The International Council for Science (ICSU), Regional Committee for Asia and the Pacific (RCAP), held its 21sr meeting in Seoul on 27 April 2016. This meeting which was hosted by the Korean Academy of Science and Technology (KAST) was especially significant as it was also attended for the first time by the President of ICSU Gordon McBean, the Director of the Future Earth Asia Hub in Tokyo, Fumiko Kasuga, and Soon-Chang Yoon, Vice President External Relations of KAST, as observers. Dr Kasuga is also a member of the Committee on Science Planning and Review (CSPR) of ICSU, the highest policy-making committee of ICSU. The RCAP agreed during the meeting inter alia to support plans by the Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific (ROAP) to engage with the re-insurance industry in research on natural hazards and risk; to initiate the formation of a science planning group to explore research needs on the role of epigenetics on human health in the face of increasing urbanity in Asia and the Pacific; and on the importance of engaging with space agencies in the region to enhance data gathering capacity of the ROAP - RCAP initiated programme on the sustainability of the marginal seas of South and East Asia (SIMSEA). The next meeting of RCAP will be held in Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia in November 2016.
Soon-Chang Yoon Chair, Organizing Committee / Vice President for External Relations, KAST addressing the Symposium
Future Earth Korea was launched in a landmark event organised by the Korean Academy of Science and Technology (KAST), in Seoul Korea on Monday 25 April 2016, on the occasion of the 25th KAST International Symposium. The theme of the Symposium was Future Earth and Sustainable Development Goals in Asia. The event was graced by several prominent leaders including the President of KAST Professor Myung-Chul Lee, the President of the International Council for Science Professor Gordon McBean, and former Korean Prime Minister Dr Duck-Soo Han who is presently the Chairman of the Board of Directors, Climate Change Center of Korea. Future Earth is the new international platform for research on global sustainability developed by the International Council for Science and its partners. The ICSU Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific (ROAP) was instrumental in the move towards the establishment of Future Earth Korea, having laid the groundwork for its development during the 5th ICSU ROAP Regional Consultation in Asia and the Pacific themed “Future Earth in Asia and the Pacific”, that was held in Seoul in November 2013. In the beginning, the then Chair of ROAP’s Regional Committee for Asia and the Pacific (RCAP) Dr Hong-Kum Lee, and RCAP current member Professor Jung-Hye Roe were the prime movers for the establishment of Future Earth Korea. They have both been made members of the National Committee of Future Earth Korea.The establishment of Future Earth Korea is fully supported by KAST and the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) Korea.
The full programme of the launch may be downloaded from the link provided below.
The ICSU Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific (ROAP) published its Annual Report for the year 2015 today. The report notes the many contributions of ROAP in the development of Future Earth in Asia, its continuing major role in the development of scientific understanding of natural hazards and risk, its contribution to the growth of research expertise on psychological intervention after disasters, and of the use of the systems approach in research on urban health and well-being. Copies of the report may be downloaded from the link provided below.
SIMSEA held its 4th Science Steering Committee (SSC) meeting at the SIMSEA Regional Office that is hosted by the Marine Science Institute (MSI) of the University of the Philippines, Diliman on 21 and 22 March 2016. The meeting was attended by all members of the SSC and it welcomed the new Director of the MSI, Professor Fernando Siringan to the Committee as ex-officio member. It took note of progress in the development of SIMSEA and congratulated Professor Fadzilah Majid Cooke on the launch of the SIMSEA research group which she leads, at Universiti Malaysia Sabah. A draft SIMSEA charter was discussed and the possibility of creating the SIMSEA Research Fellowship was explored. The fellowship aims to provide support to early career scientists to conduct transdisciplinary research in the region of the marginal seas of Asia. The meeting also supported plans to conduct a capacity development workshop during the 2nd half of 2016 to enhance the ability of scientists in the region to plan and conduct transdisciplinary research on the subject of the sustainability of marginal seas in Asia and the Pacific.SIMSEA will hold a regional symposium in September 2016 inter alia to support knowledge needs for sustainability in the region of the marginal seas of Asia, and to consolidate research efforts towards sustainability in the marginal seas.
The Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS) launched the SIMSEA Research Group on 11 March 2016. By doing so UMS joins other institutional partners in Japan, New Zealand and the Philippines in undertaking research to generate policy and community-relevant knowledge towards sustainable development in the region. SIMSEA which stands for The Sustainability Initiative in the Marginal Seas of South and East Asia is an international programme initiated by the International Council for Science Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific (ICSU ROAP) through an alliance of natural and social scientists working with development planners, managers, local communities and other sectors of society to conduct solutions oriented transdisciplinary research for global sustainability (see http://simseaasiapacific.org/). The collaboration emerged as a project designed in response to Future Earth, the newly established international platform for research on global sustainability. SIMSEA's regional office is hosted by the Marine Science Institute of the University of the Philippines in Manila. The transdiciplinary research platform has a two-pronged objective::
- Co-designing an integrative programming that would establish the sustainability of the Marginal Seas of South and East Asia, and
- Facilitating cooperation among researchers in closing the gaps in scientific knowledge, through projects and programmes, for the benefit of societies.
For the period of 2015-2020, the key research topics are as follows:
- coastal and marine ecosystem services sustainability, as well as the cumulative effects of extreme changes
- weather patterns particularly on humans and livelihoods.
- the relationships between rapid urbanization and marine pollution associated with changing urban and rural landscapes.
- monitoring of tipping point and resilience of marginal seas in relation to global change.
- the impacts of economic growth on socio-economic and environmental well being,
- the mechanisms to define balance, trade-offs and cultural bottom lines in resource use.
- Indicators for ocean health in different regions; and
- cultural and other determinants of unity and wise use of resources
- ecologically coherent networks of locally managed marine areas including Marine Protected Areas
- co-developing and co-learning, while fostering ocean views among planners, users and managers.
The UMS SIMSEA Research Group is led by Professor Fadzilah Majid-Cooke. Several researchers from the centres of excellence and faculties of UMS are members in this new research platform.
SIMSEA will hold a regional research symposium in September 2016 (http://simseaasiapacific.org/call-for-session-proposals-simsea-regional-symposium-2016-on-26-28-september-2016-at-quezon-city-philippines/) to bring together scientists and the development community to explore potential research collaboration and the establishment of a knowledge action network for the region.
ICSU ROAP and its partners cordially invite participants to the SIMSEA Regional Symposium 2016 to be held on 26- 28 September 2016 at Microtel by Wyndham, Diliman, Quezon City, Philippines. SIMSEA, the Sustainability Initiative in the Marginal Seas of South and East Asia is a new research programme that is being developed to enhance research for global sustainability in the marginal seas of Asia and the Pacific. The Symposium will be hosted by the SIMSEA Regional Programme, the Marine Science Institute of the University of the Philippines-Diliman (MSI UP Diliman), and SIMSEA Philippines.MSI UP Diliman hosts the Programme Office of SIMSEA..
The 3-day symposium will include invited talks in plenary and presentations by regional scientists in 3 parallel symposia sessions. Proposals to convene symposia sessions are invited from scientists, policy- and decision-makers and community-based organizations currently active in research in the region of the marginal seas of Asia and the Pacific. All submissions will be peer-reviewed prior to acceptance. Selected conveners of symposia sessions especially those from developing countries will be eligible to apply for travel support to participate in the Symposium.
The deadline for submission of Symposia Session Proposals is May 31, 2016. For further information please visit the following link to the first Announcement of the Symposium (1st SIMSEA Regional Symposium 2016_1st Announcement_ver4).
The Steering Group on Natural Hazards and Risk (SGHNR) of ICSU ROAP met in Kuala Lumpur on 23 and 24 February 2016. The Group is chaired by James Terry, Professor at Zayed University, Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE). It has 4 other members and welcomed its new Senior Advisor, Richard Sanders from Willis Re, Singapore. Nordin Hasan, the Director of ICSU ROAP is an ex officio member of the group.
The members reported on the outcomes of the conferences and meetings attended and also on the research activity and recent publications. The meeting also discussed on funding possibilities for research and activities, how to increase the Group's participation in future conferences and workshops related to Natural Hazards and Disaster Risk Reduction and recruitment of new members into the Steering Group. Nigel who joined the meeting via skype updated on the recent developments in the insurance / reinsurance industry.
