation of polar researchers, with increased capacity in the areas of community-based field work and integrating northern and southern knowledge systems." Another researcher noted, however: "The downside is that we are still searching for the mechanisms for maintaining a sustained effort in polar research. We are losing these people that we trained – they are moving into other fields and to other countries because there has been no connection between the enhanced effort on IPY and any ongoing program."
While agreeing with the positive conclusions about the involvement of students and the next generation, some northern-based key informants also provided some cautions. For Northerners, IPY represented a positive ambition but achieved only moderate capacity gains. Some thought there was not enough involvement of Northerners and that project specific training resulted in little capacity development. Others thought more could have been done in education and that there were missed educational opportunities. Some said that the best results in capacity building were achieved by northern-led research projects and projects led by researchers associated with universities with experience in the North (e.g., University of Montreal, McGill, Carleton, University of Calgary). Key informants from Nunavut cautioned that the Government of Nunavut has limited capacity as it has only two scientists.
Some key informants said that the post-IPY environment raises concerns about the sustainability of improvements in northern capacity achieved through IPY. Concerns were expressed that the momentum and capacity built through IPY will dissipate and that the end of IPY funding represents the loss of opportunity for this new generation of scientists and technological experts.
Improved measurement and monitoring systems
It refers to IPY projects that can scientifically measure and put in place some monitoring systems to collect data in order to get better understanding of a situation and its impact, such as freshwater systems; measuring freshwater biodiversity, developing predictive models and establishing community-based monitoring programs. As per the IPY Highlights and Achievements document and Annual Progress Reports, it is known that the program contributed to achieve this outcome through science projects and training and capacity building projects.
New data, information and knowledge related to impacts and adaptation to a changing climate and health and to well-being in the North
The file review found that a total of 513 publications were produced and 1,579 presentations were made related to the 29 projects looked at out of 45 IPY projects. Science projects together produced a large amount of data that will benefit different stakeholders in ways, including:
- improved day-to-day forecasting with a much improved representation of Arctic weather and environmental trends;
- understanding of the atmospheric processes of climate and climate change;
- communities that can use the results to help them adapt to any projected changes in their landscape;
- scientific information that policy makers and decision makers can use as a basis for chemical management strategies, domestic and international policy, regulatory options related to the protection of air quality and the environment; and
- information to provide a basis for new municipal wastewater effluent standards for communities across the North.
Many researchers mentioned the potential impact of their results on policy (e.g., changes in the DFO Management Framework on Beluga). At the time of the evaluation, some researchers are still at the point where data analysis and interpretation need to be completed and validated through peer review of publications or presentations. Nevertheless, there already are indications that IPY research results are informing policy:
- Contaminants - Information collected on contaminants (e.g., mercury) is being used by government: the global mercury models will be the foundation for scientific information that will be used for the United Nations Environment Program – Global Mercury Negotiations; the information gathered through this research will be included in the forthcoming Canadian Mercury Science Assessment, which will provide the Canadian and international governments the state of science in Canada in regards to mercury; results on contaminants will be integrated in the upcoming third Canadian Arctic Contaminants Assessment Report (CACAR III) due for release in 2012; and the research findings of this program will be included in future reports to the Northern Contaminants Program (AANDC) and the Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme for use by the Arctic Council on policy issues related to the Arctic.
- Arctic Wildlife - Data obtained from the different sub-projects are being used by agencies such as Environment Canada (Canadian Wildlife Service), Parks Canada, Yukon Territorial Parks, Churchill Northern Studies Centre, Churchill Health Authority and by local communities. IPY-generated data are being used to prepare ecosystem or species conservation plans (e.g., studies at Alert have been highly influential in interpreting and understanding reasons for the steep decline in some red knot (northern shorebird) populations in the Western Hemisphere and has contributed to the report prepared for the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada, which led to the designation of different populations as Endangered, Threatened, and of Special Concern).
