The world is now gearing toward the realization of sustainable societies. Over the past few years, the international community has adopted several historic agreements such as the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by the UN General Assembly and the Paris Agreement at UNFCCC COP21 in Paris. In this regard, it is important to drive the major steps taken by national and regional stakeholders including governments, the private sector, citizens, and NGOs in meeting the global commitments, especially those related to climate change, waste management, biodiversity, environmental risks, and the well-being of society in general. Based on this situation, the National Institute for Environmental Studies (NIES) is undertaking a broad range of environmental research toward the realization of sustainable societies in an interdisciplinary and comprehensive manner.
In order to disseminate the outcomes of these research activities at NIES as well as to bridge the gaps between science and policy, NIES initiated the Forum on Sustainable Future in Asia in collaboration with The University of Tokyo and the Asian Institute of Technology in 2016. The 3rd International Forum on Sustainable Future in Asia will be held from January 23-24, 2018, at Seri Pacific Hotel Kuala Lumpur, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The forum will focus on the three key areas for the realization of sustainable societies in Asia: Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation, Biodiversity and Environmental Observation and Monitoring. The participants will include specialists from academia,as well as central/local governments in the Asia region.
Asian countries are on the turning point to realize economically and environmentally sustainable region. Malaysia is not an exception on this regard. Moreover, Malaysia is facing to the various challenge of environmental issues and sustainable development. Rapid economic development and industrialization caused intensive emission of GHGs in past couple of decades. Mitigation and adaptation actions for climate change is now becoming critical policy targets in the country and the city such as Putrajaya, Cyberjaya and Iskadar Malaysia.This trials can be a role model in the Asian region to realize low carbon societies both in country and muncipal scale. In addition, Malaysia has one of the highest ratio of rain forest in the world, though degardation of the biodiversity in the country caused by heavy deforestaiton is now a serious problem. For maitaining richness of natural environment, and for sustainable development in the whole region, conversation and collaboration between scientists, policy makers and other various stakeholders in this country is especially neccessary and will contribute for the sustainable future in Asia.
The expected outcomes of the forum are to elucidate new ways of building sustainable societies in Asia by stimulating discussions among the stakeholders, to catalyze policy-research networking for the formulation of relevant science-based policies, and to determine feasible paths toward sustainable societies in Asia by converting aspirations into actions at the local, national, and regional levels. Another expected outcome of this forum is to create the foundation for a consortium of relevant institutions and governments in the region that, through periodic gatherings of researchers and policy-makers, will facilitate exchanges of knowledge gained through research and catalyze dialogue at the policy-research interface in the spheres of environmental management and sustainable development in Asia.
Presentations for research actions by the global community, multi-national collaboration and national initiative will be extensively provided as presentations as well as the integrative discussion for possible contribution by the science community toward social transformation for climate change mitigation and adaptation will be intensively discussed.
The "2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development" is a set of 17 international development goals (the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)) to be achieved by 2030 to transform our world (https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/post2015/transformingourworld). One of the biodiversity related goals is Goal 15 (Life on Land), which is as follows: 'Sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, halt and reverse land degradation, halt biodiversity loss'(http://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/biodiversity/).
Biodiversity conservation in the tropical forests of Asia is an essential activity to achieve Goal 15, because this area is one of the global biodiversity hotspots, which is a geographic region possessing rich biodiversity but also threatened with the rapid loss of its biodiversity. NIES has conducted Asian tropical forest research based at the Pasoh forest reserve since 1990, with FRIM and UPM. Researches on biodiversity are an important part of these research activities.
In this session, we introduce the findings from the various kinds of biodiversity researches conducted in tropical forests in Malaysia to gain an idea on the integration of these findings for biodiversity conservation. In addition, we introduce the present situation of poaching and trafficking of protected species that is mentioned as one of the Goal 15 targets and a major contributor to biodiversity loss in this region.
Terrestrial ecosystems in Southeast Asia occupy vast areas from tropical forests, plantations to wetlands. These ecosystems make a significant contribution to the regional and global budgets of carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O). However, the regional budgets of CO2, CH4 and N2O in Southeast Asia and how these budgets will vary in the future remain highly uncertain with increasing population pressure, climate change, natural and human disturbances. Accurately quantifying CO2/CH4/N2O balances is critical for setting targets for their emission reductions and to identify and promote effective mitigation strategies. The presentations from various approaches and issues such as observation, experiment and modelling will bridge knowledge gaps in process understanding and across different spatial and temporal scales.