Ottawa, Ontario (February 11, 2009) - The Honourable Chuck Strahl, Canada’s Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians, and Right Honourable Lord Paul Drayson, the United Kingdom’s Minister of State for Science and Innovation, are pleased to announce the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to pursue collaboration on polar research activities.
Canada and the UK have increased interest in scientific understanding of the polar regions. This MOU enables both countries to increase scientific cooperation in all aspects of polar research, including scientific exchanges and the sharing of polar infrastructure and logistical support.
“Scientific knowledge is a key basis to Canada’s Northern Strategy, "said Minister Strahl. “This MOU further strengthens our commitment to collaborate and cooperate with the international community to better understand the issues facing the earth’s polar regions. We look forward to working with the United Kingdom in an exchange of scientific information and resources that will be of real benefit to all Canadians.”
"I am delighted with this UK and Canadian collaboration,”said Lord Drayson. There is a real opportunity now, for scientists from both our countries to make a difference to our understanding of big global issues like climate change and the role of the polar regions. This new working arrangement is definitely one of the success stories of the International Polar Year."
Climate change is leading to increased research in the North and South poles. International Polar Year (IPY) 2007-2008 has focussed awareness on scientific activity, research and monitoring in the Arctic and Antarctic regions. Over the course of IPY, Canada and the United Kingdom have shared infrastructure and logistical support and exchanged scientific information.
This MOU will establish a framework for future sharing of polar facilities and infrastructure, and will allow for the development of new opportunities for capacity building, training, communications and public outreach. Joint field studies and shared access to scientific expertise in the polar regions will also be pursued.
In signing this agreement, Canada and the United Kingdom have recognized their complementary strengths in the area of polar research, and have made a common commitment to working together to deepen understanding of the polar regions.
Link to video.
For more information, please contact:
Canada Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Chuck Strahl
Indian and Northern Affairs Canada
Lord Drayson's Office
Department for Innovation, Universities & Skills
0203 300 8105