CHARTER General Assembly in Tromsø Wraps Up

Last week (Oct 10-12) the large CHARTER research project assembled in Tromsø for our penultimate gathering as the project heads into its last year. By now, this group is well acquainted with each other and some jokes might be stale, but new ones emerged, for this we are thankful. It was also nice to welcome some new folks into the CHARTER family.

The Assembly was excellently hosted by NINA, and held in the Fram Centre and drew up to 40 attendees with 10 joining remotely over the course of the three days. The European Commission project officer for CHARTER, Alberto Zocchi joined us remotely, reminding the group that now is the time for deliverables and importantly, also a time for suggestions for new and continued fields of research, emphasising the point that research findings need to be policy relevant.

CHARTER General Assembly, Tromsø, 2023

We also had attendees from several Horizon 2020 funded sister projects who also all presented their work to the CHARTER group, including FACE-IT and ECOTIP (with whom CHARTER collaborated on a joint policy document some months ago. Other project in attendance included ArcticHubs and Arctic PASSION.

This year’s General Assembly in Tromsø benefited greatly by aligning closely with our 36-month reporting to Brussels. The updates from all work packages and individuals, mostly in-person, made it clear that we now operate as a large, complex but tightly knit family in terms of knowledge sharing and mutual support across disciplinary boundaries. Considering the massive impediments imposed on us due to first corona and then the war In Ukraine, we have far exceeded expectations. It is a moment for us all to take stock, feel proud, and use the motivation generated to carry us through the next 16 months together.

Bruce Forbes, CHARTER project leader

Given that the meeting was in the Fram Centre, we took the opportunity to hear from two key Arctic institutions that are hosted there, the Arctic Council Secretariat and AMAP, the Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Program, with the respective Directors of both organisations taking time to talk to the group about the policy and science side of what has been an extremely challenging few years.

Over the course of the few days, we got to hear about what CHARTER researchers have been up to over the last year and each Work Package leader gave a summary of where they are at, and what deliverables have already been made during the meeting and of course there were a large number of side meetings. A significant part of the research programme had to be abandoned due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine and this has meant a complete reorientation towards more work in Fennoscandia and also the exploration of collaborations in Greenland.

A number of new publications have come out over the last year, you can keep track of them over on our Publications page. The final year of the project will focus on finalising deliverables and creating policy relevant results with our sister Horizon2020 projects ECOTIP and FACE-IT. The final CHARTER General Assembly will be held in Rovaniemi at around the same time next year.

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