Science Journalism Partnership
Forum and Workshop
Tokyo, Japan
June 2-4, 2005

 The Mekong River is the largest international river in Asia. From its source in China’s Qinghai Province near the border with Tibet, the Mekong flows generally southeast to the South China Sea, a distance of 4,200 km (2,610 mi) and passes through P.R. China, Myanmar, Laos PDR, Thailand, Cambodia and Viet Nam. The river is important in the ecology and socio-economy of the sub-region. Exploitation of the river as a water supply and for energy and food production has significantly impacted all aspects of the river ecosystem, including its water quality and biodiversity.
 Many organizations are actively involved in assessing the short-term impacts in order to protect and manage the Mekong River. However, the long term issues of ecosystem change have not yet been adequately addressed to ensure the sustainable development and management of the river for future generations. In 2004 an international network of riparian countries, in cooperation with Japan and GEMS/Water Programme, began a pilot project to implement long-term monitoring of the Mekong River ecosystem with the goal of understanding, predicting, preventing/managing/solving issues affecting the sustainable development of the river.
 Creating long-term working relationships between countries is only part of the challenge. There are also communication and trust issues which have caused barriers between science and journalism in the region, in the individual countries, and in the professions themselves. The Global Carbon Project, JFEJ and MeREM have a mutual interest in building communication partnerships between the scientific and journalistic communities to better publicize and address pressing environmental issues. This Forum and Workshop create opportunities for scientists and journalists from eight countries to form long term relationships to begin to bridge the gap between journalism and science and which should result in the accurate reporting of environmental issues that affect millions of people in the countries through which the Mekong River flows.

Global Carbon Project (GCP)
The GCP was created as an Earth System Science Partnership by the International Human Dimensions Program, the International Geosphere-Biosphere Program, the World Climate Research Program, and DIVERSITAS, an international program of biodiversity science. The goal of the GCP is to develop comprehensive, policy-relevant understanding of the global carbon cycle, encompassing its natural and human dimensions and their interactions. The GCP office at the National Institute for Environmental Studies in Tsukuba, Japan aims to integrate the “Human Dimensions” into the integrated earth system science of the global carbon cycle; focus on carbon management; and support carbon cycle research throughout the world. High priority is development of the RC6 Initiative, a comparative and historical approach to urban, regional and global carbon footprints, their determinants, trajectories and management opportunities. RC6 stands for “Regions, Cities, Carbon, Culture, Climate, and Consequences.” One of the institutional foci for the RC6 is to improve the relationship between science and journalism in order to foster greater public knowledge of the global carbon cycle and the importance of regional carbon management.
Mekong River Ecosystem Monitoring (MeREM)
The project began in April 2004 under the financial support of Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT). The objective of this project is to establish an international research collaboration system for in-depth understanding of the many changes and challenges affecting the ecosystem of the Mekong River and to predict long-term ecological changes. The research collaboration resumes the GEMS/Water program in the Mekong River Basin. The project is being implemented by a core organization (National Institute for Environmental Studies), sub-organizations (Tohoku University and Yamanashi University), and the International Committee of MeREM composed of 10 members from Japan, P.R. China, Lao PDR, Cambodia, Thailand and Vietnam.
National Institute of Environmental for Environmental Studies (NIES)
Since its establishment in Tsukuba Science City in 1974, NIES has been the sole national institute for comprehensive research in environmental science in Japan. The mission of NIES is to use its flexibility as an independent administrative institution under the direction of the Ministry of the Environment to serve the public benefit. The International Committee for MeREM established in 2003 is only one of the diverse projects at NIES where researchers in areas such as physics, chemistry, biology, medicine, social sciences, engineering, agriculture, fisheries sciences, economics, work to understand and solve the issues facing the local, regional and global communities.
The Japanese Forum of Environmental Journalists (JFEJ)
Founded in 1991, the JFEJ offers facilities for journalists interested in environmental issues to conduct research and exchange information. It also provides a point of contact between journalists and environmentalists, both Japanese and foreign. Its aim is to respond to the gravity of the present environmental situation and to improve the coverage of environmental activities in Japan. One of the main activities of the JFEJ is a monthly seminar at which guest speakers approach environmental issues from various aspects. Past speakers include government officials, environmental activists, journalists, university lecturers and business leaders. Although the JFEJ does not have its own journal or newsletter, it has some columns in the Global Net, a monthly journal of the Global Environmental Forum, a non-governmental organization which acts as a secretariat for the JFEJ. This allows members to report their activities, or express their ideas. At present the JFEJ has almost 100 members. In April 1994, the JFEJ joined the Asia-Pacific Forum of Environmental Journalists, as its fourteenth member.
The Japanese Association of Science and Technology Journalists (JASTJ)
JASTJ is a non-profit, non-governmental organization created in 1994 by a group of science journalists working in Japan. The association has 150 members comprised of newspaper, television and magazine science reporters; freelance writers; editors; public relations officers from research facilities and business; as well as museum staff members and natural scientists. The JASTJ goals are to stimulate communication between members and other news sources, improve our roles as journalists and communicators, and deepen our insight and knowledge in the fields of science and technology. JASTJ holds meetings between scientists, engineers, manufacturers and politicians throughout the year and a general meeting once a year; organizes trips to research facilities; organizes public symposiums for non-members with the aim of stimulating interest in the group and publishes a quarterly newsletter. Since 2002, JASTJ has conducted a six-month training course in science journalism in order to help raise the standards of the next generation of science journalists.

