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United States

Open Collaboration Onf the Arctic (US0102)

Overview

At-a-Glance

Action Plan: United States Action Plan 2015-2017

Action Plan Cycle: 2015

Status: Inactive

Institutions

Lead Institution: NA

Support Institution(s): NA

Policy Areas

Environment and Climate, Public Participation, Science & Technology

IRM Review

IRM Report: United States End-of-Term IRM Report 2015-2017, United States Mid-Term Report 2015-2017

Starred: No

Early Results: Marginal

Design i

Verifiable: Yes

Relevant to OGP Values: Access to Information , Civic Participation

Potential Impact:

Implementation i

Completion:

Description

Understanding the rapid changes that are affecting the Arctic—as well as the impacts of these changes on the rest of the world—requires a cooperative, global approach based on open intergovernmental partnerships and research collaboration involving participants from Arctic and non-Arctic nations. On September 28, 2016, the U.S. Government will host the first ever White House Arctic Science Ministerial to bring together ministers of science, chief science advisors, and other high-level officials from countries around the world, as well as representatives from indigenous groups, to expand joint, inclusive collaborations focused on Arctic science, research, observations, monitoring, and data-sharing. The goals of the event are to advance promising science initiatives and create a context for increased international and open scientific collaboration on the Arctic over the longer term

IRM Midterm Status Summary

This commitment was not assessed in the midterm IRM report.

IRM End of Term Status Summary

Commitment 50. Open Collaboration on the Arctic

Commitment Text:

Increase Open Scientific Collaboration on the Arctic

Understanding the rapid changes that are affecting the Arctic—as well as the impacts of these changes on the rest of the world—requires a cooperative, global approach based on open intergovernmental partnerships and research collaboration involving participants from Arctic and non-Arctic nations. On September 28, 2016, the U.S. Government will host the first ever White House Arctic Science Ministerial to bring together ministers of science, chief science advisors, and other high-level officials from countries around the world, as well as representatives from indigenous groups, to expand joint, inclusive collaborations focused on Arctic science, research, observations, monitoring, and data-sharing. The goals of the event are to advance promising science initiatives and create a context for increased international and open scientific collaboration on the Arctic over the longer term.

Responsible Institution: Not Specified

Supporting Institution: Not Specified

Start Date: Not Specified ....... End Date: Not Specified

Editorial Note: Completion at the midterm is not assessed for this commitment because it was submitted to OGP in September 2016 following the close of the midterm reporting period; progress for this commitment is therefore assessed from September 2016 onwards in the sections below.

Commitment Aim

This commitment aimed for the White House to host an inaugural White House Arctic Science Ministerial on 28 September 2016. The ministerial was expected to provide an opportunity for a variety of government officials from other countries—including but not limited to ministers of science and chief science advisors—and representatives from indigenous groups to expand “joint, inclusive collaborations focused on Arctic science.” In doing so, the White House aimed to further Arctic-related science initiatives and provide a forum for long-term global scientific cooperation on the Arctic.

As described in the press release announcing the ministerial, [743] the Arctic is undergoing rapid environmental change, in turn compounding challenges for Arctic peoples; addressing these changes requires concerted, collaborative scientific efforts to understand environmental changes and further climate change resilience among Arctic people. The magnitude and pace of these changes is severe, with potential consequences for other regions. As noted in a recent Cable News Network (CNN) article, “the Arctic is heating up twice as fast as the rest of the world,” with the Arctic’s average air temperature in 2016 reaching a new high since recordkeeping began in 1900. [744] Speaking to the potential for spillover effects into other regions, Director of NOAA's Arctic Research Program Jeremy Mathis further noted that “rarely have we seen the Arctic show a clearer, stronger or more pronounced signal of persistent warming and its cascading effects on the environment than this year [2016]," highlighting the magnitude of the potential threat posed by these changes, such as rising sea levels. [745] The Arctic Ministerial proposed in this commitment represents a new forum through which to further discussions surrounding scientific initiatives linked to these issues.

The ministerial proposed in the commitment is well-defined with a clear delineation of the issues it will address and its intended participants. However, the scope of engagement with indigenous groups is not well-specified, nor is the structure of format of the ministerial itself. As such, specificity for this commitment is medium.

