Credit: Kari Mäenpää Ten years of sustained Arctic observing 10 May 2021ClimateMonitoringArctic Monitoring and Assessment ProgrammePathways The Arctic is undergoing rapid change. In order to understand the effects on ecological and socio-economic systems, as well as to implement mitigation and adaptation measures, sustained and holistic observations are vital. To this end, the Sustained Arctic Observing Networks (SAON) was established as a joint initiative of the Arctic Council and the International Arctic Science Committee (IASC) in 2011. At the Ministerial meeting in Nuuk in 2011, the Ministers of the Arctic States recognized the importance of the Sustaining Arctic Observing Networks process as a major legacy of the International Polar Year. The networks were to strengthen multinational engagement in pan-Arctic observing and to monitor Arctic environmental change. The vision was a connected, collaborative, and comprehensive long-term pan-Arctic Observing System that would serve societal needs. To achieve this, SAON has outlined three goals: ensuring sustainability of Arctic observing; promoting free and ethically open access to all Arctic observational data; and creating a roadmap to a well-integrated Arctic Observing System. Create a roadmap to a well-integrated Arctic Observing System “SAON’s Roadmap for Arctic Observing and Data Systems, short: ROADS, is built upon a holistic benefit analysis. It takes the environmental, economic, and social domains into account in which services, operations, and research provide societal benefit”, explained Sandy Starkweather, SAON Chair and Executive Director for the US Arctic Observing Network. To implement this ambitious roadmap, the partnership with, and active, equitable involvement of Indigenous peoples and local communities is essential. ROADS will draw on community-led approaches, and involve Indigenous knowledge holders, local organizations and networks to fill existing observation gaps, which are critical to add to the understanding of the Arctic system as a whole. SAON connects the Arctic Observing System with global initiatives as a member of the Group on Earth Observation and organizes within it the Arctic part of the Global Earth Observing System of Systems (Arctic GEOSS). Promote free and ethically open access to all Arctic observational data To promote free and ethically open access to all Arctic observational data, SAON plays a leading role in working with the Arctic and broader polar data community to develop shared standards for finding, accessing and reusing observing data. Much is achieved through frequent virtual meetings that lead towards the Fourth Polar Data Forum scheduled for the end of 2021.