The Center for Sustainability Science together with the Research Center for Environmental Changes, of the Academy in Taipei hosted a Future Earth Asian Perspective Symposium on Air Pollution that aimed to promote trans-disciplinary research collaboration. The symposium introduced to participants, Future Earth, the new international platform for research on global sustainability, and explored means to enhance research collaboration across disciplines and sectors of society, on the issue of air pollution in Asia. It was sponsored by the Ministry of Science and Technology, Executive Yuan. About forty participants from across Asia attended the symposium. Air pollution is a serious threat to health and development in Asia. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that globally in 2012, 3.7 million deaths were attributable to ambient air pollution and 4.3 million deaths to household air pollution. More information about the symposium may be obtained from the website of the Academy. At the end of the symposium several recommendations of priority research topics were made. These included the need to commission and undertake collaborative trans-boundary research programmes on air pollution in Asia especially on the characterization of aerosol composition and their effects on public health; the need to develop realistic air pollution indices and critical pollutant levels that can be applied across the region; and the need to enhance research on the socio-economic drivers of regional trans-boundary pollution. Prior to declaring the symposium closed, Academician Yuan-Tseh Lee announced the decision to organise a young scientists summer school next year, that will promote collaborative trans-disciplinary research on air pollution in Asia.
The Partnership for Observation of the Global Oceans (POGO) and Scientific Committee on Oceanic Research (SCOR) are pleased to announce that the POGO-SCOR Visiting Fellowship programme for 2016 is now open for applications. The deadline for applications is 15 April 2016. The scheme is designed to promote training and capacity building leading towards a global observation scheme for the oceans, and is aimed at scientists, technicians, graduate students (preferably PhD) and post-doctoral fellows involved in oceanographic work at centres in developing countries and countries with economies in transition.
Priority is given to applicants in the early stages of their career development. The fellowship offers the opportunity to visit other oceanographic centres for a short period (1 to 3 months) for training on aspects of oceanographic observations, analyses, and interpretation. It provides financial support to cover the return airfare from the fellow's home country to the host institution, and a contribution towards accommodation and subsistence for the period of the visit.
For more information and details on how to apply please see http://ocean-partners.org/
Applications are now being accepted for the third International Ocean Colour Coordination Group (IOCCG) Summer Lecture Series (SLS), dedicated to high-level training in the fundamentals of ocean optics, bio-optics and ocean colour remote sensing. The course will take place in Villefranche-sur-Mer, France from 18 - 30 July 2016 and will consist of lectures by prominent scientists on current critical issues in ocean colour science, along with hands-on tutorials. Students will be given ample opportunity for in-depth discussions on various pre-selected topics, as well as on their own scientific research.
There is no fee to attend the lecture series but students are encouraged to seek financial support to supplement their travel and accommodation expenses. Eligible students will be rated based on their interest in the course and its potential to enhance their own research.
To apply: Please complete the application form available at: http://www.ioccg.org/training/SLS_2016.html. Further information on the course content and list of teaching staff is also available on this webpage. Deadline for applications is 15 March 2016.
The global summit on urban transitions that has as its theme "Towards a better urban future in an interconnected age" is now calling for papers for oral and poster presentations in each of the the following sub-themes
- Economically competitive urban futures
- Sustainable and resilient urban futures
- Equitable and inclusive urban societies
- Digitally supported urban futures
The deadline for contributions for oral and poster presentations are invited on each of these themes by 3 March 2016
Asia and the Pacific has the highest rate of urbanization at present and it is crucial that urban futures scenarios be examined soonest in the context of the interconnected world we now live in.
Contributions may be generic or specific to a particular geographical region, or typologies of cities based on population size, economic structure, geography, or other classification scheme. They can be specific to a theme or cut across several themes (examples of cross-cutting themes might include planning and governance strategies, decision support tools, envisioning and transition studies and strategies); and they may also consider particular urbanisation challenges, such as growth and shrinkage, planning and building new urban developments or re-planning and renovating existing ones.
Parallel sessions supplemented by large poster sessions will include a number of structured networking opportunities and structured round table discussions to synthesise discussions and make recommendations for the future.
More information and registration details may be obtained from the Summit website http://www.urbantransitionsconference.com/
The Sixteenth Conference of the Science Council of Asia will be held at Galadari Hotel, Colombo, Sri Lanka on May 30th – June 1st, 2016. The theme of the Conference is:Science for the People: Mobilizing New Technologies for the Sustainable Development in Asia. It will be hosted by the National Academy of Sciences, Sri Lanka.
