As a government agency, the Swedish Polar Research Secretariat is mandated to co-ordinate and promote Swedish polar research. The agency’s primary mission is to organise and support research expeditions to the polar regions and manage research infrastructure. The Secretariat also helps to create favourable conditions for polar research that does not involve fieldwork.
The secretariat’s activities
The Director of the authority is Katarina Gårdfeldt. The Swedish Polar Research Secretariat is a single-council-authority, which means that the head of authority (i.e. the Director-General) is completely responsible for all activities. The Government has appointed an Advisory Council that will provide public insight in the organisation and give the Director-General advice.
The Swedish Polar Research Secretariat has about 30 employees engaged in research planning, research infrastructure, communication and administration. The Secretariat provides expertise and raises awareness of polar regions and polar research in order to advance high quality polar research and the dissemination and use of research findings in society. The Secretariat is also involved in international negotiations and partnerships, among else led by the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs.
Environmental protection and permits
The Secretariat also works actively to improve environmental protection in the polar regions and dispenses permits according to the Swedish Antarctic Act.
Polar research plays a key role in the development of knowledge related to issues including climate change and the environment. Research is carried out and pertains mainly to the Arctic and Antarctic regions, although scientists are also keenly interested in the subpolar regions and Swedish mountain areas.
The Swedish Polar Research Secretariat follows and supports scientists from concept to publication, through research expeditions and other data collection, as well as making data available and communicating research findings.
For research planning, the Secretariat co-operates with the Swedish Research Council.