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Capacity building workshop for typhoon forecasters

NPOMS workshop to be held from 6-8 October 2014 in Kyoto

The Data Bouy Cooperation Panel (DBCP) of the WMO-IOC will organize and sponsor the Third Capacity Building Workshop of the North Pacific Ocean and Its Marginal Seas (NPOMS) in Kyoto on 6 to 8 October 2014. The workshop will be hosted by the Japan Disaster Prevention Research Institute (DPRI), and the Graduate School of Advanced Integrated Studies in Human Survivability of Kyoto University (GSAIS). Participation of scientists and personnel of developing nations is highly encouraged so that they can assist the Panel in achieving and sustaining its objectives for a globally distributed data buoy network. The Joint WMO-IOC Data Buoy Cooperation Panel (DBCP) is an official body of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and of the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) of UNESCO. The theme of this 3rd Workshop will be “Application of Regional Ocean Observations for Increasing Society’s Understanding and Forecasting of Typhoons.” It is primarily designed for typhoon forecasters, ocean data users, researchers and buoy operators in countries of the East Asia Region. The curriculum will cover: the regional programmes on typhoon; processes and mechanisms of typhoon-ocean interaction; application and improvement of ocean observations for typhoon; and enhancing regional and national human, institutional and infrastructure capacity to deliver socio-economic benefits from ocean observations. Fore more information about the workshop and details to apply please visit http://www.jcomm.info/NPOMS-3

SIMSEA Core Group meeting in Manila ends on a positive note

The core group of initiators of the sustainability initiative in the marginal seas of East Asia concludes its two-day meeting in Manila.
SIMSEA Core Group meeting in Manila ends on a positive note

The Core Group with Prof Dr. Marie Antonette J. Meñez Director of the Marine Science Institute (2nd from right)

The first meeting of the core group of initiators of the Sustainability Initiative in the Marginal Seas of East Asia (SIMSEA) a programme being developed by ICSU Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific (ROAP)  and its partners, as a Future Earth initiative concluded today (1 July 2014). The meeting was  hosted by the Marine Science Institute of the University of the Philippines, Diliman. Attending the meeting were Professor Lourds Cruz and Professor Toshio Yamagata, Dr Anadell Cabanban, and Nordin Hasan, the Director of ICSU ROAP. Cruz and Yamagata are members of the Regional Committee for Asia and the Pacific (RCAP) who mooted the idea of the programme at the 16th meeting of the Regional Committee for Asia and the Pacifc, in Seoul, Korea in November 2013. A prescoping workshop was held in Kyoto in March 2014 that took stock of on-going and past research in the East Asian seas (see http://www.icsu.org/asia-pacific/news-centre/news/simsea-discussions-provide-numerous-examples-for-future-earth). Other than discuss the way forward to develop SIMSEA as a Future Earth activity in Asia, discussions were also held with Professor Rhodora Azanza the Assistant Vice President for Academic Affairs and Director, Office of International Linkages of the University, on the possibility of the University hosting the initial stages of the programme. The outcome was very positive and a framework for collaboration to get SIMSEA going will soon be developed between the University and ICSU ROAP. We thank all who made the discussions swift and straightforward, and look forward to an exciting year developing SIMSEA as a Future Earth activity in Asia and the Pacific.

XXXII SCOR General Meeting

The XXXII SCOR General Meeting will take place in Bremen, Germany from Monday, 15 September through Wednesday, 17 September 2014.

The XXXII SCOR General Meeting will take place in Bremen, Germany from Monday, 15 September through Wednesday, 17 September 2014. It will be followed by a one-day symposium and student poster session on German ocean science on 18 September. Prior to the General Meeting on 12-13 September, there will be a workshop to discuss coordination of national research plans for Indian Ocean research in the period 2016-2020 and national input to a research plan for the International Indian Ocean Expedition-2 (IIOE-2). All of these meetings are open. Information, including a hotel  registration form, is available on the meeting Web site at http://www.scor-int.org/Annual%20Meetings/2014GM/2014GM.htm .

6th International Conference on Applied Energy

ROAP participates in the 6th International Conference on Applied Energy to be held in Taipei
6th International Conference on Applied Energy

President of NTUST declaring the Conference open.