The commitment is relevant for the OGP values of access to information and civic participation, as the proposed ministerial will further access to information on government-related scientific activities in the Arctic, while providing opportunities for members of civil society to engage with government on issues related to these activities. However, if fully implemented, the commitment is anticipated to have a minor potential impact due to the one-off nature of the ministerial and the difficulty in predicting the nature of initiatives that could result from the gathering.

Status

End of term: Complete

On 28 September 2016, the White House hosted the White House Arctic Science Ministerial described in the commitment text. The White House first announced the ministerial several months earlier in a White House blog post on 13 May 2016. [746] As described in a summary report for the ministerial prepared by the United States Arctic Research Commission, [747] the ministerial was attended by ministers of science (or their representatives) from 24 countries [748] and the European Union, with the US delegation led by John P. Holdren, President Obama’s Science Advisor and Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. The ministerial itself revolved around four themes: (1) Arctic science challenges and their regional and global implications; strengthening and integrating arctic observations and data sharing; applying expanded scientific understanding of the Arctic to build regional resilience and shape global responses; and Arctic science as a vehicle for STEM education and citizen empowerment. [749] Structurally, the ministerial entailed four main sessions lasting 1.25 hours, each of which focused on one of the four themes described above, as well as an opening session, post-session plenary discussion, and closing remarks. [750]

One day prior to the ministerial, the White House hosted more than 30 Alaska-Native leaders, as well as representatives of five international indigenous organizations to “share their concerns and priorities” with over 40 US government officials from the White House and federal agencies in attendance. [751]

As described in the report, the ministerial “capstone” output was the signing of a joint statement that “recognizes that international collaboration and the inclusion of Arctic Indigenous peoples in science and decision-making are essential to advancing research in the Arctic.” [752] The report offers a forward-looking interpretation of the statement’s goals, noting that “The Joint Statement and the ASM help chart a new collective approach in Arctic science that will inform national policies concerning climate-change mitigation and resilience, Arctic development, stewardship, and the needs of the region’s Indigenous peoples.” [753] The statement itself touches on each of the four themes that informed the ministerial’s structure, and serves as a sort of “action plan” for specific activities to be carried out under each of these themes.

During the ministerial, the United States also released the first digital elevation model for the Arctic. These digital elevation models are the focus of Milestone 42.3, and are therefore evaluated more fully under Commitment 42. Participating governments also profiled several additional initiatives during the ministerial, such as the European Union’s development of the Integrated Arctic Observing System (INTAROS) and the US Office of Naval Research’s Arctic Mobile Observing System (AMOS), among other initiatives. [754]

According to the summary report, op-eds for the ministerial appeared in both the Washington Post and the Alaska Dispatch, with media coverage appearing in the Washington Post, on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, and others, with coverage via 27 total print and digital outlets. [755] With respect to attendance, participants included government officials from numerous countries, as well as individuals from major global academic institutions (e.g. National University of Singapore and University of Cambridge) and civil society organizations (e.g. the Aleut International Association, the Inuit Circumpolar Council, the Saami Council, and the United States Arctic Research Commission). However, as indicated by the ministerial’s participant list, government officials comprised the majority of attendants. [756]

Did It Open Government?

Access to Information: Marginal

Civic Participation: Marginal

This commitment marginally opened government with respect to access to information and civic participation.

With respect to access the information, the ministerial’s summary report offers a cohesive inventory of scientific initiatives in the Arctic, both new and existing. However, as the ministerial itself was a one-day event and did not clearly articulate follow-up reporting activities (such as reporting on the progress of the initiatives profiled at the ministerial), the commitment cannot be said to have opened government more substantially.

With respect to civic participation, the ministerial provided an opportunity for members of civil society to engage with government officials on initiatives in the Arctic. While media reports noted that the meeting was “much broader and more inclusive than the high-level dialogues typically convened by the Arctic Council” [757] and was “first-of-its-kind,” [758] the executive director of the Aleut International Association expressed disappointment that Arctic indigenous peoples were not involved in the planning of the event. [759] Moreover, while the ministerial’s outreach to and engagement with representatives of indigenous groups is noteworthy, the ministerial itself was a one-off event that did not provide a clear or institutionalized pathway for follow-on engagement. In light of this, the commitment cannot be said to have opened government more substantially in this area.

Carried Forward?

At the time of writing, the US government had not published its fourth national action plan, so it is unclear if this theme will be carried forward. While the commitment is complete, the government should nevertheless continue to support the various scientific initiatives profiled at the Ministerial.

