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.
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”.
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.
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:
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.
The InterRidge Office at Peking University, China, announced the launch of the 2014 Student and Postdoctoral Fellowship Programme. As part of InterRidge’s mission to promote international, collaborative, and interdisciplinary studies of oceanic spreading centers, the Ofice invites proposals for InterRidge Student and Postdoctoral Fellowships of up to $5000 US each. These Fellowships are designed to encourage international collaboration on any aspect of ridge-crest science by graduate students or postdoctoral researchers, fostering long-standing partnerships for their future careers. The Fellowships can be used for any field of ridge-crest science. In particular these awards are encouraged to be used for international cruise participation, international laboratory use, and adding an international dimension to the Fellow’s research. The deadine for applications is 31st March 2014
More details may be obtained from:
The President of ICSU Professor Yuan Tseh Lee, inaugurated the Golden Jubilee Convention of the Indian Geophysical Union at the National Geophysical Research Institute of India in Hyderabad this morning (8 January). The Union was established in 1963 to provide a forum for geophysicists in India and encourage research, publication and exchange in the field.The theme of the celebrations "Sustainability of Earth Systems: Future Challenges" is closely related to the new initiative by ICSU and its partners, Future Earth. A full day of the 4-day Annual Convention will be devoted to presentations and discussions on Future Earth. Professor Lee will deliver a keynote entitled "The Sustainability of Human Society" during the Session on Future Earth. The session during the Convention will serve to raise the awareness of geophysicists and other scientists in India on research for global sustainability and how they can contribute to the initiative.
More information about the Convention may be obtained from the IGU website http://www.igu.in/50annual.pdf
The report of the workshop on building individual and organizational capacity for intervention after disasters in Asia and the Pacific that was held in Beijing from 11 to 14 October 2013 is now available. The Workshop was led by the IUPsyS' Past President, Professor Rainer K. Silbereisen (University of Jena, Germany). This is the 2nd consecutive year such a capacity building workshop has been held. The workshops aim to train young psychologists to deal with the psychological aftermath of disasters in the region. Support for the workshop came from several organizations including the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), IUPsyS, the small grants programme of ICSU, the ICSU Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific (ROAP), and the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS). The workshop was hosted by the Institute of Psychology, Chinese Academy of Sciences. A full report of the workshop may be downloaded from the link below.
The ROAP team in discussion with participants from the Europe-African Network of Urban Health after their presentation
An abstract of a paper that integrates all the presentations made by the team working on urban health and wellbeing under the auspices of the Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific (ROAP) at the International Symposium "Urban Dynamics and Health: Concepts, Methods and Interventions" has been submitted for publication to the organizers of the Symposium. Entitled Urban Health Dynamics in the Asia-Pacific Region: Meeting the Challenge of Taking a Systems Approach the presentations by the ROAP team outlined the key issues and concerns for the future health and wellbeing of urban dwellers in the region. The Symposium was organized by the University of Paris Ouest, Nanterre Defense, France (https://www.etouches.com/eselect/46334).
ICSU ROAP began the process of implementing its science plan on health and wellbeing in the changing urban environment (http://www.icsu.org/asia-pacific/publications/science-planning-reports/science-plan-on-health-and-wellbeing-in-the-changing-urban-environment-1/2.pdf) in 2012. A number of pilot projects have been initiated, each of which aims to investigate the challenges and benefits of taking a systems approach to population health in a major city in the region. Other than the regional plan, the work is also guided by the newly established ICSU programme on urban health and wellbeing in the changing urban environment (http://www.icsu.org/publications/reports-and-reviews/health-and-wellbeing/).
The draft of the abstract submitted may be downloaded from the link provided below.