ICSU ROAP participated in the 6th International Conference on Applied Energy (ICAE-2014) that is being held at the National Taiwan University of Science and Technology, Taipei, Taiwan, from 30 May to 2 June 2014. The theme of the Conference is "Clean, Efficient, Affordable and Reliable Energy for a Sustainable Future". It will have plenary sessions, keynote lectures, and parallel specialized sessions on different topics related to applied energy. Dr Mark Stafford Smith, Chair of the Science Committee of Future Earth, the new international initiative for research on global sustainability, and Science Director, CSIRO Climate Adaptation Flagship, will give a keynote address at the Conference entitled “Future Earth: The Challenges We Face”. Other keynote speakers include Prof. Falin Chen of the National Taiwan University, Mr. Mark L. Clifford, Executive Director of the Asia Business Council, and Prof. Dr. Detlef Stolten, RWTH Aachen University, Germany. For more details please visit http://www.applied-energy.org/CMS/index.php?m=content&c=index&a=show&catid=6&id=1

Asia-Pacific Civil Society Forum on Sustainable Development and Asia-Pacific Forum on Sustainable Development

UN-ESCAP and other regional commissions of the UN will coordinate regional meetings of the Asia-Pacific Civil Society Forum on Sustainable Development (APCSFSD) and the Asia-Pacific Forum on Sustainable Development (APFSD).

The High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF) has now replaced the Commission on Sustainable Development, as the guardian of the sustainable development agenda. UN-ESCAP and other regional commissions of the UN will coordinate regional meetings of the Asia-Pacific Civil Society Forum on Sustainable Development (APCSFSD) and the Asia-Pacific Forum on Sustainable Development (APFSD). These meetings are being held to support the global HLPF meetings that will be held in July in New York. The meetings are meant to boost progress on sustainable development at the national, subregional and regional levels. Registration for the inauguration of the Asia-Pacific regional processes will start today 15 May 2014 in Bangkok, Thailand. Civil society organizations (CSO), the private sector and other stakeholders should be fully engaged in the process. Professor Soottiporn Chittmittrapap, a member of the ICSU Regional Committee for Asia and the Pacific, and colleagues from the ICSU member organization from Thailand, the National research Council of Thailand will represent ICSU at the meetings. ICSU represents the scientific and technological community under UNEP's Major Group and Stakeholders on science and technology.

The Asia-Pacific Civil Society Forum on Sustainable Development will be held on 15 -17 May 2014 in Bangkok. The Forum will explore common ground and actions, develop common messages for the APFSD on issues including means of implementation for just and transformative development agenda, and coordinate strategies for more effective participation in the post-2015 process. The forum will also discuss the establishment of the Regional CSO Engagement Mechanism for sustainable development in Asia-Pacific.

The APCSFSD meeting is much longer and is being held 9-21 May 2014 in Pattaya. This regional preparatory meeting will take stock of the global and regional discussions. The HLPF and its associated processes are in its transitional phase and the post-2015 development agenda is being formulated. The forum will also feature a session in preparation for the ECOSOC Annual Ministerial Review. The APCSFSD will focus on:

  • Identifying the regional and sub-regional views on 1) the sustainable developmentchallenges of Asia and the Pacific and 2) the formulation of sustainable development goals and the post-2015 development agenda and its follow-up;
  • Identifying effective and inclusive means of implementation for a transformationaldevelopment agenda,
  • Defining the regional HLPF processes to 2015 and beyond

For more information

 On the regional process:

o Visit APFSD page at http://www.unescap.org/events/apfsd/

o Contact ESCAP: escap-esdd-evs@un.org

 

 On the global process on High Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development:

o Visit: http://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/index.php?menu=1556

o Visit: http://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/index.php?menu=1564 (Major Groups)

Science and Technology in Society forum meeting in Singapore

The STS forum will meet in Singapore on Friday 16 May 2014.

The Science and Technology in Society (STS) forum ( http://www.stsforum.org/ ), that provides a platform where world leaders exchange opinions about issues surrounding science and technology in society, will meet in Singapore on Friday 16 May 2014. The forum explores how science enhances the progress of society and how to address and minimise any negative impacts. It is a movement of world leaders in the fields of policy, science, business and media that aims to mobilize mankind’s wisdom to deal with issues that result from society’s use of science and technology. Mobilising mankind’s wisdom is becoming increasingly complex because of global interconnectedness and possible solutions usually lie beyond the jurisdiction of any single country. They are also beyond the reach of the scientific community in isolation and require multi-national, multi-stakeholder participatory approaches to produce desired results. This is indeed also the philosophy embraced by Future Earth ( http://www.futureearth.info/ ) the new international platform for research on global sustainability. The STS forum meeting in Singapore will discuss and deliberate innovation, science and technology cooperation between ASEAN and Japan. Of particular importance to the meeting will be the question of how to successfully promote ASEAN-Japan cooperation on innovation, science and technology; the areas that require urgent attention in ASEAN and Japan; how to effectively promote cooperation; and how countries in the region can build capacity through the provision of support for the circulation of young scientific talent in the region.