- Traditional Food - The results of IPY research are directly affecting nutritional policy at the public health level in Nunavik. Public Health management is integrating knowledge from the research into efforts and programs to reduce trans-fats consumption and to promote traditional foods consumption.
- Community Adaptation - information on community landscape hazards in Nunavut were requested by the community research committee in Clyde River, and the Government of Nunavut and the Canadian Institute of Planners are helping communities to incorporate climate change and other impacts into revisions of their community plans. IPY mapping and the data integration protocol are being investigated for use in other Nunavut communities (e.g., Arviat, Cambridge Bay, Kugluktuk).
- Wetlands - IPY data is contributing to the development of new standards for effluent in municipal wastewater for communities across the Canadian North. Communities have been using this data to meet requirements for their current water licence permits, as well as assisting Community Government Services in the Kivalliq Region in developing their records and capacity building projects.
Key informants reported that, from a scientific perspective, IPY created high value, innovative research results, products, data and information. IPY represented a "huge step forward" in available high quality data and publications on the North. IPY research has led to increased levels of knowledge and awareness among the public concerning climate change and the health and well-being of northern residents.
Proper archiving and management of IPY data
The IPY Program had ambitious goals for data sharing, the achievement of which would have required a major change in the culture of academic research. The IPY Governance Review determined that the IPY Program implemented sufficient internal project monitoring systems (e.g., annual progress report and end of project report template). In addition, research results are published in scientific journals and are available through online repositories.
A Framework for Data Management produced in January 2008 stated the following guiding principles for the IPY Data Management components:
- Implement and assist researchers in implementing the Canadian IPY Data Policy;
- Promote and build upon existing best practices, resources, programs and processes; and
- Build a legacy of improved data management through increased awareness and understanding of good data management standards and procedures.
There were four main expected results of the data management component:
- a metadata database for Canadian IPY data;
- capacity development and training of Northerners and researchers in data management techniques;
- new IPY data sets archived as per IPY requirements made available to the public in a timely manner; and
- guidelines, standards and best practices for data management.
The Framework for Data Management also identified some significant challenges to achieving these data management objectives. These challenges, both anticipated in the framework and confirmed by key informants as relevant during implementation, included:
- Awareness among researchers and policy makers of the importance of data management and responsible stewardship of data - this "will require a shift from the conventional thinking of data ownership and control to a culture of data sharing".
- The short duration of the program funding versus the long-term stewardship requirements of data, which requires the development and implementation of innovative approaches and partnerships.
- Legal issues surrounding ownership, access and control of data - particularly for multi-institutional projects. The intellectual property policies established by institutions may conflict with those of other institutions or with Government of Canada policies.
- The capacity within the research community and northern communities to manage their data - capacity for data management needed to be developed among researchers, existing data centers and nascent data centers.
- Stewardship of TK - proper stewardship of TK/Inuit Knowledge, including addressing issues of intellectual property, appropriate use of accreditation and citations as well as ensuring long-term preservation of the TK, needed to be developed for the IPY Program.
- The need for standards in data formats and procedures, issues of privacy and confidential data - at the onset of IPY, there were no universally accepted standards for data formats. The program aimed to streamline the processes for archiving IPY data and making access to the data more widely available.
- Issues of privacy and confidentiality - these issues needed to be addressed for research projects dealing with northern communities and human subjects, which presented a challenge in the context of the IPY principles of openness and accessibility of data and information.
- The wide varieties of data types - IPY generated many different types of data from physical samples to oral tradition, each with its own challenges for data management.
Within the context of these challenges, it can be concluded that Canada was a leader in data management through IPY. The percentage of the IPY budget allocated to data management was approximately five percent - $7.0 million - which was much higher than the proportion allocated by other countries. Of the total funding for data management, $2.4 million was allocated to data assembly and archiving, $2.4 million for ensuring access to IPY data, and $1.2 million to supporting data management. Data management was part of the program's annual progress reporting. Data-targeted funding allowed for the creation of new data archiving systems, and the resulting infrastructure has become an operational model including the likely development of a national multi-sector data base.
