We are pleased to announce that ICSU Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific (ROAP) has been successful in being selected, in partnership with the Kyoto-based Research Institute for Humanity and Nature (RIHN), as a Sending Organization for the Sakura International Exchange Program in Science (http://ssp.jst.go.jp/EN/outline/index.html#M1) . The main aim of the program is to enable young scientists (less than 40 years old) from countries in Asia, to visit Japan to collaboratively develop ideas about research, and exchange relevant knowledge with Japanese scientists. The main function of the Sending Organization will be recommending researchers as participants of this program. The focus of the next exchange visit which will be in January 2015 is Future Earth the new international platform for research on global sustainability. Successful applicants will also be expected to attend, as part of the exchange, the 3rd International Workshop on Future Earth in Asia, that will be organized and hosted by RIHN.
The ICSU Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific (ROAP) Annual Report 2013 has been published and is downloadable from the link provided here. In her message the Chair of the Committee noted that more than ten meetings were organised in Asia and the Pacific in 2013, to build a research community that was sensitive to Future Earth and could effectively develop strategies to begin to implement the initiative in the region. She also mentioned the new Future Earth initiative called the Sustainability Initiative in the Marginal Seas of East Asia (SIMSEA) that ROAP is developing.
The 18th Meeting of the ICSU Regional Committee for Asia and the Pacific (RCAP) will be held in Auckland New Zealand on 27 and 28 August 2014, just prior to the 31st ICSU General Assembly on 30 August to 3 September 2014. The meeting will be attended by all Committee members. A full agenda has been prepared and matters to be discussed include that related to the progress of the work of ICSU ROAP in its priority areas viz. hazards and disasters, urban health and wellbeing; sustainable energy, and ecosystems. Reports from the global secretariat of ICSU and the ICSU Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean will also be tabled at the meeting. Of particular interest to Asia and the Pacific is the development of work related to the new international platform for research on global sustainability, Future Earth. ROAP is developing a programme known as the Sustainability Initiative in the Marginal Seas of East Asia (SIMSEA) as part of its activity on Future Earth. A visit to the Institute of Marine Science, University of Auckland laboratories in Leigh has been arranged for all committee members. The Director of the Institute Professor Simon Thrush will be at hand to brief the Committee on research at the Institute and together the group will discuss how to build effective links to Future Earth in the region.
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
The International Workshop on Open Data for Science and Sustainability in Developing Countries commenced at the United Nations Office in Gigiri, Nairobi and will end on 8 August 2014. It was preceded by a very successful training workshop on the use of open data for science and sustainabillity on 4-5 August 2014 at the Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, Kenya (JKUAT) located in Juja, Nairobi. The workshop was made possible by the CODATA Task Group on Preservation of and Access to Scientific and Technical Data in Developing Countries (CODATA PASTD）headed by Professor Liu Chuang of the Institute for Geographic Sciences and Natural Resource Research (IGSNRR) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, in partnership with the Communication and Information Committee, World Federation of Engineering Organization (WFEO-CIC), the Ministry of Communication and Information of Kenya (MCIK), and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
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.
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 .
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
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
On the global process on High Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development:
o Visit: http://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/index.php?menu=1564 (Major Groups)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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.