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Project Highlights

SASx Arctic Baseline Project

Funding the SASx Arctic Baseline Project Decade

Funding a decade of annual SASx expeditions, including post-expedition data analysis and data hosting, and participation support for students and early career scientists, will be from a combination of philanthropic, governmental, and intergovernmental agency support.

The project will seek principal support from one or more major public and private foundations and individual philanthropists. Financial and in-kind support will also be sought from nations participating in the Synoptic Arctic Survey in 2021, and among other nations and institituions active in Arctic research. SASx will be proposed as an activity of the UN Decade of Ocean Science which may also be an avenue for exploring funding support and collaboration.  

Intergovernmental programs with existing activities that align with SASx objectives, where SASx activities can directy support or augment program objectives, will also be explored. 

To execute this broad funding strategy, Global Oceans is proposing a mechanism for hosting an independent multi-donor facility in the form of a Multi Donor Trust Fund, or MDTF. An MDTF is a type of pooled funding modality designed to receive contributions from multiple donors in support of specific projects. Funds in an MDTF may be co-mingled and held in trust by an appointed trustee and allocated to project funding needs through a representative advisory body according to the project’s scheduled execution plan and budgets.

Multi Donor Trust Funds have been successfully deployed by the United Nations Sustainable Development Group (UNDP) and other organizations to fund major programs. MDTFs provide advantages for risk management, funding consolidation, programming flexibility, and oversight. A proposed SASx MDTF structure is shown in Figure 1, encompassing a SASx Secretariat and term based SASx Science Council.

Global Oceans plans to host SASx planning workshops in 2021 to develop a SASx Science Plan. As the project evolves, with project budgets and details of the MDTF funding strategy, we will continue to engage with stakeholders and funders with an interest in supporting the SASx decade. During this process we welcome ideas and advice from international experts and from the funding community.


  1. UNDG Guidance on Establishing, Managing and Closing Multi-Donor Trust Funds, United Nations Sustainable Development Group (UNDP), 2015.

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