ROAP Natural Hazards and Risk Steering Group meets in Kuala Lumpur

The ICSU ROAP natural hazards and risk steering group for Asia and the Pacific holds its first meeting in 2014

The ICSU ROAP Natural Hazards and Risk Steering Group for Asia and the Pacific holds its first meeting in 2014 in Kuala Lumpur. The meeting is scheduled for two days on 28 and 29 April. Attending will be new members Professor Kruawun Jankeaw from Chulalongkorn University, Thailand, and Professor James Goff of the University of New South Wales, Australia. The Group is chaired by Professor James Terry of the National University of Singapore (NUS) and members include Professor Jianxin Zhang of the Institute of Psychology, Chinese Academy of Sciences and Mr Nigel Winspear of Catastrophe Management. The Steering Group acts as the focal point and coordinator for the Natural Hazards and Risk projects for Asia – Pacific and oversee the implementation of initiatives, identify opportunities for research funding and agencies that can support the implementation of the programme, and advise ICSU ROAP on any other actions that might be appropriate for its consideration in order to facilitate a coordinated regional approach to the research on hazards, disasters and vulnerability of islands in Asia - Pacific. The Group meets twice a year.

17th Meeting Regional Committee for Asia and the Pacific

The 17th Meeting of the ICSU Regional Committee for Asia and the Pacific is held in Kuala Lumpur
17th Meeting Regional Committee for Asia and the Pacific

Regional Committee members at the 17th Meeting of the Regional Committee

The ICSU Regional Committee for Asia and the Pacific (RCAP) is holding its 17th meeting in Kuala Lumpur this week (24 and 25 April 2014).. All members of the Committee are present with the exception of two owing to unavoidable conflicts in schedules. Steven Wilson joined part of the meeting via Skype from Paris. In welcoming the members to the meeting, the Chair announced the reappointment of four members for another three-year term. They are Soottiporn Chittmittrapap, Javed Iqbal, Toshio Yamagata and Jianxin Zhang. Membership to the Committee is renewable once and members are appointed in their individual capacity. The meeting is expected to deliberate progress made in the priority areas of work of the Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific (ROAP) and review their implementation. In particular it will examine the role the Office can play in the development and implementation of Future Earth, the new international research platform and ten-year programme on global sustainability. ROAP is also developing a new programme called Sustainability Initiative on the Marginal Seas of East Asia (SIMSEA) as a priority area of work. The marginal seas of East Asia (MSEA) acting as the interface between the Pacific Ocean and the Asian land mass, have islands spread from the Bering Sea in the North down to Indonesia in the South,and consist mainly of the Japanese, Philippine, and Indonesian Archipelagos.  These seas are very important to international commerce and global security, and acts as the link between heavily populated megacities, each with active societal, economical and industrial activities. MSEA is also the region of the highest marine biodiversity in the world, and its coral reefs and waters around atolls and small islands serve as the spawning grounds and nurseries of many marine species including tuna and other pelagic species that serve as vital food commodities in the Pacific islands, Asia and the Americas.

MAIRS 2014 Open Science Conference in Beijing

The Monsoon Asia Integrated Regional Study (MAIRS) Open Science Conference commences in Beijing China.
MAIRS 2014 Open Science Conference in Beijing

Opening session of MAIRS OSC 2014

The Monsoon Asia Integrated Regional Study (MAIRS) Open Science Conference commenced on Monday 7 April 2014 in Beijing China. It will provide a platform for scientists, stakeholders, policy makers, and the public in general to present state-of-the-art findings and challenges in addressing environmental  and climate change in Monsoon Asia. The MAIRS programme was established in 2006 to specifically address interactions between climate and human systems in monsoon Asia. It adopted an interdisciplinary approach to integrate research on human communities, climate and ecosystems. By focusing on the integrated studies in ecosystems under pressure (Coastal, Urban, Mountains, and Drylands), the MAIRS programme deepened understanding on how the climate-human system interacts and where gaps in knowledge remain. This Open Science Conference will bring together experts in the region to discuss the complexity of the interactive nature between climate, ecosystem and human systems, and the challenges of integrating disciplines, sectors, programs, and national efforts across spatio-temporal scales in the Monsoon Asia region. ICSU ROAP is a co-sponsor of the conference.

