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Polar year comes to a close

Paris and Geneva. The International Polar Year 2007–2008 (IPY), the
largest polar research and education venture ever undertaken, will
formally come to a close at a ceremony in Oslo on Saturday 12 June—the
final day of the IPY Oslo Science Conference. The IPY sponsors, the
International Council for Science (ICSU) and the World Meteorological
Organization (WMO), will thank the many thousands of participants who
made the IPY a spectacular international success, before passing the
baton to those who will secure the legacy of this important
initiative—including the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research
(SCAR), the International Arctic Science Committee (IASC) and the WMO
Executive Council Panel on Polar Observations, Research and Services.

‘IPY was founded on the ideas and energy of thousands of scientists,
educators, technicians and many more’, said Michel Jarraud,
Secretary-General of WMO. ‘We as co-sponsors of IPY wish to express
our most sincere thanks to all the participants and the organizers who
made this venture one of the biggest internationally coordinated
research programmes ever undertaken.’

Deliang Chen, Executive Director of ICSU, added: ‘IPY has paved the
way for a solid understanding of the polar regions at a critical time
for society’s relationship with the Earth. The collaboration among
many nations and among many scientific disciplines has been critical
to the success of IPY, and it is crucial that the energy and
partnerships that converged in IPY are sustained in the long-term.’

The IPY success story has been captured in a summary report
Understanding Earth’s Polar Challenges: International Polar Year
2007–2008 from the ICSU-WMO Joint Committee, which oversaw the
implementation of the IPY. Jeronimo Lopez-Martinez, the co-chair of
the Joint Committee who will deliver the report at the ceremony,
described it as: ‘telling the story from the unique perspective of the
Joint Committee, with the help of more than 100 contributors; from the
earliest planning almost a decade ago to the current challenge of
ensuring a robust IPY legacy. It involves tens of thousands of
participants, and highlights the global influence of the polar

The ceremony will be opened by Gerlis Fugmann, President of the
Association of Polar Early Career Scientists (APECS)—a group that
originated and flourished during IPY and will carry the momentum of
polar research, education and outreach in the years to come. This will
be followed by the presentation of the Joint Committee summary report
and an outline of the future path for the international polar science
community by representatives from SCAR, IASC and APECS. The ceremony
will conclude with the formal closing of the IPY programme by ICSU and