The inaugural meeting of the Regional Advisory Committee (RAC) for Future Earth in Asia was held in Kyoto on 20 November 2015. This marked a new step forward in the developments of the Future Earth initiative.
The RAC was convened by the Regional Centre for Future Earth in Asia (hosted by Research Institute for Humanity and Nature) to accelerate the development of the Future Earth in Asia and consists of nine members selected through an international call for recommendations. Dr. Mohd Nordin Hasan, the former Director of the International Council for Science Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific, was selected as the RAC Chair. The Committee’s role is to be an effective advocate for Future Earth in their regions and to be an effective advocate for regional interests in the global Future Earth platform.
Mohd Nordin Hasan
Nordin Hasan is Professor Emeritus at the Institute for Environment and Development (LESTARI) of Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia. He is a graduate of the Faculty of Agriculture, University of Malaya (1971) and the Faculty of Science, University of London (1974) where he obtained his PhD. He was a professor of zoology, Faculty of Life Sciences, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (1983 – 2003) and the founding director of the University’s Institute for Environment and Development (LESTARI) established in 1994. He was appointed Professor Emeritus (Environment and Development) Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia in 2005. He served as Distinguished Fellow of the Institute for Strategic and International Studies (ISIS) Malaysia (2012 – 2014) and is a member of the World Conservation Union (IUCN)'s Commission on Ecosystem Management (CEM). He is active in regional scientific organizations and was President, Science Council of Asia (2012 – 2014). He served as Commissioner of the United Nations Commission on Science and Technology for Development (CSTD) from 1993-1997. He is currently Chair of the International Advisory Board of the International Center of Excellence on Integrated Research on Disaster Risks (IRDR-ICoE) Academia Sinica, Taipei. Nordin was a Member of the Expert Committee for Target 14 - Global Initiative on Legal Preparedness for Achieving the Aichi Biodiversity Targets. His publications include a chapter entitled International Experience in Ecosystem Services and Management in China published by Springer in 2013. In 2014, in recognition of his contributions to the field, Nordin was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Science (DSc.) in sustainability science by Universiti Malaysia Terengganu.
Kusumita Arora is a PhD in Geophysics and has been a scientist at the CSIR-National Geophysical Research Institute, Hyderabad, India since 1998 after completing three years in the mineral industry. During the last seventeen years of her research career, she has worked on diverse aspects of applications of geophysical principles to the study of the Earth System. She worked on 3D modelling of the subsurface structure of crust and upper mantle based on magnetic and gravity anomalies, both on land and on ocean. Such structures have use for the understanding of evolution processes of the area of study as well as for the mapping of potential zones for natural resources such as minerals and hydrocarbons. At present she is studying several aspects of the geomagnetic field and leading the group at the Magnetic Observatory of the institute, which is globally recognized for the Observatories that produces high quality data for modelling the geomagnetic field. She is leading a consortium ‘MAGNIO’ for regional cooperation in geomagnetic studies beyond national boundaries. She has also pioneered airborne LiDAR data acquisition and interpretation for geomorphic studies in India. She is involved with active drilling-coring-geological-geophysical studies of deep boreholes for the understanding of earthquake genesis in intraplate regions of reservoir-triggered seismicity. She has a special interest to work across disciplines and professional expertise for integrated and holistic understanding of the Earth system.
Dr. Bojie Fu is professor in geography and landscape ecology at the Research Centre for Eco-Environmental Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences. He is Member of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Fellow of the Academy of Sciences for Developing World (TWAS) and Corresponding Fellow of the Royal Society Edinburgh UK. Dr Fu is the President of Chinese Geographical Society，Vice President of International Association for Ecology (INTECOL), MEP member of the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), Deputy Director of scientific committee of Chinese Ecosystem Research Network and Vice Chair of CNC- Future Earth. His research focuses on interactions between human beings and the environments. He published more than 400 scientific papers and 10 books, over 190 in international journals including Science. He is one of pioneers for the development of landscape ecology in China. His achievements made significant contributions to the understanding of interactions between landscape pattern and ecological processes, land use change and ecological effects, and ecosystem services assessment and management. His researches won the China National Natural Sciences Prize in 2005, National Sciences & Technology Advanced Prize in 2012, and Award of Distinguished Service of International Association for Landscape Ecology in 2011.
Professor Emeritus Dr. Soottiporn Chittmittrapap is a Professor in Pediatric Surgery at Chulalongkorn University (C.U.) and King Chulalongkorn Memorial Hospital. He served as Vice President for Research and International Affairs, C.U. before being appointed as Secretary- General at National Research Council of Thailand (NRCT) reported directly to the Prime Minister. He is interested in managing the research and development to support the sustainable development goals of the country and also adapt to the Climate change that affect the country and the region. He also served as a member of the International Council of Science Union (ICSU), Regional committee for Asia and the Pacific.