Presentation about MAIRS by Prof M Manton, Chair MAIRS Scientific Steering Committee

Summary of conclusions from the conference by Prof M Manton

ISSC launches new global research funding

Transformations to Sustainability is a new global research funding programme, launched on 31 March 2014.

The International Social Science Council (ISSC), launched today a new funding  programme that will promote research on the fundamental and innovative processes of social transformations needed to secure effective, equitable and durable solutions to some of today’s most urgent problems of global change and sustainability – including climate change, biodiversity loss, water and food security, energy production and consumption, poverty and growing inequalities.

The programme will support researchers from the social, behavioural and economic sciences to take the lead in developing international Transformative Knowledge Networks that will:

  • focus on the needs and opportunities for social transformation in concrete contexts of application
  • bring together researchers from different disciplines and fields of science, as well as different regions of the world
  • engage stakeholders in the co-design and co-production of solutions-oriented knowledge and the development of networks of knowledge exchange and mutual learning, and
  • build capacity for international research collaboration and support early career social scientists.

See the Transformations to Sustainability programme description and call for proposals.

The Transformations to Sustainability programme is intended as a major contribution to the work of Future Earth, a global research platform that provides knowledge and support to accelerate transformations to a sustainable world. Future Earth is co-sponsored by the members of the International Science and Technology Alliance for Global Sustainability.

81st General Membership Assembly of NRCP

The National Research Council of the Philippines (NRCP) will hold its 81st General Membership Assembly on 26 and 27 March 2014
81st General Membership Assembly of NRCP

Professor Lourdes J. Cruz President NRCP

The President of ICSU Professor Y.T. Lee will address the 81st General Membership Assembly of the National Research Council of the Philippines (NRCP) which will be held at the historic Manila Hotel on 26 – 27 March 2014. The theme of the Assembly will be Future Earth, Future Philippines. His address will be followed by that of the Secretary of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) of the Philippines, the Hon. Mario G. Montejo, who will speak on Sustainability for Future Philippines. Nobel Laureate Y.T. Lee will speak about Future Earth the new international research platform on global sustainability. Professor Nordin Hasan, Director of the ICSU Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific will also address the Assembly on the first day with a presentation on a regional perspective of Future Earth in the Philippines.  The Executive Director of the Partnerships in Environmental Management for the Seas of East Asia (PEMSEA), Dr. Stephen Adrian Ross will also address the Assembly, and will speak on sustainability of the seas of East Asia. ICSU ROAP recently organised a pre-scoping workshop for research on the marginal seas of East Asia (see earlier news item) at the Japanese Agency of Marine Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC) in Yokohama. The NRCP, established in 1933 is the oldest collegial and scientific advisory body of the Philippine government and the first scientific advisory body in Asia-Pacific.  It has more than three thousand members consisting of scientists, technologists, innovators, and economists. The President of the NRCP Professor Lourdes J. Cruz is a member of the ICSU Regional Committee for Asia and the Pacific.

International Congress of Mathematicians, Seoul, Korea 13 - 21 August 2014

International Congress of Mathematicians, Seoul, Korea 13 - 21 August 2014

SEOUL ICM 2014

The International Congress of Mathematicians (ICM) will be held from 13 to 21 August in Seoul, Korea. ICM is the largest international congress of the mathematics community. It is held once every four years under the auspices of the International Mathematical Union (IMU). The Fields Medals, the Nevanlinna Prize, the Gauss Prize, the Chern Medal and the Leelavati Prize are awarded at the Congress. Each Congress publishes a proceedings of academic papers from invited talks that defines the current state of mathematical science.

The Congress will be hosted by the Korean mathematical community and this year's Congress greatly emphasizes the involvement of mathematicians from developing countries. It is anticipated that travel grants will be sought for 1,000 mathematicians from developing countries. The IMU will hold its General Assembly (GA) in Gyeongju just prior to the Congress.

