ICSU ROAP 2012 Annual Report
The challenge of sustainability came to the fore again with the advent of the Rio+20 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development in June. The Regional Office was active in the run-up to the Conference and in events after the Conference. The Forum on Science, Technology and Innovation provided the platform for ICSU ROAP to showcase its work on health and wellbeing in the changing urban environment in Asia and the Pacific. In February at the International Conference on Planet Under Pressure in London, ICSU ROAP convened a symposium on green and emerging challenges in Asia and the Pacific. It highlighted many initiatives in Asia that explored ways of promoting green growth and of the need to develop a human sustainable development index (HSDI) to augment the currently popular human development index (HDI).
Work to implement the science plan for health and wellbeing in the changing urban environment in Asia and the Pacific began in earnest and proposals for six selected pilot projects are being finalised for submission to funders. The work in Asia and the Pacific is an integral part of the ICSU plan on health and wellbeing.
Towards the end of the year ROAP hosted two very important meetings - the ICSU Global-regional Integration Workshop on Natural Hazards and Disasters, and the Regional Workshop on Future Earth. Both workshops were funded by Sida, the Swedish International Development Agency. The hazards and disasters workshop aimed at harmonising the implementation of ICSU’s global science plan for Integrated Research on Disaster Risk (IRDR) and regional science plans on hazards and disasters. It sought to develop a common implementation framework by identifying commonalities and highlighting differences of global and regional science plans, and by agreeing on key characteristics of future research activities. The Future Earth Regional Workshop for Asia and the Pacific was highly successful in introducing the scientific community to the new 10-year international initiative on Earth systems research for global sustainability. Participants felt that the region has the ability to lead the move towards global sustainability under the Future Earth programme. The scientific community in Asia and the Pacific is ready to make the change to support integrated research that would build the knowledge and solutions necessary for the transition to sustainability. Through Future Earth, the region can engage with developed and less developed countries in a new programme which seeks to ensure development that is socially inclusive and environmentally sound.
Members of the Regional Committee continued to provide strong support and wise guidance to the work of the Office. Many members volunteered to be Programme Leads who would promote the growth of programme activities in the region. Staff strength at the Office was augmented by the addition of an additional Senior Science Officer, seconded from the Academy of Sciences Malaysia.
We thank all our supporters especially the Ministry of Science Technology and Innovation Malaysia and the Academy of Sciences Malaysia for their generous contributions to the success of the Office.