• Home
  • Home
  • Home
  • Home
COMNAP Annual General Meeting XXXI
29–31 July 2019 
       COMNAP-Plovdiv-Logo.png           BAI Logo.jpg

The Bulgarian Antarctic Institute (BAI) & the Ministry of Education and Science of the Republic of Bulgaria were our hosts for the COMNAP Annual General Meeting (AGM) XXXI (2019) held at the Grand Hotel Plovdiv.

COMNAP AGM XXXI Group Photo 2019.JPG
Attendees of the COMNAP Annual General Meeting (AGM) XXXII, 2019, Plovdiv, Bulgaria.


Annual General Meeting (AGM) XXXI 

Communique (released 6  August  2019)​

The COMNAP held its thirty-first AGM in the Grand Hotel, Plovdiv, Bulgaria, from 29–31 July 2019, hosted by Bulgaria’s National Antarctic Program-the Bulgarian Antarctic Institute and the Ministry of Education and Science of the Republic of Bulgaria. The AGM was attended by representatives from all thirty COMNAP Member organisations (see COMNAP Members for full list). Observers from the national Antarctic programs of Canada, Malaysia, Portugal, Switzerland and Turkey also attended. Other Expert Observers from the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR), the Antarctic Treaty Secretariat, the Committee for Environmental Protection (CEP) and the International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators (IAATO) attended various portions of the meeting. It was the largest COMNAP AGM and associated meetings held, with 240 participants.

Members engaged in lively discussions and exchanged pre-season information for Antarctic research season 2019–2020. The COMNAP Safety Expert Group held a workgroup discussion on the topic of Antarctic aviation and presented the key outcomes of the COMNAP Antarctic Search and Rescue (SAR) Workshop IV held in New Zealand in May 2019. There was also information shared on upcoming plans for modernization of several Antarctic facilities with the AGM agreeing to share more information on modernization. The Air Operations Expert Group presented the outcomes of the ATCM XLII focussed discussion on aviation and noted the request to COMNAP to provide advice back to ATCM XLIII to assist ATCM decision-making.  COMNAP accepted the offer by the Australian Antarctic Division to host the COMNAP-convened Antarctic Aviation Workshop in Hobart on 30–31 July 2020. A Steering Committee will be created to guide planning and programming for that workshop and an open invitation to all those involved in Antarctic aviation will be distributed.  

Invited Guest Speaker David Blake gave a keynote presentation as part of the Advancing Critical Technologies Expert Group session on recent innovation in battery technologies, while other experts presented tools available to vessel operations, and to science activity, in regards to understanding sea ice extent. Information was presented on fuel saving at Antarctic stations, on technologies being used to run science equipment autonomously over winter and on methodologies to quantify CO2 outputs from national Antarctic program activities. Continuing implementation of energy efficiency practices and technologies at research stations was a key message to all COMNAP members.

The Joint Expert Group on Human Biology and Medicine met to review last season’s medivacs, medical events, cases of interest, and seasonal challenges, and to share lessons learned from those to ensure efficient and effective response to medical events. The morning of the last day of the AGM was devoted to the Education, Outreach & Training Expert Group who held a half-day Workshop on “Communicating the importance of our Antarctic activity”. The open workshop was well attended and included presentations from nine national Antarctic programs, highlighting the work those programs undertake with schools, teachers and the public. 

Dr Kelly K Falkner, Director of the Office of Polar Programs of the US National Science Foundation, continues in her three-year term as COMNAP Chair. Javed Beg (NCPOR/India) completed his three-year term as Vice Chair. John Guldahl (NPI/Norway) was elected to a one-year additional term as Vice Chair (to AGM 2020), Ho Il Yoon (KOPRI/ Republic of Korea) and Sergio Gago Guida (PROANTAR/Brazil) were each elected to a three-year Vice Chair term (to AGM 2022). They all join COMNAP Vice Chairs Agnieszka Kruszewska (IBB PAS/Poland) and Uwe Nixdorf (AWI/Germany) who continue in their terms. Michelle Rogan-Finnemore (Executive Secretary) continues in her appointed role and completes the seven-member COMNAP Executive Committee.

The next AGM will be held in Hobart, Tasmania, Australia, from ­3–6 August 2020, jointly with the SCAR Open Science Conference and associated meetings and will be hosted by the Australian Antarctic Division. 

Download a PDF verison of the Communique here: COMNAP AGM XXXI Communique released 6 August 2019.pdfCOMNAP AGM XXXI Communique released 6 August 2019.pdf