More information about the Congress may be found at the ICM website http://www.icm2014.org Information about the general assembly of the Union  may be found at http://www.icm2014.org/en/events/imu/imuga2014

Letter of welcome from IMU liaison person to ICSU ROAP

Planning the next advanced institute in Asia on psychological intervention after disasters

ROAP and partners plan advanced institute on psychological intervention after disasters
Planning the next advanced institute in Asia on psychological intervention after disasters

Participants discuss possible way forward

The International Union of Psychological Science (IUPsyS) in partnership with the Institute of Psychology, Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), and the United Nations University International Institute for Global Health (UNU-IIGH) are meeting for two days in Kuala Lumpur, to plan a three-year capacity building programme to enhance the ability of disaster-response researchers and practitioners, to better understand the process of psychological assistance and recovery after disasters in Asia. The meeting is organised by the ICSU Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific (ROAP) and hosted by UNU-IIGH.

IUPsyS and CAS had run highly successful workshops in 2012 and 2013 that were jointly funded by the ICSU Small Grants Programme, the Chinese Academy of Sciences, IUPsyS and the Centre for Applied Developmental Psychology, University of Jena. Since then funding has been secured from Academia Sinica International Center of Excellence (ICoE) on Integrated Research on Disaster Risk (IRDR) to continue running the workshops for three more years beginning in 2014. The main purpose of the 2-day meeting in Kuala Lumpur is to develop an implementation plan that can eventually lead to the establishment of a long-term programme that will benefit disaster recovery efforts in Asia and in other parts of the world.

The rationale of the workshops is to bring international cutting-edge research with potential to understand the “biopsychosocial” processes arising from the physical damage of disasters to changes of human behavior and development. Recent scientific insights suggest the pathways involve changes of genetic activities that subsequently change the stress responding system and have consequences for brain functioning. Both taken together have effects on motivation, cognition and other processes guiding behavior in the situation and also development in the longer run. The experience of disasters can have consequences that are maintained over more than one generation, especially when vulnerable groups like small children are affected. Such insights have changed the view psychology has on the role of the environment in human functioning, and when applied to disasters will also change the education and training of psychologists and their work in disaster relief.

SIMSEA discussions provide numerous examples for Future Earth

Examples of research and development activities adopting a multidimensional approach in the MSEA region

The brainstorming pre-scoping workshop on the sustainability initiative for the marginal seas of East Asia (SIMSEA) drew many examples of research and development activities that would provide the basis of a more integrated programme of research and development in the marginal seas of East Asia.

Please view the downloadable presentations below for details.

Workshop introduction: Lourdes Cruz

Workshop objectives: Toshio Yamagata

What is Future Earth from the Asian Perspective?: Nordin Hasan

Activities of IOC/WESTPAC: Wenxi Zhu

Activities of PICES: Hiroaki Saito

Activities of APEC Climate Center: Chin-Seung Chung

Achievement of LOICZ and the Satoumi Concept: Tetsuo Yanagi

Views from Coastal Ecosystems: Porfirio Miel Alino

Views from Integrated Coastal Zone Management of Thailand: Somkiat Khokiattiwong

Views from Living Marine Resource Management and the Coral Triangle Project: Annadel Cabanban

Views from Oceanography of Malaysia: Nor Aieni Haji Mokhtar

The East Asian Seas – A bumpy road to sustainable ocean development: Chua Thia-Eng

New strategy for coastal marine science for establishment of “Future Oceans”: Nobuyuki Miyazaki

Rapid Arctic Warming in Recent Decades: Seong-Joong Kim et al

BPPT MCCOE Near Future Ocean Climate: Fadli Syamsudin

Reviews of Oceanography in Vietnam: Vo Si Tuan

Short course on Urbanization and Health: Systems Approaches

UNU-IIGH, LESTARI and ICSU ROAP organising short course on systems approaches on urbanization and health 2 - 6 June 2014

The United Nations University International Institute for Urban Health (UNU IIGH) will be organising, in association with the Institute for Environment and Development (LESTARI) Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia and the ICSU Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific (ROAP), a short course on systems approaches in urban health from 2 to 6 June 2014. The course is funded by the Malaysian Technical Cooperation Programme (MTCP) that provides technical assistance to participating developing countries. In keeping with its role as co-sponsor of the ICSU Urban Health programme this UNU IIGH course is oriented around teaching city-based professionals how to approach urban problems using systems thinking and understanding the ways in which most urban issues are linked with health.

