PGC attends the 2023 Session of the United Nations Group of Experts on Geographic Names
In May 2023, two members of the PGC team attended the 2023 Session of the United Nations Group of Experts on Geographic Names (UNGEGN) at the United Nations Headquarters in New York to highlight the work of the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR) and the importance of collaboration and cooperation when naming or renaming Antarctic features.
Cole Kelleher, PGC’s User Services Manager, attended in his capacity as the US Representative to SCAR’s Standing Committee on Antarctic Geographic Information (SCAGI) and Chris Carter, one of PGC’s students, attended due to his background and interest in Antarctic policy.
Over the course of five days, Kelleher and Carter attended sessions, met experts from around the world, and participated in discussions around a variety of topics, in both formal and informal settings.
Kelleher presented SCAR’s report from SCAGI to the Group of Experts, highlighting the development, adoption, and publication of SCAR’s International Principles and Procedures for Antarctic Place Names. As he mentioned in this report, these principles provide “signatories to the Antarctic Treaty with clear principles and procedures for the use of existing names for features in Antarctica (south of 60°S) and for the application of new names for previously unnamed features on maps, in scientific publications, and in databases.” You can see a clip of Kelleher presenting SCAR’s report starting at 2:28:30 in this recording of the first day of meetings.
In response to Kelleher’s presentation and in acknowledgement of SCAR’s work, the Group of Experts “endorsed the International Principles and Procedures for Antarctic Place Names, noted with appreciation the contribution of experts of the United Nations Group of Experts on Geographical Names to that document, and encouraged the member countries of the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research to use the principles and procedures”.
PGC is thrilled to have had the opportunity to represent the international Antarctic community at the 2023 Session of the United Nations Group of Experts on Geographic Names and is excited to continue contributing to the important work of SCAR’s Standing Committee on Antarctic Geographic Information.