[743] Holdren, John P. “White House Arctic Science Ministerial: September 28, 2016.” The White House Blog. 13 May 2016. https://obamawhitehouse.archives.gov/blog/2016/05/13/white-house-arctic-science-ministerial-september-28-2016. Consulted 3 October 2017. Much of the commitment text was taken verbatim from this press release.

[744] Cuevas, Mayra and Max Blau. “Arctic Heating Up Twice as Fast as Rest of Globe.” CNN Press Release14 December 2016.http://www.cnn.com/2016/12/14/world/arctic-report-card/index.html. Consulted 3 October 2017.

[745] Quoted in Ibid. For additional discussion of potential spillover effects and the changing Arctic environment, see Kahn, Brian. “Climate Change Altering the Arctic Faster Than Expected.” Climate Central. 25 April 2017. http://www.climatecentral.org/news/rapid-climate-change-arctic-21389. Consulted 3 October 2017.

[746] Holdren, John P. “White House Arctic Science Ministerial: September 28, 2016.” The White House Blog. 13 May 2016. https://obamawhitehouse.archives.gov/blog/2016/05/13/white-house-arctic-science-ministerial-september-28-2016. Consulted 3 October 2017. Much of the commitment text was taken verbatim from this press release.

[747] United States Arctic Research Commission. “Supporting Arctic Science: A Summary of the White House Arctic Science Ministerial Meeting.” November 2016. https://www.arctic.gov/publications/other/supporting_arctic_science.html. Consulted 3 October 2017. Per its website, the United States Arctic Research Commission is “an independent agency that advises the President and Congress on domestic and international Arctic research through recommendations and reports.” The report itself is available directly at https://storage.googleapis.com/arcticgov-static/publications/other/Supporting_Arctic_Science_1.pdf. Consulted 3 October 2017.

[748] These governments included Canada, the People’s Republic of China, the Kingdom of Denmark, the Faroe Islands, Finland, France, Germany, Greenland, Iceland, India, Italy, Japan, the Republic of Korea, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, the Russian Federation, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America. See Ibid. p.5.

[749] Ibid. p1.

[750] Ibid. p.3.

[751] Ibid. p.1.

[752] Ibid. p.4. For the text of the Joint Statement itself, see pp.10-19 of the report. Consulted 3 October 2017.

[753] Ibid. p.4.

[754] Ibid. p.4.

[755] Ibid. pp. 20-21.

[756] Ibid. pp.22-25.

[757] Hoag, Hannah. “Top Arctic Science Officials to Meet at White House.” Arctic Deeply. 27 September 2016.https://www.newsdeeply.com/arctic/articles/2016/09/27/top-arctic-science-officials-to-meet-at-white-house

[758] Martinson, Erica. “Alaska Natives, international officials gather for White House meeting on Arctic research.” Anchorage Daily News. 28 September 2016. https://www.adn.com/arctic/2016/09/28/alaska-natives-international-officials-gather-for-white-house-arctic-meeting/

[759] Hoag, Hannah.“Top Arctic Science Officials to Meet at White House.” Arctic Deeply. 27 September 2016.https://www.newsdeeply.com/arctic/articles/2016/09/27/top-arctic-science-officials-to-meet-at-white-house


Commitments

  1. Federal Data Strategy

    US0105, 2019, E-Government

  2. Grants Accountability

    US0106, 2019, E-Government

  3. Public Access to Federally Funded Research

    US0107, 2019, Access to Information

  4. Workforce Data Standards

    US0108, 2019, E-Government

  5. Chief Data Officers

    US0109, 2019, Access to Information

  6. Open Data for Public Health

    US0110, 2019, Access to Information

  7. Enterprise Objective

    US0111, 2019, Capacity Building

  8. Developing Future Action Plans

    US0112, 2019, Public Participation

  9. Reconstitution of the USA.gov

    US0053, 2015, E-Government

  10. Accessibility of Government Information Online

    US0054, 2015, Marginalized Communities

  11. Access to Educational Resources

    US0055, 2015, Access to Information

  12. Public Listing of Every Address in the US

    US0056, 2015, Access to Information

  13. Informed Decisions About Higher Education.

    US0057, 2015, Access to Information

  14. New Authentication Tools to Protect Individual Privacy and Ensure That Personal Records Go Only to the Intended Recipients.

