December 8, 2020 – The International Cooperative Engagement Program for Polar Research Memorandum of Understanding (ICE-PPR MOU) entered into effect on November 27, 2020. The MOU establishes general provisions that apply across basic research to development, testing and evaluation to improve partners’ capabilities for successful and safe operations in Polar areas.
Participating nations include the Department of National Defence of Canada, the Ministry of Defence of the Kingdom of Denmark, the Ministry of Defence of the Republic of Finland, the New Zealand Defence Force, the Ministry of Defence of the Kingdom of Norway, the Government of the Kingdom of Sweden, and the Department of Defense of the United States of America.
The ICE-PPR effort, which covers the Southern Ocean as well as the Arctic region, creates a collaborative forum in which the seven participating nations can initiate, conduct, and manage polar research projects as well as arrange supporting material and equipment sharing. The ICE-PPR MOU will also enable the exchange of information to harmonize participants’ defense and national security requirements and better define future cooperative efforts.
Under the new MOU, the ICE-PPR Executive Steering Committee will gather representatives of each participating nation to evaluate past efforts, consider current focus areas, and examine projects and exercises of interest for future collaboration. To advance participants’ shared goals, initially there will be four ICE-PPR working groups to explore, study and report on issues related to specific focus areas: Environmental, Human Performance, Platforms, and Situational Awareness.
The ICE-PPR MOU is to remain in effect for twenty-five years, and will allow for the long term sharing of interests in a strong cooperative relationship that will preserve safe, stable, and secure Polar Regions.