As a signatory to the Antarctica Treaty the Netherlands is also obliged to carry out scientific research in Antarctica.
There is a Dutch research facility on the Antarctic Peninsula, the Dirck Gerritsz lab, and a research station on Spitsbergen.
The Netherlands Polar Programme (NPP) funds scientific research into and at the polar regions. This programme encourages research into solutions to climate issues.
The Netherlands is a signatory to the Antarctic Treaty and is therefore obliged to conduct scientific research in the area.
- Climate change: Covering the current state and (anticipated) changes in Earth, ocean, atmosphere, cryosphere and their dynamics
- Ecosystem dynamics: Covering the state and changes in biology, ecology, stressors and permafrost
- Social sciences and humanities: Covering legal, social, economic, political, historical and cultural knowledge
- Sustainable development: Covering integrated impact analyses, innovations and cold region technology
Presence North and South Pole
One of the focal points is the Gerritsz Laboratory on the Antarctic peninsula. Four mobile laboratories are placed there to form a single research base on the site of the British Rothera research station. The laboratory has been realised in close collaboration with the British Antarctic Survey (BAS) and opened in 2013.
In the North Pole region a Dutch polar station is established on Spitsbergen. The station is run by the University of Groningen.
Budget and duration
The Netherlands Polar Programme is funded by NWO and:
- the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science,
- Ministry of Infrastructure & Water Management,
- Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy,
- Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality,
- Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
For the period 2021-2025 the budget is annually 3,9 million euro.
The Netherlands Polar Programme runs from 2021-2025.
Keep following this page for news about upcoming calls.
Funding instrument for this programme
- Netherlands Polar Programme policy-driven call-for-proposals 2019
Consortia of experienced researchers with a PhD-degree may request financing for policy-relevant research aimed at...
Research data from the Netherlands Polar Programme needs to be carefully managed. A data centre has therefore been set up at the Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research (NIOZ). Data and research findings are stored and administered there.
Arctic and Antarctica each have their own networks. Through participation of its managers and scientists, the NPP is actively engaged with those networks and their corresponding meetings.
The networks cover three relevant focal areas: Political, Science, Infrastructure & logistics. Information on the most recent contacts for the Netherlands into these networks can be obtained at the Netherlands Polar Secretariat at NWO (Dick van der Kroef or Mascha Dedert)
Programme committee Netherlands Polar Programme
- Robert Blaauw (chair)
- Bas Zwaan (representative NWO Domain Science board, ENW)
- Harry Garretsen (representative NWO Domain Social Sciences and Humanities, SGW)
- Liz ter Kuile (chair Interdepartmental Polar Consultative Body, Ministry of Foreign Affairs)
- Arthur Eijs (member Interdepartmental Polar Consultative Body, Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management)
Interdepartmental Polar Consultative Body
All of the funding partners of the Netherlands Polar Programme are represented in the Interdepartmental Polar Consultative Body.
- Liz ter Kuile (chair, Ministry of Foreign Affairs)
- Arthur Eijs (Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management)
- Dorien Lanting, Ministry of Education, Culture and Science
- Martijn Peijs, Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality
- Bert Roukens, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy
Pool Symposium 2019
On Thursday 21 November, 2019 the annual Polar Symposium will take place, organised by NWO-NPP in collaboration with APECS-NL.
The symposium entitled "Poles under Pressure" is centred around three themes concentrating on the topic of Polar Impacts:
- Theme 1 Geopolitical & Economic Pressures;
- Theme 2 Ice & Climate under Pressure and
- Theme 3 Ecosystem Pressures.
The symposium will be held in English.
The deadline for submitting a poster abstract was November 8, 2019.
Registration by form to attend the symposium was closed on 19 November.
The symposium will be held at NWO The Hague, Laan van Nieuw Oost-Indië 300, room 300.
08:45 Doors open, reception with coffee and tea
09:15 Welcome and opening by Robert Blaauw, chair of NPP
Theme 1: Geopolitical & economic pressures
09:20 Carola van Rijnsoever, Arctic Ambassador,
Latest developments: A changing Arctic
09:40 Coco Smits, TenneT and formerly WUR, Social License to
Operate in the Arctic
10:00 Arthur Eijs, Ministry of Infrastructure and Water
management, Developments in the Antarctic Protection
10:20 Marlynda Elstgeest, IAATO, Developments of tourism in
10:40 Eelco Leemans, Clean Arctic Alliance,
Arctic Marine Litter: Knowing the sources to find solutions
coffee break (30 min)
Theme 2: Ice and Climate under Pressure
11:30 Roderik van der Wal, IMAU UU, Antarctic ice sheet
changes from the past to the future
12:00 Stef Lhermitte, TU Delft, Antarctic ice sheets
and scientific cooperation with Belgium
12:20 Jacqueline Stefels, RUG, Dutch contributions to the
12:40 Poster pitches by early career researchers
lunch break with poster sessions (1 hr)
14:00 Francesca Sangiorgi, UU, Paleo climate of the polar
regions and IODP expeditions
14:20 Femke de Jong, NIOZ, Impacts of freshwater on the
Atlantic overturning circulation
14:40 Annemiek Roeling, Delta Programme,
Dutch water policy in relation to polar changes
Theme 3: Ecosystems under Pressure
15:00 Maarten Loonen, RUG, The disappearing landscape
of the Arctic (SEES expeditions)
15:20 Gert Polet, WWF Netherlands, Tuvaijuittuq MPA
and other WWF Arctic initiatives
15:30 Intermezzo: Tristan Visser, underwater sounds of
coffee break (20 min)
16:10 Thomas Lameris, NIOZ, Shorebird chicks grow slower
in a warming Arctic
16:20 NPP secretariat staff, NWO-NPP, Update on the
Netherlands Polar Programme
16:50 Suzanne Veldink, Panorama Mesdag, Louis Apol on Nova
17:10 Closing remarks