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The 5th AASSA Regional Workshop - August 19-22, 2013 in Barnaul, Russia
admin 2013.09.12

The 5th AASSA Regional Workshop on
'Sustainable Development of Asian Countries, Water resources and Biodiversity under Climate Change'


August 19-22, 2013
Barnaul, Russia
Hosted by Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences

 


 

The Regional Workshop on "Sustainable Development of Asian Countries, Water Resources and Biodiversity under Climate Change” was held during August 19 ~ 22, 2013 at the Institute for Water and Environmental Problems of Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences (IWEP SB RAS).

 

The workshop was organized and sponsored by the Association of Academies and Societies of Sciences in Asia (AASSA), the Global Network of Science Academies (IAP), the Presidium of Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences (SB RAS) and the Institute for Water and Environmental Problems of SB RAS.

 

The aim of this regional workshop was to increase the role of science in solving common water-related, environmental and socio-economic problems of the Asian countries and to promote sustainable development of the region increasingly stressed by the climate change.

 

At the opening ceremony, Dr. Yuri I. Vinokurov, Director of IWEP, delivered a welcoming speech to the participants of the workshop. Welcoming addresses were also made by the honored guests: Dr. Won-Hoon Park, the President of AASSA and Dr. Namik Aras, the Vice President of AASSA.

 

More than 30 scientists from the academic and applied-research institutions of 8 countries took part in the regional workshop. During the plenary session, chaired by Dr. Vinokurov, and the ensuing four sections, the participants made 16 reports covering the following areas:

 

▪Adaptation of the nature and society to the climate change
▪Problems of the water resources use in Asia
▪Biodiversity under the changing environment
▪Environmental, socio-economic and legal mechanisms for sustainable development of the Asian Region and trans-boundary cooperation.

 

Throughout the workshop and research trip to the Altai mountains, various issues such as water resource management, biodiversity conservation, and fair use of natural resources were raised and actively discussed among the participants to propose the ways of eliminating regional strife in the management of trans-boundary natural resources while acknowledging the lack of government attention to the results of academic research in solving the pressing environmental and socio-economic problems.

 

Particular attention was given to the region’s water resources. Traditionally, the Southern Siberia and its neighboring countries including China, Mongolia and most Central Asian countries have over-exploited and polluted the region’s precious water resources and the water-related problems in the region have often escalated to the trans-boundary issues, thereby making problems more difficult to solve and further deteriorated by the mismanagement of the involved countries.

 

Climate change has brought another challenge to the region’s water resource management. Although the impacts of global warming and climate change have not been clearly revealed yet, all workshop participants agreed with that adaptation to the climate change would further increase the burden on the water resource management in the future.

 

Emphasis was also placed on free flowing exchange of the scientific information not only within the region but also with other parts of the world, which would serve as a vehicle for better understanding of the problem among the involved countries and establishment of an international center for the scientific information exchange on water resources, biodiversity and sustainable development in the Asian region.

 

The participants adopted a resolution based on the presented reports and ensuing discussions. The participants, research organizations and member academies will carry out various collaborative efforts, with guidance and support from the AASSA, on scientific research, information exchange, capacity building and education, and public, media and government relationship. In addition, the participating individual researchers and research organizations and member academies will promote exchange of the experiences in dealing with environmental problems in the Asian regions in order that large-scale joint projects (under the auspices of AASSA) can be launched under national and international programs by participating individual researchers or research organizations. To achieve these goals, the following specific actions are recommended:

 

1. The AASSA and member academies will initiate an endeavor of launching major collaborative research projects in order to join efforts of the Asia researchers by integrating the research outcomes and developing the regional monitoring programs on the current socio-economic and environmental status including its development trend, climate, water resources and biodiversity with focuses on the integrated approach of territorial development and on the fair use of the natural resources.

2. The AASSA will publish the official reports every 5 years on sustainable development of Asia based on the workshops and collaborative researches carried out by the support of AASSA; the member academies have an obligation to nominate their leading scientists as the editors of the relevant topics and to provide the editors with the detailed research results.

3. The participants, research organizations and member academies will seek funding from the governments, international organizations and research foundations, not excluding other sources and projects supported by AASSA.

4. The participating individuals and research organizations will perform the water resource and biodiversity studies as an integrated watershed management concept to bolster the sustainability of water and bio resources critical for the environmentally sound watershed management; The EU water framework directive can be adopted as a reference protocol for the concept development as well as for the trans-boundary cooperation.

5. The AASSA and member academies will create an information network for integrated management of water and biological resources of Asia within the framework of AASSA.

6. The AASSA will develop cooperation in the field of environmental education, environmental management and environmental technologies as one of the priority directions in the development of the Asian countries.

7. The AASSA and member academies will promote the AASSA achievements among the Asian governments, public and media while developing effective mechanisms for participation of the citizens, public associations and business in the AASSA projects.

 

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AASSA, The Association of Academies and Societies of Sciences in Asia
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