    US0058, 2015, Public Service Delivery

  15. Transparency of Open311

    US0059, 2015, E-Government

  16. Support Medicine Research Throught Opening up Relevant Data of the Field

    US0060, 2015, Access to Information

  17. Access to Workforce Data

    US0061, 2015, Access to Information

  18. Using Evidence and Concrete Data to Improve Public Service Delivery

    US0062, 2015, Capacity Building

  19. Expand Use of the Federal Infrastructure Permitting Dashboard

    US0063, 2015,

  20. Consolidation of Import and Export Systems

    US0064, 2015, E-Government

  21. Improving Government Records

    US0065, 2015, Access to Information

  22. Starred commitment Ammendments to FOIA

    US0066, 2015, Access to Information

  23. Streamline the Declassification Process

    US0067, 2015, Capacity Building

  24. Implement the Controlled Unclassified Information Program

    US0068, 2015, Access to Information

  25. Transparency of Privacy Programs and Practices

    US0069, 2015, Capacity Building

  26. Transparency of Federal Use of Investigative Technologies

    US0070, 2015, E-Government

  27. Increase Transparency of the Intelligence Community

    US0071, 2015, Access to Information

  28. Starred commitment Open Science Through Open Data

    US0072, 2015, Access to Information

  29. Open Data Portal

    US0073, 2015, E-Government

  30. Increase Transparency of Trade Policy and Negotiations

    US0074, 2015, E-Government

  31. Develop a Machine Readable Government Organizational Chart

    US0075, 2015, Access to Information

  32. Improving Public Participation

    US0076, 2015, Public Participation

  33. Expand Public Participation in the Development of Regulations

    US0077, 2015, Open Regulations

  34. Civic Engagement in Decision-Making Processes

    US0078, 2015, Public Participation

  35. Open Mapping

    US0079, 2015, Access to Information

  36. Tracking OGP Implementation

    US0080, 2015,

  37. Strengthening Whistleblower Protection

    US0081, 2015, Anti-Corruption

  38. Transparency of Legal Entities

    US0082, 2015, Anti-Corruption

  39. Extractive Industries Transparency

    US0083, 2015, Anti-Corruption

  40. Spending Transparency

    US0084, 2015, Access to Information

  41. Enhance the Use of U.S. Foreign Assistance Information

    US0085, 2015, Aid

  42. Participatory Budgets and Responsive Spending

    US0086, 2015, Fiscal Openness

  43. Expand Access to Justice to Promote Federal Programs

    US0087, 2015, Dispute Resolution & Legal Assistance

  44. Starred commitment Build Safer Communities with Police Open Data

    US0088, 2015, Access to Information

  45. Open Federal Data to Benefit Local Communities

    US0089, 2015, Access to Information

  46. Support the Municipal Data Network

    US0090, 2015, Access to Information

  47. Foster Data Ecosystems

    US0091, 2015, Capacity Building

  48. Extend Digital, Data-Driven Government to Federal Government’S Support for Communities

    US0092, 2015, Capacity Building

  49. Promote Implementation of SDGs

    US0093, 2015, Access to Information

  50. Starred commitment Promote Open Climate Data

    US0094, 2015, Access to Information

  51. Air Quality Data Available

    US0095, 2015, Access to Information

  52. Promote Food Security and Data Sharing for Agriculture and Nutrition

    US0096, 2015, Access to Information

  53. Promote Data Sharing About Global Preparedness for Epidemic Threats

    US0097, 2015, Capacity Building

  54. Promote Global Interconnectivity

    US0098, 2015, Aid

  55. Open Contracting

    US0099, 2015, Access to Information

  56. Harness the Data Revolution for Sustainable Development

    US0100, 2015, Access to Information

  57. Open Government to Support Global Sustainable Development

    US0101, 2015, Anti-Corruption

  58. Open Collaboration Onf the Arctic

    US0102, 2015, Environment and Climate

  59. Support Capacity Building for Extractives Transparency

    US0103, 2015, Anti-Corruption

  60. Support Responsible Investment and Business Practices for Companies

    US0104, 2015, Private Sector

  61. Improve Public Participation in Government

    US0027, 2013, Capacity Building

  62. Modernize Management of Government Records

    US0028, 2013, Records Management

  63. Modernize the Freedom of Information Act

    US0029, 2013, Access to Information

  64. Transform the Security Classification System

    US0030, 2013, Peace & Security