Acting Regional Director and Representative for Asia and the Pacific, UN Environment Isabelle Louis has more than25 years of global, Asia Pacific regional and national level experience in sustainable development and natural resource management as well as in organization operations, programme management and multidisciplinary, multicultural team management. Isabelle was at the end of March 2016 appointed Director ad interim (a.i.) of UN Environment Asia Pacific Office located in Bangkok. Prior to this appointment, Isabelle had been Deputy Regional Director at UN Environment Asia Pacific Office since September 2014. She coordinates the UN Environment’s work programme in the region pursuant to the organization’s mandate to support the UN Member States in the region on issues related to the environment, including climate change, environmental governance, and sustainable consumption and production. She facilitates UN Environment’s strategic partnerships in the region and supervises UN Environment’s presences in China, India and the Pacific. Prior to joining UN Environment, she managed a consultancy on Sustainability for the Environment. Previous to that, she was the Director of the Asia Pacific Programme for World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) International, based in Switzerland and Singapore. She managed WWF’s regional conservation programmes, offices in China, the Greater Mekong region, Singapore and the Pacific and facilitated regional strategic partnerships for policy advocacy, communications and fundraising initiatives. She was Deputy Executive Director at WWF Malaysia prior to that. Isabelle, a Malaysian national, has a scientific background in Botany and Plant Pathology. She received her BSc and PhD from Sheffield University in the United Kingdom, followed by a Teaching Fellowship at the National University of Singapore and a Post doctorate Fellowship at Harvard University.
Roberto F. Rañola, Jr.
Roberto F. Rañola, Jr. is currently a Professor of Agricultural Economics of the University of the Philippines Los Baños. He has a Ph.D. in Agricultural Economics (University of Minnesota), a Masters in Development Economics (Australian National University) and a Bachelors degree in Agribusiness (University of the Philippines). He served as Vice Chancellor for Administration of the University of the Philippines Los Baños from 2005-2011. He was also core member of the project “Managing Environmental Risks for Sustainable Food and Health Security in Watershed Planning in Southeast Asia funded by the Research Institute for Humanity and Nature (RIHN). In 2013, he spent time as a Visiting Research Fellow at RIHN. The studies he has undertaken span various issues of sustainability that includes farming systems, food security in the upland areas, Laguna Lake resources, Philippine Biofuels Industry, industry strategic programs for sugarcane and payments for environmental services, to name a few.
Thomas Anton Reuter
Prof. Thomas Reuter is a Future Fellow of the Australian Research Council, and a professor at the Asia Institute of The University of Melbourne. After obtaining his PhD from the Australian National University in 1997, he taught at Heidelberg University, held post-doctoral and QElI Fellowships at Melbourne, and a Research Fellowship at Monash University. He was President of the Australian Anthropological Association (2002-2005) and served as chair of the World Council of Anthropological Associations. He is the Senior Vice-President of the International Union of Anthropological and Ethnological Sciences, and is a member of the executive of the International Social Science Council. Research has focused on Indonesian ethnology, New Social Movements, Religion, Political Anthropology, Elites, Status, Social Organization, Globalisation, Deforestation, Climate Change, and Food Security. Thomas has authored more than ninety articles and nine books. The most recent is Averting a Global Environmental Collapse: The Role of Anthropology and Local Knowledge. London: Cambridge Scholars, 2015.
Prof. Soon-chang Yoon earned the Doctoral degree in Atmospheric Sciences from Oregon State University, USA, Master and Bachelor in Physics from Seoul National University, Korea. He was a professor of Atmospheric Sciences for thirty years at Seoul National University (1984-2014). His research interests were measurement of optical, physical and chemical properties of atmospheric aerosols and their impact on regional climate as well as the long-range transport of air pollutants, and numerical modeling of Asian dust. He has lead the ABC (Atmospheric Brown Cloud) research in Asia as a Vice President of the ABC-Asia Science Team. He conducted the ABC-EAREX2005, East Asia Regional Experiment of ABC in 2005, and the ABC-CAPMEX, unmanned aircraft measurement of air pollution in 2008. He was the President of the Korean Meteorological Society (2012-2013). He is now leading the Future Earth program in Korea. His present designation is the Chair of the National Committee of Future Earth in Korea, and the Vice President for External Relations at the Korean Academy of Science and Technology (KAST). He received many awards: Asian Environmental Award by the Chosun Ilbo and the Mainichi Daily, Red Stripe Order of Service Merit by the President of Korea, and Woonjae Academic Medal, the highest academic award of the Korean Meteorological Society.