APN at the 3rd ICSU Regional Consultation for Asia and the Pacific 13-14 October 2009, Penang, Malaysia

In its vigorous efforts to strengthen the relations with the global change programmes and key organisations to explore better ways of collaboration and achieving shared goals, the APN represented by its Secretariat Director, Mr. Tetsuro Fujitsuka, participated and made a presentation at the recently concluded 3 rd International Council for Science (ICSU) Regional Consultation for Asia and the Pacific that was held on 13-14 October 2009 at the G-Hotel, Penang, Malaysia. The Consultation was hosted by the Centre for Global Sustainability Studies (CGSS), Universiti Sains Malaysia and attended by a total of 36 participants from National Members and Unions and other international organisations.

This Regional Consultation aimed at bringing together members of ICSU and other scientists, especially those in Asia and the Pacific to assess progress of the Regional Office for Asia and Pacific (ROAP) and plan its forthcoming activities that will be promoted to the global community. Participation was open only to members of ICSU (National Members, Scientific Unions, Interdisciplinary Bodies and Joint Initiatives and ICSU Associate Members). Selected speakers, including APN, were invited to speak on particular topics relevant to the programmes being developed by ICSU ROAP.

Leading scientists from around the world gathered at this two-day event to discuss and address how science can contribute to address some of the most pressing challenges facing society today, including: hazards and disasters; ecosystem change; sustainable energy and climate change. The ICSU Regional Consultation also examined the experiences of Africa, and of Latin America and the Caribbean in establishing ICSU offices at the regional level. Participation in this Consultation provided the members of ICSU with an excellent opportunity to interact, gain knowledge, and develop insights into priority areas of research in Asia and the Pacific with peers from all over the world.

The presentation delivered by Mr. Fujitsuka on Partnership in the Region for ICSU ROAP Priority Area: Hazards and Disasters cited a number of recent disasters that occurred in Asia and the Pacific region. The challenges were summarised and Mr. Fujitsuka explained how APN is responding in order to address these challenges. More information were provided to the participants regards APN’s activities and supported projects related to the theme. He mentioned a number of opportunities to become actively involved in supporting the APN activities in the region and noted suggestions on how to move forward in facing the challenges cited in the earlier part of his presentation.

It was interesting to note that the Consultation was launched by the Honorable Deputy Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation Malaysia, YB Tuan Haji Fadillah Hj Yusof and his Ministry hosts ICSU ROAP in Kuala Lumpur at the offices of the Academy of Sciences Malaysia. It is centrally placed to play a key role in the participation of developing country scientists in international research and training programmes throughout Asia and the Pacific. In this way, Malaysia has also become better known at the global level as a key player for the development of science for the benefit of society.

The APN will continue to strengthen its collaboration with ICSU ROAP and will seek opportunities to conduct joint activities in the future.