APN Overview

The Asia-Pacific Network for Global Change Research (APN) is a network of 22 Member Country governments that promotes global change research in the region, increases developing country involvement in that research, and strengthens interactions between the science community and policy makers.

The APN defines “global change” as the set of natural and human-induced processes in the Earth’s physical, biological and social systems that, when aggregated, are significant at a global scale.

The APN works to enable developing countries in the Asia-Pacific region to participate increasingly in regional cooperative research, and to benefit fully from such research.

It strives to assure that the research results contribute to the development of science-based adaptation strategies, policy- and decision-making processes, and developing scientific capacity to address these important issues.

Recognising the interactive role of regional processes in the overall Earth system, the APN also aims to link the initiatives it sponsors with related projects conducted in other regions and under the aegis of global-scale programmes.

History

The APN was established as a result of the 1990 White House Conference on Science and Economics Research Related to Global Change, at which then US President Bush invited the countries of the world to join the United States in creating three regional networks for North-South scientific cooperation at the intergovernmental level to deal with global environmental change research. Discussions along these lines progressed in three zones: Europe and Africa; North and South America; and the Asia-Pacific region.

The APN was formally launched in 1996 with its first Inter-Governmental Meeting (IGM) and Scientific Planning Group (SPG) meeting in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

By 1997, a competitive process was in place for proponents to apply for funding for scientific research projects relating to global change research.

Since then, the APN’s activities have advanced steadily. The 15th IGM, held in March 2010 in Busan, the Republic of Korea, marked the end of its second phase of activities and the beginning of a new five-year phase (2010-2015).

Vision

Enable countries in the Asia-Pacific region to successfully address global change challenges through science-based adaptation strategies, effective science and policy linkages, and capacity development.

Mission

The mission of APN is to enable investigations of changes in the Earth’s life support systems and their implications for sustainable development in the Asia-Pacific region. The APN supports investigations that will:

  1. Identify, explain and predict changes in the context of both natural and anthropogenic forcing;
  2. Assess potential regional and global vulnerability of natural and human systems; and
  3. Contribute, from the science perspective, to the development of policy options for appropriate responses to global change that will also contribute to sustainable development.

Goals

  1. Supporting regional cooperation in global change research on issues particularly relevant to the region
  2. Strengthening appropriate interactions among scientists and policy makers, and providing scientific input to policy decision-making and scientific knowledge to the public
  3. Improving the scientific and technical capabilities of nations in the region including the transfer of know-how and technology
  4. Cooperating with other global change networks and organisations

Core strategies

  1. Promote and encourage research that can improve understanding of global change and its implications to the region, and contribute to sound scientific basis for policy formulation and decision-making on appropriate adaptation strategies;
  2. Build scientific capacity and improve the level of awareness on global change issues specific to the region; and
  3. Identify and address, in consultation with policy makers and other end users, present and future needs and emerging challenges.