Wednesday June 1, 2005
JFEJ Seminar
Japan Press Center (Closed Session)

Thursday June 2, 2005
Open Forum
Shiba Park Hotel Conference Room (Open to the Public)
9:00- 9:30 Welcome Overview Dr. Ohtsuka Ryutaro, President
National Institute for Environmental Studies
Mr. TooruTakikawa
President, Japanese Forum of Environmental Journalists
Dr. Penelope Canan, Executive Director
Global Carbon Project
9:30-10:15 Report by Environmental Journalists
from Asia
(Journalists' Seminar on June 1st)

Mr. TooruTakikawa
President, Japanese Forum of Environmental Journalists

10:15-11:15 The Mekong River Regional Environment in Political Economic Context Mr. Masao Imamura
University of Chiang Mai

11:15-11:45 The Role of Scientists in Promoting the Conservation of the Mekong River Region Dr. Makoto Watanabe, Chair
Mekong River Ecosystem Monitoring
National Institute for Environmental Studies

MeREM/GCP Workshop
Tokyo NIES Offices (Afternoon Session Closed)

Friday June 3, 2005
MeREM/GCP Workshop
Tokyo NIES Offices (Closed Session)

Saturday June 4, 2005
MeREM/GCP Workshop
Tokyo NIES Offices (Morning Session Closed)

JFEJ/JASTJ Symposium
Japan Press Building (Open to the Public)
1:00-1:05 Opening Remarks Mr. TooruTakikawa
President, Japanese Forum of Environmental Journalists
1:05-2:00 Cross-Boundary Environmental Issues in Mekong River Basin ? Uncertainty Between Politics and Science Mr. Satoru Matsumoto, Director
Mekong Watch
2:00-3:45 Science Journalism Cooperation Panel Discussion Coordinators
Dr. Makoto Watanabe, MeREM
Dr. Takeshi Hara, JFEJ
3 Scientists / 3 Journalists
3:45-4:30 Global Warming & the POETICs of Regional Carbon Management

Dr. Penelope Canan, Executive Director
Global Carbon Project
4:30-4:45 Concluding Remarks Dr. Makoto Watanabe, Chair
Mekong River Ecosystem Monitoring
National Institute for Environmental Studies

