WHAT IS APN?

WHAT IS APN?

The Asia-Pacific Network for Global Change Research (APN) is an inter-governmental network for the promotion of global change research and links between science and policy making in the Asia-Pacific Region.

Preface

The Asia-Pacific Network for Global Change Research (APN) is an inter-governmental network whose primary purposes are to foster global environmental change research in the Asia-Pacific region, increase developing country participation in that research, and to strengthen links between the science community and policy makers. It promotes, encourages and supports research activities on long-term global changes in climate, ocean and terrestrial systems, and on related physical, chemical, biological and socio-economic processes.

The 21 APN member countries include Australia; Bangladesh; Cambodia; China; Fiji; India; Indonesia; Japan; Lao People's Democratic Republic; Malaysia; Mongolia; Nepal; New Zealand; Pakistan; Philippines; Republic of Korea; Russian Federation; Sri Lanka; Thailand; United States of America and Viet Nam.

APN activities are decided by the annual Inter-Governmental Meeting, and supported by the Steering Group and Scientific Planning Group.

Structure

Inter-Governmental Meeting (IGM)

This annual meeting, the highest decision-making body of APN, is attended by governmental representatives who are appointed by the countries participating in the APN. In addition, observers are invited from the global change scientific programmes, from the International START Secretariat, START regional committees (Temperate East Asia, Southeast Asia, Oceania and South Asia), and the APN's sister networks ENRICH and IAI.

Scientific Planning Group (SPG)

The Scientific Planning Group has the following mandate:

  • recommend a scientific program for consideration by the Inter-Governmental Meeting
  • work with the Steering Group and Secretariat in arranging scientific program activities
  • interact on APN's behalf with other international research programs on global change
  • respond on other science related issues referred to it by the Inter-Governmental Meeting or Steering Group.

Steering Committee (SC)

This committee of the last host country of the IGM, the next host country, the co-chairs of the Scientific Planning Group, and the Director of the APN Secretariat, as well as an observer from the International START Secretariat.

What Are APN's Objectives?

Global Change

An understanding of the complex mechanisms and impacts of global environmental problems on human health and ecosystems is becoming increasingly important in order to reduce uncertainties related to global environmental change. The Asia-Pacific Network for Global Change Research (APN) is functioning in the Asia-Pacific Region to support research on change in complex climate, ocean and terrestrial systems, and on physical, chemical, biological and socio-economic processes.

APN Objectives

Global change research cannot succeed without a high level of international cooperation, as can be seen in collaborative projects implemented at the scientific level under the international research programmes. Inter-governmental networks now support global change research in three major regions of the world--North and South America, Europe and Africa, and the Asia-Pacific. APN is one of these networks, as is the European Network for Research in Global Change (ENRICH), and the Inter-American Institute for Global Change Research (IAI).

In particular, APN promotes the following objectives:

  • supporting regional cooperation in global change research on issues that are particularly relevant to the region;
  • standardization, collection, and exchange of scientific data relating to global change research;
  • improvement of scientific and technical capabilities and research infrastructure of nations in the region;
  • cooperation with research networks in other regions;
  • providing scientific knowledge to the public, and input to policy decision-making;
  • and development of appropriate mechanisms for transfer of know-how and technology.

Why Was the APN Established?

The APN initiative parallels the establishment of counterpart networks for ENRICH and IAI. The establishment of these networks follows the invitation from former President Bush of the United States, during the 1990 White House Conference on Science and Economics Research related to Global Change, to countries of the world to join the U.S. in developing three regional research institutes that would link the interests and capabilities of developed countries and their scientific communities that focus on broadening global change research in the developing world, providing support for truly multi-disciplinary research and education and encouraging the development of a sound scientific underpinning that supports national and international policy making needs.

The countries in the Asia-Pacific region are carrying out many research activities in the field of global change, but much closer transnational cooperation, coordination and information exchange are needed.

Why Does the APN Focus on the Asia-Pacific Region?

The Asia-Pacific is an important region for the understanding of global environmental problems. Important atmospheric and oceanic phenomena occur here, such as the Asian Monsoon and the El Niņo phenomena, which affect the world climate, and the region also has tropical forests, deserts, and mountains. At the same time, the Asia-Pacific region has a population of nearly 3 billion - more than half of the world's total human population. In addition, its economic growth rate is the highest of any region in the world. Because of its population growth rate and its economic activities, this region contributes to global climate change in a major way. Degradation of the environment, such as deforestation and desertification, is becoming a matter of great concern, as are natural disasters which occur as a result of this degradation, such as floods and droughts.

Thus, observation, monitoring, and research on global change in the Asia-Pacific region are indispensable to understanding environmental changes taking place on a global scale. In addition, stronger links are needed between the science community and policy makers. The APN was created to answer these needs.

Relationship with Others

Existing research programs created by large scientific unions provide an important basis for APN activities. These programs which have addressed the need to reduce scientific uncertainties related to global environmental and related social change are:

  1. DIVERSITAS (an international programme on biodiversity science)
  2. International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme (IGBP)
  3. International Human Dimensions Global Environmental Change Programme (IHDP), and
  4. World Climate Research Programme (WCRP).

These three programs have developed plans for capacity building and strengthening research on regional contributions to and impacts from global change through the Global Change System for Analysis, Research and Training (START). The APN cooperates closely with START, and its regional committees in the APN region, in cluding,

  • South Asia START Regional Committee (SASCOM)
  • Southern Asia Regional Committees for START (SARCS)
  • Temporate East Asia Regional Committee for START (TEACOM)
  • START Oceania

Through the APN mechanism, governments can collectively and individually provide necessary support for these scientific processes.

The APN collaborates with other inter-governmental networks supporting global change research. IAI, founded in 1992, covers North and South America. ENRICH, also founded in 1992, covers Europe and Africa.

The APN can also work with other international organizations that deal with research relating to global change, or with related private and government decision making.

It is essential that regional activities build on national programs and be related to national priorities. Many governments have established national bodies to provide advice on policies and programs related to global change, and to foster global change research. Research communities in many countries have established academies and councils that can provide a focus or point of coordination or harmonization for global change work. The level of success of the APN and the global programs will depend in large measure on forging continuing, effective links with and among these national arrangements.

Futher Information

Anyone interested in establishing closer contact with the APN or who would like further information on APN funding and other activities should contact the Secretariat.

APN Secretariat

IHD Centre Building,

5th Floor 1-5-1 Wakinohama Kaigan Dori Chuo-Ku, Kobe 651-0073, Japan

Tel.: +81-78-230-8017

Fax: +81-78-230-8018

E-mail: info@apn-gcr.org

Website: http://www.apn-gcr.org

The APN employs Liaison Officers in Bangkok, Beijing, New Delhi and Suva to act as regional representatives and to coordinate the flow of global change information. Liaison Officers are based in START regional research centres. For the name and address of your regional Liaison Officer please contact the APN Secretariat or access the APN web site.


Page based on APN Website materials.