  65. Implement the Controlled Unclassified Information Program

    US0031, 2013, Peace & Security

  66. Increase Transparency of Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Activities

    US0032, 2013, Data Stewardship and Privacy

  67. Make Privacy Compliance Information More Accessible

    US0033, 2013, E-Government

  68. Support and Improve Agency Implementation of Open Government Plans

    US0034, 2013,

  69. Strengthen and Expand Whistleblower Protections for Government Personnel

    US0035, 2013, Anti-Corruption

  70. Increase Transparency of Legal Entities Formed in the United States

    US0036, 2013, Legislation & Regulation

  71. Starred commitment Implement the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative

    US0037, 2013, Access to Information

  72. Make Fossil Fuel Subsidies More Transparent

    US0038, 2013, Anti-Corruption

  73. Starred commitment Increase Transparency in Spending

    US0039, 2013, Access to Information

  74. Increase Transparency of Foreign Assistance

    US0040, 2013, Aid

  75. Continue to Improve Performance.Gov

    US0041, 2013, E-Government

  76. Consolidate Import and Export Systems to Curb Corruption

    US0042, 2013, Private Sector

  77. Promote Public Participation in Community Spending Decisions

    US0043, 2013, Fiscal Openness

  78. Expand Visa Sanctions to Combat Corruption

    US0044, 2013, Anti-Corruption

  79. Further Expand Public Participation in the Development of Regulations

    US0045, 2013, Capacity Building

  80. Open Data to the Public

    US0046, 2013, Access to Information

  81. Continue to Pilot Expert Networking Platforms

    US0047, 2013, Public Participation

  82. Reform Government Websites

    US0048, 2013, E-Government

  83. Promote Innovation Through Collaboration and Harness the Ingenuity of the American Public

    US0049, 2013, Capacity Building

  84. Promote Open Education to Increase Awareness and Engagement

    US0050, 2013, E-Government

  85. Deliver Government Services More Effectively Through Information Technology

    US0051, 2013, E-Government

  86. Increase Transparency in Spending

    US0052, 2013, Access to Information

  87. Reform Records Management

    US0001, 2011, Records Management

  88. Lead a Multi-Agency Effort

    US0002, 2011, Capacity Building

  89. Monitor Agency Implementation of Plans

    US0003, 2011,

  90. Provide Enforcement and Compliance Data Online

    US0004, 2011, Access to Information

  91. Advocate for Legislation Requiring Meaningful Disclosure

    US0005, 2011, Legislation & Regulation

  92. Apply Lessons from Recovery Act to Increate Spending Transparency

    US0006, 2011, Fiscal Openness

  93. Government-Wide Reporting Requirements for Foreign Aid

    US0007, 2011, Access to Information

  94. Use Performanc.Gov to Improve Government Performance and Accountability

    US0008, 2011, Public Service Delivery

  95. Overhaul the Public Participation Interface on Regulations.Gov

    US0009, 2011, Legislation & Regulation

  96. Launch Expertnet

    US0010, 2011, E-Government

  97. Launch International Space Apps Competition

    US0011, 2011, E-Government

  98. Launch “We the People”

    US0012, 2011, E-petitions

  99. Open Source “We the People”

    US0013, 2011, E-petitions

  100. Develop Best Practices and Metrics for Public Participation

    US0014, 2011, Capacity Building

  101. Professionalize the FOIA Administration

    US0015, 2011, Access to Information

  102. Harness the Power of Technology

    US0016, 2011, Access to Information

  103. Advocate for Legislation on Whistleblower Protection

    US0017, 2011, Anti-Corruption

  104. Explore Executive Authority to Protect Whistleblowers

    US0018, 2011, Anti-Corruption

  105. Implement the EITI

    US0019, 2011, Anti-Corruption

  106. Partnership to Build on Recent Progress

    US0020, 2011, Anti-Corruption

  107. Promote Data.Gov to Spur Innovation Through Open Sourcing

    US0021, 2011, Access to Information

  108. Data.Gov: Foster Communities on Data.Gov

    US0022, 2011, Access to Information

  109. Begin Online National Dialogue with the American Public

    US0023, 2011, Public Participation

  110. Update Government-Wide Policies for Websites

    US0024, 2011,

  111. Promote Smart Disclosure to Ensure Timely Release of Information

    US0025, 2011, Access to Information

  112. Publish Guidelines on Scientific Data

    US0026, 2011, Access to Information

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