Guest Speakers
Dr. Ohtsuka Ryutaro
President, NIES
Mr. Tooru Takikawa
President, JFEJ
Dr. Penelope Canan
Executive Director, GCP
Mr. Masao Imamura
Professor, University of Chiang Mai
Dr. Makoto Watanabe
Chair, MeREM
Director of Environmental Biology Division, NIES
Mr. Satoru Matsumoto
Director, Mekong Watch
Dr. Takeshi Hara Professor, Waseda University
Guest Editorial Writer
The Mainichi Newspapers, JFEJ

Scientist Journalist Partners
Mr. Norong Uk On
Royal University of Phnom Penh
Mr. Pouv Savuth
Senior Reporter, The Ponloeu Khmer Vice Chairman, CPEHO
Dr. Yong-Ding Liu
Professor, Chinese Academy of Sciences
Ms. Jing Wang
Chief Journalist, Science Times
Dr. Baisheng Ye Researcher
Chinese Academy of Sciences
Ms. Ma Xinping China Environment News
Dr. Kuniyoshi Takeuchi Professor, University of Yamanashi
Ms. Asako Murakami
Dr. Akio Imai Project Leader, National Institute for Environmental Studies
Mr. Mitsuhiro Yoshida Freelance Journalist, Japanese Forum of Environmental Journalists
Dr. Kunimitsu Kaya Professor, Tohoku University
Dr. Mitsutaka Fujita Japanese Association of Science and Technology Journalists
Ms. Somchanh Bounphanmy Lecturer, National University of Lao P.D.R.
Ms. DouangKhe Bounyavong ournalist, Dokked Publishing Co., ltd.
Dr. Wichien Yongmanitchai Lecturer Kasetsart University
Ms. Anchalee Kongrut Journalist, Bangkok Pos
Dr. Aparat Mahakhant Researcher, Thailand Institute of Scientific and Technological Research
Ms. Vimalee Vivatanakulpanit Journalist, Thairath Newspaper
Dr. Xuan Vo-Tong Rector, An Giang University
Mr. Hoang Quoc Dung Standing Vice-President, Vietnam Forum of Environmental Journalists

Japanese Forum of Environmental Journalists (JFEJ)
Global Environmental Forum
1-18-1 Toranomon, Minato-ku Tokyo, Japan 105-0001
Noriko Sakurai E-mail:gef-nsakurai@nifty.com
Tomoko Hamabata E-mail:tomoko_hamabata@nifty.com
Mekong River Ecosystem Monitoring (MeREM)
National Institute for Environmental Studies
16-2 Onogawa Tsukuba,Ibaraki, Japan 305-8506
Kumiko Yamamoto E-mail:yamamoto.kumiko@nies.go.jp
Global Carbon Project (GCP)
National Institute for Environmental Studies
16-2 Onogawa Tsukuba, Ibaraki, Japan 305-8506
Melanie Hartman E-mail:melanie.hartman@nies.go.jp
Yukako Ojima E-mail:ojima.yukako@nies.go.jp
Japanese Association of Science & Technology Journalists (JASTJ)
National Institute for Environmental Studies (NIES)
Mekong Watch

 The sponsors and staff of the 2005 Science Journalism Forum and Workshop wish to acknowledge the contributions of the following individuals and organizations to addressing the critical issues facing the Environment through their support of Environmental Science and Journalism.
 Global Net, Journal of the Global Environmental Forum Harumi Kato, Reporter, YamagataBroadcasting Company Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Yamagata Broadcasting Company (YBC)
 The Forum and Workshop are partly supported by the Japan Fund for Global Environment of the Environmental Restoration and Conservation Agency
 Special Coordination Funds for promoting Science and Technology granted by Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT)

Please contact Tomoko Hamabata for additional information if you plan to attend the Open Sessions.
(独)国立環境研究所 GCPつくば国際オフィス 日本環境ジャーナリストの会 日本科学技術ジャーナリスト会議 環境省