2023 MAIRS-FE SSC Meeting | MAIRS-FE Scientific Steering Committee 2023 Annual Meeting Successfully Held in Manila, Philippines

Group Photo

On November 16-17, 2023, the annual meeting of the Future Earth-Monsoon Asia Integrated Research for Sustainability (MAIRS-FE) Scientific Steering Committee (SSC) was successfully held in Manila, Philippines. The meeting brought together leading experts in the field to review and exchange the progress and outcomes of sustainable integrated research and international collaborations achieved in 2023.

Hosted by the University of the Philippines Los Baños, the SSC meeting marked the first face-to-face gathering of the MAIRS-FE scientific community post the COVID-19 pandemic. This collaboration opportunity fostered the recovery and rejuvenation of scientific cooperation within MAIRS-FE.

Scientists from China, the United States, the Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Mongolia, and other countries presented updates on their respective institutions and research programs. They also shared the significant accomplishments and outcomes achieved in 2023 under the MAIRS-FE framework.

Dr. Tong Zhu, Co-Chair of the SSC and a leading atmospheric chemistry and environmental health scientist from Peking University, provided an overview of recent progress and achievements by MAIRS, and highlighted the important work being done in the Atmosphere-Climate-Health (ARCH) working group.

Dr. Jiaguo Qi, Co-Chair of the SSC and a leading environmental scientist in land use from Michigan State University, gave a comprehensive overview of the MAIRS Initiative’s overall progress and integrated research activities. He emphasized the mission of MAIRS to address the challenges posed by Asian monsoons, including droughts, floods, air quality issues, and ensuring access to adequate water, food, and energy resources.

Dr. Shiqiu Zhang, the Director of the MAIRS Center at Peking University and a leading environmental economist, presented on air pollution control in the context of climate change and the development of clean air policies in Asia.

Dr. Yong Liu, Dean of the College of Environmental Science and Engineering at Peking University, represented the International Project Office (IPO) and gave a comprehensive summary of the progress made by MAIRS-FE in cross-disciplinary research programs, academic exchanges, and science communication during 2022-2023. He also delivered a presentation focused on a comprehensive modeling framework aimed at addressing water resource and water quality challenges across various scales.

Dr. Tong Jiang from Nanjing University of Information Science & Technology presented his work related to MAIRS objectives, focused on scenarios and future projections concerning social-economic pathways, emission scenarios, and risk assessments. His talk delved into the development and implications of Shared Socioeconomic Pathways (SSPs), Representative Concentration Pathways (RCPs), and the methodology behind these scenarios.

Dr. Charlie Navanugraha from the Center of Excellence for Soil Research in Asia discussed Thailand's commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and addressing climate change through their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs). The presentation detailed Thailand's climate challenges, primarily related to natural disasters like forest fires and air pollution.

Dr. Fredolin Tangang discussed the efforts made to synergize CORDEX with the MAIRS Future Earth initiative, and highlighted the establishment of a data center at Ramkhamhaeng University in Bangkok, a significant achievement of the project.

Dr. Lourdes Cruz highlighted key challenges faced by the Philippines in achieving ecological balance and sustainability. Her presentation revolved around the establishment of Future Earth Philippines and its aim to create a progressive and resilient Philippines through inclusive science, technology, and Philippine cultural values.

Dr. Yue Qin from Peking University delivered her presentation focusing on the intricate nexus between human and natural systems and their impacts on food, energy, and water risks under climate change. Her talk highlighted three case studies elucidating crucial aspects of the human-nature system.

Dr. Perdinan discussed the relationship between the economy and the environment, delved into his visionary concepts regarding the dynamic connection between economic activities and environmental impacts. Dr. Ikrom Mustofa from the PIAREA Institute delivered a concise yet insightful presentation on Indonesia's efforts concerning the Water-Energy-Food (WEF) nexus and its role in sustainable development.

Dr. Rico Ancog from the University of the Philippines Los Baños School of Environmental Science and Management (UPLB-SESAM) emphasized the integration of environmental considerations into developmental discussions, particularly in the context of agriculture and the Water-Energy-Food (WEF) Nexus work in the Philippines.

The meeting also completed the SSC rotation, with Dr. Yong Liu from Peking University, Dr. Rico Ancog from the University of the Philippines, and Dr. Perdinan Perdinan from IPB University elected as new members of the SSC Committee. In addition, the MAIRS-FE IPO office at Peking University also went through a smooth transition, with Dr. Yue Qin (director of the IPO office) and Ms. Heyuan Yang (coordinator of the IPO office) as the new focal point of the MAIRS IPO office.

The meeting reviewed current projects and achievements under MAIRS-FE and underscored the importance of interdisciplinary and cross-sectoral collaborations in addressing complex issues. The SSC reached a consensus on the next phase of work and provided new momentum and direction for future research collaborations.