This 5-day course will improve participants’ understanding of relationships between urbanization and human health. Following an introduction to systems thinking, participants will use case study examples to explore major urban development and health challenges. Participants will then have an opportunity to share, examine and reflect on urban health problems they currently face in their own fields of practice. The course will include a one-day field excursion to learn about mass transit in a local context.

Details about the course may be obtained from the attached brochure. The closing date for applications will be 31 March 2013.

Brochure

ROAP organises pre-scoping workshop on SIMSEA

ICSU Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific begins considering research on sustainability in the marginal seas of East Asia
ROAP organises pre-scoping workshop on SIMSEA

Executive Director of JAMSTEC Professor Yoshihisa Shirayama opening the workshop

In the spirit of Future Earth ICSU ROAP and its partners the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC) and the Science Council of Japan is holding a pre-scoping workshop to discuss a collaboration mechanism to share knowledge and expertise for better wellbeing in the region of the marginal seas of East Asia. The marginal seas of East Asia lie along the Western Pacific rim, and have islands that spread from the Bering Sea in the North, to the Indonesian seas in the South. It is a very important region especially in relation to international commerce and global security, and links several heavily populated coastal megacities that have active societal, economic and industrial significance. This marginal seas is also a region of the highest marine biodiversity in the world, and its coral reefs and waters around atolls and small islands serve as the spawning grounds and nurseries of many marine species including tuna and other pelagic species that serve as very important food commodities in the Pacific islands, the Asia mainland and in North America. The region also lies along the path of destructive typhoons that originate in the Western North Pacific and affect the Philippines, Vietnam, Hong Kong, China, Korea, and Japan. About 26 typhoons are generated annually in this region, the majority of which impact the Philippine region. Conserving the health and wellbeing of the marginal seas, and the peoples that rely on them, while coping with the pressures of global change, is an urgent imperative.

Dubbed SIMSEA, the Sustainability Initiative in the Marginal Seas of East Asia, this initiative aims to:

1) develop the knowledge for responding effectively to the risks and opportunities of global environmental change, and

2) support transformation towards global sustainability in the region in the coming decades.

The main region of the proposed study will be the Exclusive Economic Zone beyond the territorial limit (generally 12 nautical miles from shore) as well as in the international waters relevant to the sustainable use of common areas. The collaboration will involve joint researches and capacity building projects particularly of young scientist in developing countries in the region.

The pre-scoping workshop held on 27 and 28 February, 2014 at the Yokohama Institute for Earth Sciences of JAMSTEC (http://www.jamstec.go.jp/e/about/research/index.html). It will specifically aim to enable :

1) The exchange of information and knowledge on the existing discipline-oriented research on the marginal seas in Asia and the Western Pacific;

2) Discussion of the co-design of a collaborative interdisciplinary research program on the marginal seas of East Asia and the Western Pacific that meets the criteria of research toward global sustainability under the framework of Future Earth.

The draft programme for the workshop may be downloaded from the link given below.

Pre-scoping workshop programme

 

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Former Chair ICSU Regional Committee for Asia and the Pacific honoured

Prof. Bruce McKellar has been made a Companion (AC) in the General Division of the Order of Australia
Former Chair ICSU Regional Committee for Asia and the Pacific honoured

Bruce McKellar (Photo: Casamento photography.)

The former chair of the Regional Committee for Asia and the Pacific,   Prof. Bruce McKellar has been made a Companion (AC) in the General Division of the Order of Australia, which is the country’s highest civilian honour. The announcement was made in the Australia Day Honours List on 26 January.

Prof. McKellar, is an honorary professorial fellow of the University of Melbourne and is due to become president of the International Union of Pure and Applied Physics later this year.

His citation for the AC says that it is awarded “for eminent service to science, particularly the study of theoretical physics, as an academic, educator and researcher, through seminal contributions to scientific development organisations, and as an author and mentor”.

Executive Summer School on Global Environmental Policy

The Global Environmental Policy Programme (GEPP) of the University of Geneva Summer School on Global Environmental Policy will be from 31st August to 12th September 2014

The Global Environmental Policy Programme (GEPP) of the University of Geneva invites you to its Executive Summer School on Global Environmental Policy. The programme is organised in partnership with UNEP from 31st August to 12th September 2014 in Geneva, Switzerland. The Summer School provides a special opportunity for participants from both the public and the private sectors to enlarge their competences in order to address complex environmental issues. Beyond enlarging the knowledge base of each participant, the modules of this transdisciplinary programme bridge the gap between scientific knowledge and concrete decision-making, problem-solving and negotiation skills.