Urban Health Dynamics in the Asia-Pacific Region: Meeting the Challenge of Taking a Systems Approach
Global performance on the nine planetary boundaries with the “safe operating space” in green (Source: Swedish Environmental Protection Agency Report 6576)
Threshold conditions for tipping points of the earth systems provide a valuable starting point for defining the work needed to achieve global sustainability. Future Earth, the 10-year programme initiated by ICSU and its partners as a platform for research on global sustainability, describes the new sense of urgency and pressure to contribute to real-world solutions to issues threatening the sustainability of earth systems in the face of rapid and widespread human-induced environmental change. Biodiversity loss is one of the major determinants affecting global sustainability and current levels of losses worldwide has been deemed to have surpassed the safe operating space for humanity. The 3rd World Conference on Marine Diversity, a triennial event organized by the Institute of Oceanology, Chinese Academy of Sciences will be held in Qingdao, China on 12 - 16 October 2014. it aims to bring together researchers in marine biodiversity to debate diversity in the changing oceans.The deadline for session and symposia proposals is 31 December 2013. Abstracts of papers for oral presentations may now be submitted. A call for proposals to host the 4th World Conference in 2017 has also been made, More details may be found at the following URLs.
CALL FOR SESSIONS AND SYMPOSIA
CALL FOR PROPOSAL TO HOST 4TH WCMB
The Partnership for Observation of the Global Oceans (POGO) has announced the POGO-SCOR Visiting Fellowship programme for 2014. The deadline for applications is 10 January 2014. 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 (PhD) and post-doctoral fellows involved in oceanographic work at centres in developing countries and countries with economies in transition (e.g. Commonwealth of Independent States, Eastern Europe).
Priority is given to applicants in early stages of career development. The fellowship offers the opportunity to visit other oceanographic centres for a short period (1 to 3 months) for training on any aspect 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/training-and-education/pogo-scor-fellowship
Please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any queries.
Regional Committee for Asia and the Pacific meets in Seoul back-to-back with the 5th ICSU Regional Consultation in Asia and the Pacific
Professor Sang-dai Park, President Korean Federation of Science and Technology Societies opening the Consultation
The 16th Meeting of the ICSU Regional Committee for Asia and the Pacific (RCAP) began in Seoul this morning (26 November 2013). It welcomed Professor Sukiman Sarmani the new representative from the Council of the Academy of Sciences Malaysia, the host organization of ICSU Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific (ROAP).. The Committee met briefly to review progress of its work in four priority areas before adjourning to join the start of the 5th ICSU Regional Consultation in Asia and the Pacific that has as its focus the new 10-year international research programme, Future Earth. The Consultation will explore how Future Earth may be implemented in Asia and the Pacific focusing on transformative pathways, capacity building and funding needs. The final programme of the Consultation and presentations made will be published here as they become available.
Programme 5th ICSU Regional Consultation in Asia and the Pacific
PRESENTATIONS IN PLENARY
Presentation by Dr Hongkum Lee, Chair ICSU Regional Committee for Asia and the Pacific
Presentation by Anne-Sophie Stevens, Future Earth Interim Secretariat
Presentation by Nordin Hasan, ICSU Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific
Prsentation by Rorie Edmunds, World Data System International Programme Office
Presentation by Toshio Yamagata, Application Laboratory, JAMSTEC Japan
Presentation by John Bythell, University of the South Pacific
PRESENTATIONS BY PANEL
Presentation by Guoxiong Wu, Chinese Academy of Science
Presentation by Arthur Chen, IGBP Scientific Committee
BREAK-OUT GROUP DISCUSSION POINTS
Professor Takashi Watanabe, a Senior Advisor of the ICSU World Data System International Programme Office (IPO) based in Tokyo, Japan, visited the offices of ICSU ROAP today and gave a short presentation of its current activities. The WDS was established to:
- Enable universal and equitable access to quality-assured scientific data, data services, products and information
- Ensure long term data stewardship
- Foster compliance to agreed-upon data standards and conventions
- Provide mechanisms to facilitate and improve access to data and data products
Watanabe-san is on a two-day visit in Malaysia on a mission to learn about data oriented institutions in Malaysia and to expand the WDS community in the Asia-Pacific region. He will visit the Malaysian Centre for Geospatial Data Infrastructure (MaCGDI http://www.nre.gov.my/English/Profile/DivisionInformation/Pages/Malaysian%20Centre%20for%20Geospatial%20Data%20Infrastructure%20(MaCGDI).aspx) on 14 November for talks on the roles and functions of the WDS and to seek its membership of the WDS as a representative of Malaysia. The WDS was established to ensure the long-term stewardship and provision of quality-assessed data and data services to the international science community and other stakeholders. It is planning to create a “WDS Asian Net” inviting WDS-oriented institutions or research groups to post their activities to the international WDS community.