In the recently concluded Association of Academies and Societies of Sciences in Asia (AASSA)-National Academy of Science and Technology, Philippines (NAST PHL) Workshop and 2016 Climate Conference, the Resolutions Committee of the workshop-conference recommended various actions in addressing the challenges posed by climate change and sustainable development. The international workshop themed on the “Role of Science Academies in Sustainable Development” was held in conjunction with the 5th National Climate Conference on “Addressing Climate Risk for Sustainable Development.”

The 11-point resolution was submitted to Department of Science and Technology’s (DOST) Secretary Fortunato T. de la Peña, and Climate Change Commission’s Secretary Emmanuel M. de Guzman during the closing and awarding ceremonies of the workshop-conference. The resolution recommended  that national governments provide adequate financial resources to the national academies and societies of science to carry out  their mission, especially in relation to the sustainable development goals (SDGs) proclaimed by the United Nations.
The Resolutions Committee cited the importance of attaining these SDGs by 2030 and emphasized the threat of climate change on the ability of Asian nations in meeting these goals. Specifically, the resolution calls on these nations to:
1. strengthen the participation of national academies and societies of science in the design, implementation, and monitoring of the sustainable development initiatives of Asian countries;
2. foster participation of young scientists in sustainable development research;
3. emphasize and promote multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary research;
4. increase support for climate modeling research to better understand how and to what extent climate change will affect various sectors of society;
5. study the role of financial instruments in helping small holder farmers and fishers adapt to a changing climate;
6. support the academic development of researchers engaged in climate change and sustainable development research;
7. establish a network of learning sites where the impacts of climate change and sustainable development can be monitored in the long term;
8. promote the implementation of science-based climate risk transfer measures, such as weather index-based insurance;
9. intensify and support programs for environmental values and changes in lifestyle for inclusion in school curricula;
10. communicate climate change and sustainable development issues and research findings using print and electronic media to all levels of society; and
11. disseminate scientific knowledge on sustainable development, climate change adaptation, and disaster risk management in appropriate forms to government leaders and policymakers, private sector leaders and all concerned stakeholders.
The first day of the workshop-conference featured presentations of international science experts from The University of Tokyo, Bangladesh Academy of Sciences, Islamic-World Academy of Sciences, The Korean Academy of Science and Technology, Science Council of Japan, National Academy of Sciences of the Kyrgyz Republic, Academy of Sciences Malaysia, Nepal Academy of Science and Technology, and Indonesian Academy of Sciences who shared their programs and initiatives on sustainable development. Professor Emeritus Toshio Yamagata, director of Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology Application Laboratory (JAMSTEC APL), gave the keynote address.

During the second day, the invited speakers from Imperial College of London, MI Central Corporation, NAST PHL and Cagayan de Oro Riverbasin Management Council discussed key issues on climate change.

The international workshop was convened by Academician Rhodora V. Azanza, chair of the NAST PHL Biological Sciences Division and director of the University of the Philippines Diliman-Office of International Linkages. Meanwhile, the 2016 climate conference was organized by the NAST PHL Task Force on Climate Change, led by Academician Rodel D. Lasco.

Other participants of the two-day event were from different universities, government offices, private sectors, and media.  The event was supported by the InterAcademy Partnership (IAP) and the DOST.  The workshop-conference was held in Taal Vista Hotel, Tagaytay City last September 28-29, 2016. | Eufemia Mae P. Ferreras