Not more than 25 participants with diverse origins and professional backgrounds will be selected. The closing date for applications is 30th April 2014. More information about GEPP, including the programme of the Executive Summer School held in September 2013, can be consulted at: www.unige.ch/gepp/ess.

International Workshop on Future Earth in Asia

Research Institute for Humanity and Nature and partners organize international workshop on Future Earth in Asia
International Workshop on Future Earth in Asia

ICSU President Professor Y. T. Lee speaking at the symposium organized by RIHN in 2012

The Research Institute for Humanity and Nature (RIHN), Kyoto, in collaboration with the Science Council of Japan, the Japan Science and Technology Agency and the Research Institute of Science and Technology for Society, is organizing an international workshop on Future Earth in Asia, which will take place on the 4th and 5th of February 2014.

This the second time RIHN is hosting a meeting on Future Earth. In December 2012 a sympsium on Future Asia was also organised at RIHN. The workshop next month will bring together researchers, representatives of non-governmental organizations (NGOs), development organizations, and research funding organizations to engage in a dialogue about the possible contributions that Future Earth can make to the transition to sustainability in Asia, and how it will deliver science for society.

The workshop will inform stakeholders on the role of Future Earth in Asia and on selected aspects of the draft Science Plan, and to receive feedback and inputs on priority research themes. The workshop also aims to develop an initial approach (principles and good practices) to the design of Future Earth research projects in Asia.

For more information, please visit the event website:

http://www.chikyu.ac.jp/gec-jp/jp/future_earth/ws_20140204-05.html

Tohoku University discusses potential role of Japanese universities in Future Earth

Developing intellectual infrastructure for Future Earth in Asia
Tohoku University discusses potential role of Japanese universities in Future Earth

Professor Kazuyuki Tohji, Dean, Graduate School of Environmental Studies,Tohoku University, opening the meeting.

ICSU ROAP participated in a high-level meeting organised by the Graduate School of Environmental Studies, Tohoku University, in Sendai, Japan on 27 January 2014, to discuss implementation of Future Earth in Asia. Sixteen other Japanese Universities from all over the country participated in the meeting and the opportunity was used to provide those present with a clear account of the development of Future Earth in Asia and identify potential opportunities for collaboration in the development of capacity for research, education and training in sustainability studies throughout the region. All participating universities have a graduate level Environmental Leadership Programme (ELP) that has been strongly supported and funded by the Government of Japan. Fumiko Kasuga the Vice President of the Science Council of Japan also participated in the discourse. The Director of ROAP provided a historical account of the development of Future Earth, its scope, progress and roles played by various institutions and organizations in Asia and elsewhere in the development of awareness and understanding about Future Earth. He provided insights considered valuable by the participants on the necessary next steps and the vital building blocks for the successful establishment of multidisciplinary integrated research in Asia that are solutions oriented for the benefit of society. Fumiko Kasuga presented a detailed update on the state of affairs in the development of the distributed secretariat to manage Future Earth at the global, regional and local contexts. Michael Norton a professor at the Graduate School presented the concept of a Future Earth Integrated Education and Research Centre that Tohoku University plans to establish. The Centre aims to play a key role in developing capacity for Future Earth in the region, building on its current ELP. Compared to the current ELP the proposed programme at the Centre will have the following additional features:

  • It will engage with multiple stakeholders in mutual learning and co-design with regard to the Centre’s programmes and activities;
  • It aims to broaden the existing ELP focus to include agenda essential for global sustainability;
  • It will develop  and promote educational materials and methodologies to support training programmes for Future Earth in the region;
  • It will provide opportunities for strengthening the collaborative links for research and education for global sustainability with institutions in Asia and elsewhere; and
  • It will strengthen networking among institutions providing education for sustainable development within the context of Future Earth in Asia and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The establishment of such a centre at Tohoku University can provide an initial test-bed for ideas on how to organise the infrastructure to develop the intellectual capacity of nations in the region to meet the needs of Future Earth for co-designed, co-produced and co-disseminated scientific knowledge vital for achieving global sustainability.

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