President’s report, April 2018


The new IPHC Executive Committee was elected this month (April 2018), for a term of three years. As the new President, I congratulate Ximena Senatore (Vice-President) and Bryan Lintott (Secretary General) on their election, and look forward to a fruitful time together coordinating the IPHC’s activities.

I wish to thank the outgoing Executive, Julian Bickersteth (President), Susan Barr (Vice-President) and Nigel Watson (Secretary General) for their hard work over the last six years, and hope we can continue their good work. Susan in particular deserves special thanks, as the IPHC foundation President in 2000 and has remained a member of the Executive as President or Vice-President since then. Susan has represented IPHC at many meetings of key international Arctic and Antarctic bodies and ICOMOS committees, and together with Paul Chaplin, also co-edited the three Polar heritage volumes of the ICOMOS Monuments and Sites series (2004, 2008, and 2011), which have showcased the range of polar heritage issues and the investigative approaches to our work in the Arctic and Antarctic.

The work of the IPHC would not be possible without the funding support provided by bodies with an interest in polar heritage conservation. The Norwegian Directorate for Cultural Heritage provided funding from 2000 to 2012, and the New Zealand Antarctic Heritage Trust from 2012 to 2018. The Scott Polar Research Institute, University of Cambridge now hosts the IPHC’s secretariat, for which I offer my sincere thanks.

What is coming up over the next three years? At the moment the IPHC has a Polar Archaeological Working Group (PAWG), headed by Bryan Lintott, which is actively developing a Charter for the protection and management of archaeological heritage in Antarctica. The drafting of this is well advanced, and a working draft will be available for circulation at the POLAR2018 Open Science Conference organised by SCAR and IASC in Davos, Switzerland, in June this year, to which a number of you are going. Copies will also, of course, be made available to IPHC members and through them to their national ICOMOS bodies, and we will circulate it to a number of other ICOMOS ISC’s and organisations with an interest in Polar Heritage.

The IPHC is working to update the website, and I hope we can make it more useful to members and others, for example by indicating recent publications by members, and issues and upcoming event of interest to the Polar heritage community. Thanks to support from the ICOMOS Secretariat a new website will go live in the coming weeks – details to follow.

The new Executive will also be forward planning for future IPHC meetings and hopefully conferences, including an event in association with the ICOMOS General Assembly in Sydney in 2020. Another publication, virtual or real, of current work and issues would also be something to aim for. We are also keen to strengthen our ties with other ISCs, particularly the International Council on Archaeological Heritage Management (ICAHM) and the International Committee on Underwater Cultural Heritage (ICUCH), which share a special interest in polar heritage issues.

I would welcome any suggestions you might have to enhance the role of the IPHC in promoting the study and conservation of polar heritage over the coming years, and look forward to meeting some of you at the Polar2018 conference in Davos. Details of all the polar heritage related posters, presentation and events at the conference will shortly be published. The Scott Polar Research Institute is hosting a polar heritage open house in Davos on the Wednesday evening of the conference, and all IPHC members are cordially invited.

Michael Pearson
President,International Polar Heritage Committee