In order to waive the APN flag and strengthen the collaboration with the Monsoon Asia Integrated Regional Study (MAIRS), APN Secretariat Director, Mr. Tetsuro Fujitsuka, attended and delivered a presentation about APN activities at the 2 nd MAIRS International Workshop on Asian Dryland Study that was held on 23-25 July 2009, in Changchun City, Jilin Province, China. This Workshop was attended by over 60 participants including experts from abroad: Australia, Finland, Germany, Japan, Malaysia, Mongolia, Pakistan, Republic of Korea, Russian Federation and United States of America.
MAIRS Dryland initiative is focused on the integrated study of observation and scientific research, which includes the topics of land surface processes, regional hydrological cycle, dust aerosol and modelling This initiative is very relevant as dryland (arid and semi-arid) areas comprise about 30% of earth surface. Water scarcity and land degradation are two of the main problems for the agricultural and industrial activities in the region, as well as the well-being of the people living in the dryland region.
The second workshop was divided in five main session and focused on the following topics: 1) observation and data quality control; 2) land surface processes; 3) dryland hydrological cycle; 4) data assimilation and regional climate modelling; 5) dust aerosol and regional climate; 6) climate change impacts on dryland and adaptation/mitigation strategies. The presentations by international programmes and projects, including that of APN, were scheduled before the start of the first main session. For more information about this workshop, please visit this link: http://www.mairs-essp.org/lcontent.asp?cid=18&id=99 .
For those who just heard about MAIRS, it is a new international research organisation that has been implemented by the Global Change SysTem for Analysis, Research and Training (START), the START Regional Center for Temperate East Asia (TEA-RC), and Chinese donors. MAIRS collaborates with the Earth System Science Partnerships (ESSP) Programs: International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme (IGBP), International Human Dimensions Programme on Global environmental Change (IHDP), International Programme of Biodiversity Science (DVERSITAS) and World Climate Research Programme (WCRP).
While other monsoon research projects are addressing the monsoon climate itself only, MAIRS is going beyond focusing on human monsoon system interaction. This Study attempts to understand to what extent the human activities alter the Asia monsoon climate and how the changed monsoon climate will impact further the social and economic development in Asia. MAIRS will also study the extent to which societies can adapt to such impacts or mitigate them through regulating policies, law, and institutions in order to achieve the sustainable development.
The APN is currently funding a project related to Monsoon Asia. The project’s title is Capacity Building for Drought Monitoring and Studying in Monsoon Asia under the Framework of Asian Water Cycle Initiative (AWCI) . This project is being led by Dr. Ailikun, Director of the International Program Office (IPO) of MAIRS based at the Institute of Atmospheric Physics (IA), Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS).