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An exploratory workshop will be held toward the establishment of a Future Earth Knowledge Action Network on Sustainable Consumption and Production, with particular focus on Asia. The workshop will take place over two days: March 2nd and 3rd, 2016 at RIHN in Kyoto.
The Knowledge Action Networks (KANs) are large, loosely connected networks that bring together researchers and a range of stakeholders to forge closer links between research, practice, and policy. Sustainable Consumption and Production has been identified as the theme for a KAN to be developed over the coming few years.
This workshop is to explore the possibilities for the creation of a SCP KAN and also aims to explore the intellectual boundaries, research and practitioner communities, and potential funders operating in Asia. Paul Shrivastava, Executive Director of Future Earth, will provide a broad overview Future Earth KANs, how they will operate, and to clarify how our KAN creation process might be incorporated in the future. Through the workshop it is expected to accelerate the establishment of the Future Earth KAN originated in Asia.
The workshop is organized by the Regional Centre for Future Earth in Asia and the Research Institute for Humanity and Nature.
Be an early bird: fill out our survey, be the first to know and sign up for beta testing our Open Network. Future Earth aims to launch its Open Network in the first quarter of 2016. In order to refine its format and content, we created a survey for all interested and engaged parts of our community - and beyond. This is a first opportunity for everyone interested in Future Earth to get in touch and become part of the global system of sustainability research. Take part in our short survey and get early access to the network.
The award is to promote the involvement of younger women researchers from developing countries toward the issues of sustainable development and public health. Successfull candidates will be invited to present their work during the Gro Brundtland week of 20- 26 February 2016 in Taiwan, and the network and support system among female scientists from different countries will be emphasized and promoted throughout the event. The submission deadline is 15 December, 2015. For more details, please see Gro Brundtland Award
Following an open international call for applications in July 2015, 8 members listed below were selected to the Regional Advisory Committee (RAC) for Future Earth in Asia. The recommendations received in response to the call for nominations were considered by a committee consisting of senior people in the field from outside of RIHN. In addition to individual candidates’ potential contributions to Future Earth, the Selection Committee took into account the overall balance of the committee in terms of regional and other kinds of diversity. The RAC will hold its inaugural meeting in Kyoto on 20 November 2015. - Dr. Kusumita Arora (CSIR-National Geophysical Research Institute, Hyderabad, India) - Prof. Fu Bojie (Research Center for Eco-Environmental Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China) - Prof. Dr. Soottiporn Chittmittrapap (National Research Council of Thailand, Bangkok, Thailand) - Prof. Emeritus Dr. Mohd Nordin Hasan (International Council for Science Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia) - Dr. Shih-Chun Candice Lung (Research Center for Environmental Changes Academia Sinica, Taipei) - Prof. Roberto F. Rañola, JR. (Department of Agricultural Economics, College of Economics and Management, University of the Philippines Los Baños, Laguna, Philippines) - Prof. Dr. Thomas Anton Reuter (Australian Research Council, The University of Melbourne, Asia Institute, Victoria, Australia) - Dr. Soonchang Yoon (Environmental Sciences, Hankuk University of Foreign Studies / the Korean Academy of Science and Technology, Seoul, Korea) The Advisory Committee will evolve into the Regional Committee for Asia in the future and is expected to be an effective advocate for Future Earth in the region and to be an effective advocate for regional interests to the global Future Earth platform. The committee will work closely with the Regional Centre in Asia to accelerate the development of the Future Earth in the region. The functions of the Regional Committee, once matured, are envisioned to include: - Initiating processes of co-design - Facilitating regional and international interactions - Fostering regional capacity building - Establishing regional structures or activities appropriate to the circumstances in the region. The full list of RAC members will become available at the Asia Centre page soon.
Academia Sinca is calling for session proposal for the 23rd Pacific Science Congress,which is to be held in Taipei next June. The submission deadline is 31 Oct, 2015. For more details, please see the invitation and the flyer.
The Regional Centre for Future Earth in Asia is calling for nominations for members of the Regional Advisory Committee (RAC) for Future Earth in Asia. Deadline: 31 August 2015
Future Earth is developing an organizational structure that includes Regional Committees and Regional Centres. The role of Regional Committees is to be an effective advocate for Future Earth in their regions and to be an effective advocate for regional interests in the global Future Earth platform. The Regional Centre for Asia is hosted by the Research Institute for Humanity and Nature (RIHN) in Kyoto, Japan.
In order to expedite the development of Future Earth in Asia, the Regional Center is convening a Regional Advisory Committee (RAC). It is expected that the RAC will over time develop into a full Regional Committee, taking on more roles and responsibilities as it evolves.
Potential members can self-nominate or be nominated by others. Nominations should be accompanied by a short curriculum vitae and a concise statement on what the nominee would bring to the RAC, as well as two support statements (in the case of nomination by others, one of these should be from the nominee). Nominations should be sent to FutureEarth_AsiaCommittee@chikyu.ac.jp no later than 31 August 2015. Selection results will be announced on the website by 15 October 2015.
Detailed information of the announcement is available here.
The Monsoon Asia Integrated Regional Study (MAIRS), in collaboration with the Research Institute of Humanity and Nature (RIHN), and with inputs of numerous other contributors, facilitated the preparation of this strategic research plan to inspire the realization of Future Earth in Asia. This document, based on the structure of the Future Earth Initial Design Report, aims to give an Asian perspective for the development of Future Earth activities across Asia and the Pacific, which is necessary because of the unique features, both environmental and social, of the region. The document was finalized ahead of the official launch of Future Earth regional structures in July 2014, yet it is thought to be valuable in support of the development and implementation of the Future Earth activities in Asia.
The Japan Geoscience Union Conference 2015 which was held in Makuhari, Japan, from 24 through 28 May, included a union session titled “Future Earth – The Integrated Research for Sustainable Earth”. The session consisted of 18 presentations and was well-attended by an enthusiastic audience.
The session included an introduction of one of the Future Earth projects in Japan, “Global and regional integration of social-ecological study toward sustainable use of biodiversity and ecosystem services” (“TSUNAGARI” Project), led by Prof. Masahiro Nakaoka of Hokkaido University. The session also included a presentation by Prof. Hiromichi Fukui of Chubu University, on “Digital Earth”, which is expected to serve as a dynamic framework to share interoperable information and improve collective understanding of the complex relationships between society and the environment. From RIHN, Prof. Tetsuzo Yasunari, Director-General, and Prof. Makoto Taniguchi, Head of the Future Earth Unit, made presentations on “Development of Future Earth in Asia”, and “Optimal governance for water-energy-food nexus in Asia-Pacific region”, respectively. Read more
Japan’s Council for Science, Technology and Innovation (chaired by the Prime Minister) recently announced the draft “Comprehensive Strategy on Science, Technology and Innovation 2015”.
Noting “initiatives to address economic/social challenges” as one of the priority focuses, the Strategy states that the development of global environmental information platforms to monitor and tackle climate changes, open science, and systems to make such platforms jointly available to the public, business, and academic sectors, are integral to “the initiative to realize clean and economical energy systems”.
The Strategy further mentions that to address the agenda “it is required to understand the needs of various stakeholders, promote collaborative research bridging disciplines such as geoscience, information science, and social science, foster technological innovation by industries through providing big data, implement outcomes in model regions and to spread the achievements to the society”, and “Future Earth shall contribute to enhancing the engagement of stakeholders in society with transdisciplinary collaboration with the research community.”
The Japan Consortium for Future Earth announced on 12th of May, 2015 that it appointed Dr. Fumiko Kasuga as the Future Earth Global Hub Director in Tokyo after selection committee. She is a Director at the National Institute of Health Sciences, as well as a member of Science Council of Japan (Advisor to the President of SCJ, former Vice-President). Her initial term will be ended on March 31, 2016.
According to an agreement among five Global Hubs, Professor Paul Shrivastava, Executive Director of Future Earth had joined the selection process. Her appointment was also has been endorsed by Future Earth Governing Council.
The Japan Consortium expects this decision would facilitate Japan’s contribution to Future Earth smoother than before.
The Council for Science, Technology and Innovation (CSTI) held a meeting in Tokyo on 14 May 2015 where the Future Earth initiative was discussed. The CSTI is one of the four councils of important policies of the Cabinet Office of Japan. It is chaired by the Prime Minister, and includes Minister of State for Science and Technology Policy, relevant Ministers, and experts. The aim of the Council is to plan and coordinate comprehensive and primary policies on science, technology and innovation.
Prior to the CSTI meeting on that day, an Expert Panel was organized as a place for an exchange of views concerning science and technology policy, where Dr. Fumiko Kasuga,the Future Earth Global Hub Director in Tokyo, and Dr. Tetsuzo Yasunari, a member of Science Committee of the Future Earth and the Director-General of RIHN, were invited to introduce the importance and situation of the Future Earth research initiative.
Future Earth published its Strategic Research Agenda 2014 in December 2014 and presented eight global sustainability challenges and 62 priorities for global sustainability research in the coming 3-5 years. This prompted researchers from a range of institutions to get together to reflect on the document. A study meeting on the SRA 2014 was held at the National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies, Tokyo, on 1 May 2015, to further promote research in the framework of Future Earth in Japan, to share understandings of the priority research agenda among various stakeholders, and to explore options for research funding. The meeting was called by volunteers from among the members of the Future Earth Committee of the Science Council of Japan, represented by Prof. Tetsuzo Yasunari, the Director-General of Research Institute for Humanity and Nature (RIHN). RIHN supported the organization of the study meeting including a Japanese translation of SRA 2014 and the facilitation of discussion.