The Conference will focus on all areas of emerging technologies, success in their use in national development. and the challenges faced by developing Asian countries in mobilizing new technologies for sustainable development. Sub-themes of the Conference are as follows:
1. Opportunities in mobilizing biotechnology, information technology, nanotechnology and renewable energy technologies for national development
2. Social dimensions of these technologies including challenges faced by Asia in their use, risks in applying the technologies and technologies for protection and preservation of cultural heritage.
3. Technologies for climate change mitigation, adaptation to the impacts of climate change and prevention of natural disasters.
More information about the Conference and registration details may be obtained from http://nas-srilanka.org/the-sixteenth-conference-of-the-science-council-of-asia/
The Application Laboratory, Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC), Center for International Collaboration Atmosphere and Ocean Research Institute, the University of Tokyo, and Japan Society of Ocean Policy will co-organise a workshop to further promote the international program called Sustainability Initiative in the Marginal Seas of South and East Asia (SIMSEA), in Tokyo, Japan on 5 February 2016. The SIMSEA Program (http://simseaasiapacific.org) was conceived by the ICSU Regional Committee for Asia and the Pacific ( http://www.icsu.org/asia-pacific/news-centre/news/simsea-steering-committee-meets-in-kuala-lumpur) and further developed by the ICSU Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific (ICSU ROAP) is an activity designed to support collaborative interdisciplinary solutions oriented research according to the framework of Future Earth, the new international platform for research on global sustainability (http://www.icsu.org/future-earth). Specifically SIMSEA will research the sustainability of the marginal seas in South and East Asia and develop a network of networks among researchers to initiate, develop and support interdisciplinary research under the framework of Future Earth.
A major conference entitled "Anthropology, Weather and Climate Change" will be held in London on 27-29 May 2016. It is being organised by by The Royal Anthropological Institute (RAI) and the British Museum The organisers welcome participation and proposals for panels on all aspects of this timely and complex issue. Anthropology is understood here as being in its widest sense, including Archaeology, Biological Anthropology, Linguistic Anthropology and Social Anthropology. Cross disciplinary understanding of earth systems science is vital for success of the new global research platform for global sustainability proposed by Future Earth.
Further details about the conference may be obtained from the following website:
ROAP received Franz Waldenberger and Joachim Rohr of the Deutsches Institut fur Japanstudien (DIJ) Max Weber Foundation for discussions at ROAP and at KITA, the Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia Institute of Ethnic Studies (http://www.kita.ukm.my). The purpose of the visit was to explore possibilities for future research collaboration in the area of social sciences/humantities with a regional focus on South East Asia. The Max Weber Foundation currently sponsors 10 research institutes globally including the DIJ in Tokyo (http://www.maxweberstiftung.de/en/institute.html). Plans are afoot to expand into other regions such as South East Asia by establishing research groups or transnational research centres. At ROAP the visitors were briefed about the work of ICSU and the Future Earth programme. At KITA, the Director of the Institute gave a warm and comprehensive account of the Institute's roles and functions, and its current and future research. All parties involved actively engaged in in-depth discussion of the research landscape in social sciences and humanities in Malaysia and Asia, the national and regional research systems, and the major international networks with which KITA interacts. After the Kuala Lumpur visit Franz and Joachim flew to Singapore to have similar talks with representatives of the science community there. We look forward to further discourse and the development of potential collaborative initiatives with the Foundation in the near future.
The 20th meeting of the ICSU Regional Committee for Asia and the Pacific (RCAP) was held on 24 and 25 November in Chiang Rai, Thailand. It was hosted by the National Research Council of Thailand (NRCT), whose immediate past Secretary General, Soottiporn Chittmittrapap is a member. The Committee discussed progress of work in its 4 priority areas viz. hazards and disasters, urban health and wellbeing, ecosystems, and sustainable energy. Also discussed was recent developments in Future Earth, the new international platform for research on global sustainability. Two members of the RCAP, Soottiporn Chittmtrapap and Nordin Hasan, were recently appointed as members of the Future Earth in Asia, Regional Advisory Committee (RAC). Nordin Hasan was also elected Chair of the RAC. As part of its programme to interact with scientists in the local area, the RCAP members made a visit to the Mae Fah Luang University in Chiangrai on the second day of the meeting. Two RCAP members, Toshio Yamagata and Jung-Hye Roe gave lectures on recent advances in science for staff and students of the university at a seminar organised by the university. Prior to the start of the seminar the President of the University Dr Vanchai Sirichana gave a warm welcome to all members of RCAP and introduced the university which was established in 1998 to all present.
The 4th International Workshop on Psychological Intervention After Disasters (PIAD 2015) was held at the International Centre of Excellence on Integrated Research on Disaster Risk (IRDR-ICoE), Taipei from 9 - 12 November 2015. The workshop is an annual activity spearheaded by the International Union of Psychological Science (IUPsyS) with support from ICSU and its partners since 2012. This year, a total of 25 participants from eight Asian countries attended the workshop. Faculty for the workshop consisted of scholars from Australia, China, New Zealand, Taiwan and USA who are leaders in their fields of research. Core funding for the workshop was provided by IRDR-ICoE-Taipei with additional support from the Jacobs Foundation and the Chinese Society for Psychological Science. Organization of the workshop was undertaken primarily by the ICSU Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific (ICSU ROAP) and IRDR-ICoE. Other partners included the Center for Applied Developmental Science of the Friedrich-Schiller University, Jena, and the United Nations University International Institute for Global Health (UNU-IIGH). Materials from the workshop can be downloaded from the links provided below.
A four-day international symposium on co-design for urbanization in China and the Asia-Pacific region was held in Xiamen, China, from 20 - 23 October 2015. The symposium was convened by the Chinese Association for Science and Technology (CAST) and its partners.to explore ways of meeting the urban challenge in Future Earth, the new platform for international research on global sustainability. In his presentation, Mark Stafford-Smith the Chair of the Science Committee of Future Earth outlined how Future Earth is developing globally and regionally and how urbanization can be used as a case to develop a more nimble global research and innovation agenda under Future Earth. Sustainable urbanization is one of the eight goals of the societal challenges in the vision of Future Earth. It is also a key in the UN sponsored Sustainable Development Goal (SDG), the unified vision for all nations to adopt in order to eradicate poverty and develop within planetary boundaries. According to Mark achieving sustainability in urbanisation in Asia is vital for global sustainability given the rate and magnitude of change in the region. More information about the symposium may be obtained from the following website http://cnc-fe.cast.org.cn/ISCUCA/index.asp
The Steering Committee of the Sustainability Initiative in the Marginal Seas of South and East Asia,(SIMSEA), a regional initiative developed by ICSU ROAP and its partners, the Marine Science Institute of the University of the Philippines, Diliman and the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC) (http://simseaasiapacific.org/) met in Manila on 6 and 7 October 2015. The meeting was hosted by the SIMSEA Programme Office located at the Marine Science Institute, University of the Philippines, Diliman (http://upd.edu.ph/). All members of the Committee attended. It noted progress made since its initiation in July 2014, reviewed plans to promote SIMSEA and decided on possible ways to enhance the participation of researchers in the programme. A regional symposium is planned for September 2016. It will have the following theme, sub-themes and objectives.
Overall theme: Towards the attainment of Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) in the marginal seas of Asia
- Ocean health, productivity of marine ecosystems and sustainable livelihoods
- Climate change and variability, weather extremes, disaster management and adaptation in the coastal zones
- Socio-ecological dynamics of sustainable use of oceans, seas and coastal resources
- Coastal Pollution, degradation, and biodiversity loss
- Ocean policy and trans-boundary flows
Objectives of the Symposium
- to promote transdisciplinary research in the context of SDGs focused on coastal and marine issues
- to provide opportunities for research collaboration and networking towards sustainable development in the region
- to promote transdisciplinary work in sustainable development by new scholars
A science-policy workshop on modelling urban health and wellbeing will be held in Xiamen China on 28 and 29 April 2016 to explore ways of enhancing the ability of the scientific community to communicate results of research and studies in urban health, for policy and action. The workshop is organised by the newly established International Programme Office (IPO) on urban health and wellbeing and is co-sponsored by the World Health Organization (WHO), the Inter-Academy Medical Panel (IAMP), the United Nations University International Institute for Global Health (UNU-IIGH) and ICSU. It aims to provide basic understanding of opportunities at bridging the information gap between science and policy by enabling communication and dialogue between modelers and policy/decision makers in the field of urban health. More information may be obtained from the brochure below.