SCAR was formed at The Hague in March 1958, on the authority of the Bureau of ICSU, delegated to that body by the Executive Board at its meeting in Brussels, July 1957.
SCAR’s specific mission is to be the leading independent organisation for facilitating and coordinating Antarctic research, and for identifying issues emerging from greater scientific understanding of the region that should be brought to the attention of policy makers.
To achieve its mission, SCAR aims to achieve the following five Main Objectives:
- to initiate, develop, and co-ordinate high quality international scientific research in the Antarctic region, and on the role of the Antarctic region in the Earth system;
- to provide objective and independent scientific advice to the Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meetings and other organizations on issues of science and conservation affecting the management of Antarctica and the Southern Ocean.
- to facilitate free and unrestricted access to Antarctic scientific data and information;
- to develop scientific capacity in all SCAR Members, especially with respect to younger scientists, and to promote the incorporation of Antarctic science in education at all levels;
- to communicate scientific information about the Antarctic region to the public.
Underpinning these major objectives, and contributing to their success are two Cross Cutting Objectives:
- to improve the effectiveness, efficiency and flexibility of the structure, working mechanisms and practices of SCAR.
- to increase funding to match requirements, and to maintain a healthy funding stream.
SCAR’s area of interest includes Antarctica, its offshore islands, and the surrounding Southern Ocean including the Antarctic Circumpolar Current, the northern boundary of which is the Subantarctic Front. Subantarctic islands that lie north of the Subantarctic Front and yet fall into SCAR’s area of interest include: Ile Amsterdam, Ile St Paul, Macquarie Island and Gough Island.