Third Task Force Meeting and 37th Steering Committee Held in Kobe, Japan

Kobe, 12-14 October 2017 —  The Task Force for the Future Development of APN gathered in Kobe, Japan to implement institutional recommendations for improving the effectiveness of APN and to consider concrete steps to gear its activities towards greater impact and stronger policy relevance.

The meeting was opened by Mr. Eiji Endo, Director General, Environmental Development Bureau, Agricultural and Environmental Affairs Department of the Hyogo Prefectural Government, Japan. In his opening remarks, Mr. Endo underscored the importance of international cooperation in environmental measures, and expressed his hope that APN continues to actively provide scientific input on global change issues to policy and to spread the outcome to other regions.

The Task Force developed a set of draft suggested revisions to the Framework Document of APN, which, once approved, will put into practice some of its specific recommendations. These include measures designed to strengthen the role of the Intergovernmental Meeting in strategically steering the APN, to strengthen the subregional mechanisms of APN, and to task the Steering Committee with increased operational responsibilities.

The Task Force considered options of engaging member country governments with the aim of better aligning with the needs of member countries. For this purpose, the Task Force recommended APN to conduct country consultations with member countries, as appropriate. Further, the Task Force initiated strategic discussions on new and improved modalities of supporting regional research and capacity development.

The 37th Steering Committee meeting was held following the Task Force meeting to work on financial and operational matters of APN. These include financial reporting, budgeting, plans for engaging in upcoming international events, plans for initiating discussions on a subregional committee for Oceania, among others. The Steering Committee also approved the continuation of a number of projects.

Thailand announced its intent to host the next Intergovernmental Meeting, tentatively scheduled for early July 2018 in Bangkok, Thailand.