Although there has been much progress towards achieving the program goals, data management is as of yet incomplete and the success of data management and archiving has been mixed. One problem was that the late start of the data management component meant that IPY activities started without an established data management infrastructure. It will take several years for all datasets to be in place, accessed, and analyzed, and for all connections to be made. On the other hand, few datasets were made available by the end of 2011, with the main problem being that researchers did not submit their information and data as per their agreements. The project file review found that 35 percent of projects had not put their metadata in the Polar Data Catalogue by the end of 2011. Footnote 16 To some extent, delays were anticipated, as it was expected that researchers would have the time to publish their results before submitting the data to the IPY and that most of the IPY funding allocated to data management would be spent near the end of the program.
Key informants suggested that specific terms and conditions for data management should be incorporated into the agreements with researchers.
Timely emergency and search and rescue response, and increased security of Canadian and all IPY participants in Canada's North
Specific IPY projects were designed to address research infrastructure in the North and to increase security and emergency search and rescue for researchers. For example, the Qaujisarvik Research Network project in Nunavik received IPY funding to support the purchase of electronic devices, such as GPS receivers, locator beacons and satellite phones, as well as other terrestrial and marine safety equipment, to increase field safety and communications. This project was completed by the Nunavik Research Centre (operated by Makivik Corporation), the Centre d'études nordiques (coordinated by Université Laval), Anniturvik Landholding Corporation (owners of the former abattoir at Umiujaq), and the Kativik Regional Government, through a formalized research relationship. The Qaujisarvik Research Network and the partnership supporting it were presented in the Fall/Winter 2007 edition of Meridian, a publication of the Canadian Polar Commission.
In the NWT, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police purchased safety and search and rescue equipment for communities in the Western Arctic, and provided a program of search and rescue training for community volunteers that according to participants was a great success in terms of increasing search and rescue capability and by leaving a legacy of much better equipment, that is now available for future use in the area.
In all, 12 organizations received support from IPY to train more than 200 northern search and rescue volunteers. Coordination between federal, territorial and community emergency preparedness groups in the North was improved through conferences, workshops and meetings convened in preparation for IPY. Search and rescue capabilities were expanded in the North through the testing of amphibious all-terrain vehicles, the development of remote site command posts, the establishment of emergency fuel caches in the high Arctic, and the enhancement of northern ice and weather forecasting.
Improved governmental regulation and improved timeliness of licenses processing
IPY was the only federal government research program that made investments to increase capacity for the review of science project applications and licensing. The Canadian Arctic Research Licensing Initiative (CARLI) was developed to lead to more efficient approval of scientific and research activities in the North (see below the section on more efficient approval of scientific and research activities in the North, under intermediate outcomes). The IPY funding for CARLI provided an opportunity for northern research licensing regulators to examine and improve the licensing processes for which there are responsible.
A national advisory committee with broad representation was established to provide advice and information on the issues and challenges in northern research licensing. The objectives of CARLI were to:
- build relationships, share best practices and improve communications and expectations about science licensing amongst northern regulators, Aboriginal organizations and researchers/industry;
- explore the possibilities for coordination in the various northern research-related application, approval and reporting processes within the current regulatory legislation; and based on this,
- develop projects and information to improve the scientific licensing application and approval process that will benefit northern regulatory bodies, Aboriginal organizations, northern communities, and future northern science programs and activities.
The IPY file review identified 20 projects that requested a total of 305 licenses for research in northern territories and regions (including Nunavik and Nunatsiavut). Usually, acquiring research licenses was straightforward. As one researcher explained:" The experience of obtaining research licences was generally streamlined after years one and two in the project, once the steps for obtaining the licence were learned by initial researchers, their experiences were passed on to subsequent researchers in each region." All researchers mentioned that community consultations required to acquire their licence went well.
