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.
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.
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
Scientific Planning Group (SPG)
The Scientific Planning Group has the
- 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 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?
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
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
- improvement of scientific and technical
capabilities and research infrastructure of nations in
- cooperation with research networks in
- 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
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:
- DIVERSITAS (an international programme
on biodiversity science)
- International Geosphere-Biosphere
- International Human Dimensions Global
Environmental Change Programme (IHDP), and
- World Climate Research Programme
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
- Southern Asia Regional Committees for
- 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
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
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.
IHD Centre Building,
5th Floor 1-5-1 Wakinohama Kaigan Dori Chuo-Ku, Kobe
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.