Communicating the best available science to inform Antarctic policy and management: a practical introduction for researchers
Communication at the science-policy interface can be bewildering not only for early-career researchers, but also for many within the research community. In the context of Antarctica and the Southern Ocean, decision-makers operating within the Antarctic Treaty System (ATS) aspire to use the best available science as a basis for their decision-making. Therefore, to maximize the impact of Antarctic Treaty Parties' substantial investment in southern polar research, researchers wishing to contribute to policy and management must understand 1) how their work relates to and can potentially inform Antarctic and/or global policy and 2) the available mechanisms by which their research can be communicated to decision-makers. Recognizing these needs, we describe the main legal instruments relevant to Antarctic governance (primarily the ATS) and the associated meetings and stakeholders that contribute to policy development for the region. We highlight effective mechanisms by which Antarctic researchers may communicate their science into the policy realm, including through National Delegations or the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR), and we detail the key contemporary topics of interest to decision-makers, including those issues where further research is needed. Finally, we describe challenges at the Antarctic science-policy interface that may potentially slow or halt policy development.
Authors: Hughes, Kevin A. ORCID record for Kevin A. Hughes, Lowther, Andrew, Gilbert, Neil, Waluda, Claire M. ORCID record for Claire M. Waluda, Lee, Jasmine R.