Some researchers (25 percent of the sample) identified problems related to delays in processing applications and in licence renewals (which could take several months). Some researchers explained that this situation was due to the high number of applications for licenses being processed by the northern authorities, combined with limited resources to process them and staffing changes at the licensing authorities. One researcher mentioned that "the long processing time" caused delays in their field work and created difficulties in the already complicated logistics of operating in the North. Some also mentioned that licensing needs to be streamlined, especially for small projects and ongoing projects for which the impacts already are known. A few researchers identified issues with longer forms and redundant questions. All forms asked for the same information, but in slightly different ways so it took a fair amount of time to make sure each application answered the questions specifically." Another researcher suggested streamlining the process so that only one application is required for each project, with activities segregated into subprojects so that reporting for different researchers can be done separately. However, as per the program, this was looked into during CARLI and the regulators in the territories unanimously agreed that this would not be possible.
All researchers mentioned that, despite challenges, they received excellent assistance when completing the research licenses and their renewals, and that licensing authorities guided them through the process and answered their questions promptly.
Raised awareness of northern issues and Government of Canada activities in the North, and new generation of northern and polar Canadian scientists, technicians and other trained individuals, both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal, building a foundation for S&T expertise in the North
All key informants either fully or partially agreed that IPY has resulted in increased levels of knowledge and awareness among the public concerning climate change and the health and well-being of Arctic residents. Federal government representatives said that data generated through IPY research will be useful in a wide range of fields, including climate change and public health, for which IPY-generated data is leading to a new public health nutrition campaign in Nunavut. Researchers identified projects that brought climate change issues to a large public audience, for example, the Students on Ice project that was widely publicized with presentations and films shown in many communities.
Representatives of northern organizations agreed that some partners and organizations now have a better understanding of scientific research because of IPY. They also stated, however, that sometimes there was a lack of feedback to communities about the results of research. In their view, the most effective projects were ones involving community partnerships. Factors contributing to the success of projects included: 1) planning and building rapport with community representatives; 2) spending time in the community; and 3) having money to pay local people (which respondents understood is often not possible within project budgets). One noted that IPY funded the research phase, but not the post-project analysis or knowledge transfer phase, which will limit public awareness and knowledge of the issues. As per the program, it was possible to receive funds for travel to communities, honoraria and communicating results if researchers requested them as part of their project proposal.
Government, business and other organizations make operational and management changes that respond to opportunities and threats in the North
There were no evaluation findings regarding this outcome.
High value, innovative research results, products, data and information with increased depth, breadth and accuracy and improved consistency, comparability and reliability
As stated previously, IPY has created high value, innovative research results, products, data and information. IPY-funded research has led to a major increase in the availability of high quality data and publications on the North. IPY has also increased the levels of knowledge and awareness among the public concerning climate change and the health and well-being of Arctic residents.
Non-confidential data easily and widely accessible to researchers, the public and northern decision makers
For the public and northern decision makers, this issue is about communications and the accessibility of research results. Many key informants believe that the IPY program made positive progress in providing results to local stakeholders:
- IPY encouraged researchers to provide feedback to Northerners on their research results.
- Project findings were readily available through multiple sources: e.g., program website, publications database, meetings and presentations.
- The accessibility of the results to scientists was especially valuable.
Methods and mechanisms for communicating research results and for making data more accessible included the publications database, the IPY website, TV vignettes, film festival, newsletters, various meetings including the IPY 2012 Conference, presentations, and radio interviews.
Many communications activities were project specific. There also were more general communications about the program undertaken by the IPY Federal Program Office, Northern Coordination Office, and others.
Although much progress was made, there were significant challenges in translating research findings into publicly-accessible formats. The electronic-digital focus of most communications about IPY, including the research results, was not suitable for some northern communities. A representative of a northern organization stated that they do not yet have effective communications and reporting relationships with scientists. They said that their organization has to actively pursue researchers to get copies of their results. The IPY Program published regionally focused newsletters for the Yukon, Northwest Territories, Nunavut and Nunavik highlighting IPY project results at end of March 2012.
