International Symposium on Sustainable Future in Asia (TBD)

International Symposium on Sustainable Future in Asia (TBD) 

Date                  January 27-28, 2016

Venue                Asian Institute of Technology, Bangkok, Thailand (TBD)


  Addressing problems related to climate change, Biodiversity loss and urban planning requires a comprehensive approach which includes technological changes and innovations coupled with societal reforms. For scientific and technological innovation on climate, biodiversity and urban related issues, scientists and researchers require information from multiple sectors which are often governed by the state.

The purpose of this symposium is to seek new ways of thinking to address the above mentioned challenges through an ‘information based’ policy development process. In this symposium we highlight four solution areas within the broader theme of Climate Change, biodiversity and urban planning namely;

・       Low Carbon Societies : Governments are gearing towards making progress in developing low carbon societies and  have made proposals for monitoring industry, business, transport and for individual households sectors. Tremendous progress has been made in realising this transformation, nonetheless, challenges still remain in the way governments and citizens perceive the process. This in fact has lead to heterogenous approaches by (or within) a state  making it difficult  to strategise or recommend any particular measure for a country or a region. One way to bring uniformity to the process is by developing a common framework of action at an international, regional or national level. Such measures are already recommended by the United Nations and regional bodies such as ASEAN. The recent sustainable development  goals also seek for low carbon measures and particularly on monitoring low carbon scenarios. Considering all the current needs, it is important to bring together the various developments that has taken place in monitoring low carbon measures in Asia.

・       Environmental Monitoring from Local to Global: Though environmental problems are considered a global issue, except for climate change, the impact of environmental problems are faced more at a local scale. Hence addressing such problems require monitoring grass root environmental issues and we should see how it effects national and international scenarios. However monitoring such issues are constrained by socio-political, technological and policy related issues. To address these challenges, we need to bring together the different streams of information compiled by governments, research institutions and NGO’s to a common decision making platform. The symposium will thus look into the environmental monitoring from a local to a global level.

・       Monitoring Biodiversity and Ecosystem services: Asian region is rich in biodiversity and is also a hub for ecosystem services. However, rapid development, industrial growth and illegal harvesting has lead to depletion of biodiversity. In order to address this complexity,  spatial and temporal information on biodiversity is fundamental. Such information is also required for assessing the various transformation exercises carried out by governments and local bodies in Asia for conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity. There exists multiple research projects to monitor biodiversity loss and management. Integration of such projects are also essential to identify key measures for addressing the challenges faced to the Asian biodiversity ecosystem.

・       Waste management:  Waste management is one major issue which is posing a challenge for the growth of Asian cities. Though countries such as Japan and Singapore has advocated intensive measures for the management of waste, several developing countries in Asia are still facing acute problems in managing waste. The key question is then on how can scientists, researchers and policy makers address the growing needs of the developing Asia in addressing challenges related to waste management. It is also important to assess the existing laws and policies on waste management in developing countries and how effective such policies are. For bringing the right mix of policy and technology, there is a need for an overall information on the behavioural pattern of the society and socio-economic situation at the local level.

Workshop Goals and Objectives

The purpose of this symposium will be to first highlight the current conditions on the above mentioned key issues faced by Asian societies. Focusing primarily on the information needs and requirements, the symposium will then highlight the ways to bridge the information gaps through effective and integrated monitoring systems. Based on these assessments, recommendations will be prepared on how societal transformations can be achieved in addressing the above problems. The

recommendation from the symposium can be used to stress the urgency of addressing environmental concerns among target public and private institutions to take responsibility on specific areas where there is a need for a change. Such recommendations can also support the existing global mechanism to address those challenges.

Organisers and Co-organisers

  1. Asian Institute of Technology (AIT), Thailand
  2. National Institute for Environmental Studies (NIES), Japan
  3. The University of Tokyo (UTYO), Japan


Around 200 (TBD)

(Research scientists from three organizing institutes, AIT students, governmental officials, companies)


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