Thirty five participants from ministries and research community in Japan joined the meeting, where participants were divided into four groups and discussed research priorities and scrutinized missing elements from the perspective of Japan, Asia and global scope.
Early career scientists are invited to submit applications to participate in next year's Future Earth young scientists' networking conference on integrated science.
The International Council for Science (ICSU), International Social Science Council (ISSC) and the German Research Foundation (DFG) invite applications for participation from post-doctoral researchers interested in integrated science and collaboration between the social and natural sciences. The conference will bring together senior and leading scientists and researchers with a diversity of perspectives to identify priority questions for future research on the topic of 'Future Sustainability - the role of Science in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)'. It will provide an opportunity to interact and network with peers and senior researchers, forging new collaborations and fostering innovative integrated research.
The Conference will take place at Villa Vigoni, the German-Italian Centre for Cultural and Scientific Exchange at Lake Como in Italy, from 24-30 May 2015.
The closing date for applications is December 22, 2014.
Full details and an application form are available online here.
The involvement of stakeholders, including the public is one of the key elements of Future Earth. On August 1, RIHN held its annual Open House, during which the institute is opened to the public. As a part of the Open House program, the Future Earth Unit organized an activity called “Gathering Everyone’s Thoughts on Environmental Problems”, where we used twitter to gather the audience’s thoughts on ongoing environmental problems. We asked: “What is the environmental problem that you are most concerned about and why?” As we gathered everyone’s thoughts, we used an online application to visualize the tweets: The word clouds give greater prominence to words that appear more frequently in the tweets so that we will be able to recognize the most concerned environmental problem visually. Over 40 people including middle school children to elderly people participated in this event and shared their thoughts.
The Research Institute for Humanity and Nature (RIHN) was selected as the Regional Hub for Asia of the Future Earth initiative. Further, one of the five hubs that will together form the global secretariat of Future Earth will be located in Tokyo. Japan will be making significant contributions to this important international initiative by hosting both global and regional hubs.
According to the official announcement by the International Council for Science (ICSU), the five global hubs will be located in Tokyo (Japan), Montreal (Canada), Paris (France), Stockholm (Sweden) and Colorado (USA). The regional hubs are RIHN (for Asia), the Inter-American Institute for Global Change Research (for Latin America), the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research (for Europe) and The Cyprus Institute (for the Middle East and North Africa).
Future Earth is a 10-year research programme, and it is expected that thousands of researchers from all over the world will be involved in the programme. RIHN will be taking the lead in Future Earth in Asia focusing on in particular environmental problems specific to Asia or the areas of research in which Asian scientists can take the global lead.
For more information, please visit the ICSU website.
The 14th SCA Conference took place in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on June 18-19. The theme of the conference this year was Future Earth. The Conference included five keynote presentations including two speakers from Japan, Professor Kiyoshi Kurokawa (Academic Fellow of the National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies, Japan) on Uncertain Times, Changing Principles, Quo Vadis? and Professor Takashi Onishi (President of the Science Council of Japan (SCJ), Japan) on From Myth to Science - Lessons of Great East Japan Earthquake and Contribution of Science and Technology for Sustainable Society. There was the presentations on the three themes of Future Earth, Dynamic Planet, Global Development, and Transformation for Sustainability, and the conference was concluded with the panel discussion on the priorities for research on Future Earth in Asia.
A joint workshop in Beijing China brought together around 30 members of the Chinese National Committee for Future Earth with members of the Future Earth Science Committee and Interim Engagement Committee to discuss the framework for co-design in Future Earth.
On 19-20th May 2014, RIHN hosted the Future Earth Strategic Research Agenda Workshop which was organized by the Future Earth Interim Secretariat. About 20 participants from around the world, with diverse expertise, gathered in Kyoto for the two day workshop. Starting with a set of 450 research questions that had been collected through an online survey and other means, the participants discussed and voted to reduce this rich collection to a priority research agenda. In most cases, the initial questions were not removed, but were refined following several rounds of voting, and organized into overarching themes. It is expected that this kind of priority-setting workshops will be held regularly as an important part of Future Earth stakeholder engagement.
The workshop was co-sponsored by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) of Japan, the Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST), and the Center for Sustainability Science, Academia Sinica, Taiwan, China.
The Future Earth Unit organized the Second Future Earth in Asia Seminar on the 21st May, inviting Prof. Alan Mix of Oregon State University and Dr. Berta Martin-Lopez of Madrid Autonomous University. Prof. Mix illustrated how paleoclimatology research contributed to increasing our understanding of dynamic earth and improving climate change predictions. Dr. Martin-Lopez presented her wide-ranging research on ecosystem services assessments using ecological, socio-cultural, and economic approaches, and on ecosystem services governance.