Canada recognised as a credible host to the international community
All key informants agreed that IPY has strengthened Canada's profile internationally as a leader in climate change research and research on the health and well-being of Northerners. Many noted that Canada invested far more on research, including on human studies and health research, than other countries. Researchers agreed that IPY was an excellent platform for their project to become known internationally, that they have formed strong partnerships with international organizations, and that their project has enhanced Canada's reputation internationally.
AANDC representatives emphasized that international partnerships are a success of IPY. Representatives of northern organizations agreed that connecting Arctic researchers internationally was a major success of IPY and that IPY opened doors and increased interest from international partners. For example, the United Kingdom now has a Memorandum of Agreement with Canada for Arctic research.
The literature review conducted for this evaluation examined how the Government of Canada Program for the IPY contributed to the broader international initiative. Two relevant examples include the following:
- Fisheries and Oceans scientists and staff published a paperFootnote 17 describing how the "Canada's Three Oceans" (C3O) project constitutes a Canadian contribution to the International Polar Year. The C3O project explored marine Canada from the surface to the seabed, from the smallest (virus) to the largest (whales) organisms, and from the Pacific to the Arctic to the Atlantic. C3O also showed the inter-connectedness of Arctic and sub-arctic domains and how such domain boundaries may be affected by a changing climate.
- Environment Canada published a document detailing EC's contribution to the IPYFootnote 18. According to the document, for IPY 2007-2008, EC's research contributions reflects its science mandate, from weather, water, snow and ice, to the transport and fate of contaminants in the northern environment, to Arctic wildlife and ecosystems. The document indicates that Canada's participation in the fourth IPY involved unprecedented cooperation nationally and internationally, bringing together more than 1,750Footnote 19 researchers from government agencies, universities and northern communities and over 240 international collaborators from 23 countries.
- A survey conducted for the evaluation at the recent IPY 2012 Conference in Montreal found that the majority of conference attendees consider Canada to be a leader in IPY, with many citing the Government of Canada IPY Program's research and support as the main contribution to the overall IPY.
The Canadian IPY Program has contributed to other international IPY research programs and Canadian researchers have collaborated with international IPY research teams. For example, the Canadian IPY funded project, Pan-Arctic Tagging of Beluga Whales, collaborated with other international beluga tagging programs. Similarly, the DFO-led IPY project, Climate Variability and Change Effects on CHARS in the Arctic, proposed that the project would help to establish an international network of Char researchers. Furthermore, the NRCan-led IPY project, Environmental Change in the High Arctic from Snow and Ice Cores, also collaborated with researchers in Greenland to collect ice core samples from the last interglacial period, to provide further data on climate and contaminant change.Footnote 20
More efficient approval of scientific and research activities in the North
It was noted in a previous section (see improved government regulation and improved timeliness of licenses processing) that the CARLI was developed to lead to more efficient approval of scientific and research activities in the North. Following an assessment in 2009 of northern research licensing application approval and reporting processes, a series of seven CARLI workshops were conducted in 2010 in the NWT, Nunavut and Ottawa. During these workshops northern regulators, Aboriginal/community organizations and researchers identified gaps, prioritized recommendations and discussed possible initiatives that could be implemented by 2012, and helped to define the objectives and eligibility criteria for CARLI-funded projects. Territorial research licensing regulators were given the opportunity to submit proposals for the development of territorial/regional research licensing retrospectives, web-based tools, guidelines and training material, and for workshops and meetings to discuss and deliver these initiatives.
Key informants reported that CARLI built some relationships among regulators, but that there was limited success at improving coordination and approval processes. Northern-based key informants said that while the intentions underlying CARLI were good, the process was flawed and the expectations were too optimistic, that the legal implications of changing processes controlled by regulations and the resources required were not adequately considered.
Despite the limited success of CARLI, key informants reported that the capacity of some research licensing authorities (e.g., Nunavut Research Institute, Aurora Research Institute) was increased. Some key informants described licensing of IPY research activities as "smoother" than in the past. Some key informants expressed significant concerns about capacity of Aboriginal organizations to participate in research licensing reviews, both in terms of people and expertise.