ASEAN Secretariat, 25 June 2010
In two days’ time, ten of ASEAN’s brightest scientific young researchers will experience a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to meet and learn from Nobel prize winners and fellow bright minds from around the globe. The ASEAN youths, together with more than 650 other young researches, will be attending the 60th Nobel Laureate Meetings in Lindau, Germany.
The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings, held annually since 1951, provide a globally recognised forum for the transfer of knowledge between generations of scientists. This year, from 27 June to 3 July 2010, the youths will have a chance to meet over 60 Nobel Prize winners from the fields of chemistry, physics and medicine/physiology. The Nobel Laureates will be lecturing on current scientific developments, from which the youths can also draw inspirations for their future researches. The youths will also participate in panel discussions, seminars and other social programmes.
During the programme, the young researchers, who were nominated by a global network of Academic Partners of the Meetings, will interact with Nobel Laureates. These youths have passed a multi-stage international selection procedure. A Council workgroup examines about 1,500 profiles for every Meeting before finally inviting the top applicants to Lindau to meet the Laureates.
The ASEAN’s youths’ participation was coordinated by the ASEAN Secretariat and supported by their respective universities, CIMB Thailand, Thai International Airways and OPEC Fund for International Development.
The participants may have been motivated by different reasons, but they share one common aim: to contribute to the society through their scientific endeavours. Hear what the ASEAN youths have to say about their passion for science and research:
34-year-old Tonni Agustiono Kurniawan from Indonesia “As youth is a driving force in the development of society, young researchers have potentials to make a difference to society through their fields.”
38-year-old Yusril Yusuf from Indonesia “As young researcher in the field of soft matter physics, I have a genuine interest in both fundamental and application researches and have strong commitment to find new results in liquid crystals and liquid crystal elastomers …”
20-year-old Rachel Nge Sing Wei from Malaysia “Interest in chemistry and medicine has propelled me forward and to thirst for what others think is impossible. My main goal is to contribute back to my people and country. With that in mind, nothing is impossible.”
23-year-old Er Chern Han from Malaysia “With two years’ experience in research, I have learnt the importance of peer interaction, as well as specific knowledge and ability. It sparks ideas and provides different perspectives on certain topic.”
23-year-old Low Kit Yee from Malaysia “ …‘Ancora imparo’ which means ‘I am still learning’ attributed to Michelangelo is my inspiration to enrich my knowledge.’
25-year-old Mohammad Anwar Mohamed Iqbal from Malaysia “…desire to learn new things open my mind to explore more on the beauty of chemistry and its connection with other field of sciences …”
25-year-old Lee Sau Har from Malaysia “Science knowledge allows us to understand ourselves as human, as well as all living things in nature, in a better way. ….. research is the only bridge to all the valuable answers that we are looking for.”
25-year-old Ian Harvey Arellano from Philippines “One’s research experience would not be complete without even occasional exchanges of knowledge among interested minds, may it be among students, between a professor and a student, or between a researcher and a co-researcher.”
30-year-old Voraphoj Nilaratanakul from Thailand “I have been training and practicing as a physician for more than 10 years. Even I do my best, many patients still have unsolved problems because of too many gaps in knowledge and controversial issues in medicine.”
25-year-old Zhang Zhengyang from Singapore “Independent learning was essential to clearly understand my projects and their applications. With full appreciation of their potentially revolutionary impact, I decided to pursue further education in order to make significant contributions to these work.”
Natural heritage experts from the region are meeting in Bandar Seri Begawan to discuss ways to promote cooperation in protected area management. The 3rd ASEAN Heritage Park Conference gathered managers of the ASEAN Heritage Parks, members of the ASEAN Heritage Parks Committee and relevant national experts in an effort to further enhance the on-site management of the ASEAN Heritage Parks.
The ASEAN Heritage Parks, a list of protected areas in the region, was set up in 1984 in line with the view that the region should own a regional conservation and management mechanisms to complement and support national conservation efforts. Following a review in 2003, there are now 28 national protected areas on the list. The ASEAN Heritage Parks is the first and only such regional network of national protected areas.
This year’s ASEAN Heritage Park Conference, themed “Moving Forward Towards Effectively Managed ASEAN Heritage Parks”, provides participants with a venue to share experiences and the indigenous solutions they had developed to effectively manage their own parks.
Haji Mohd Rozan Bin Dato Paduka Haji Mohd Yunos, Permanent Secretary for Administration and Finance of the Ministry of Development of Brunei Darussalam, who opened the Conference, challenged the participants to initiate steps that can be taken individually and collectively to develop and promote effective management of the ASEAN Heritage Parks.
“Effective management and conservation should provide the means to enable local people to become part of the solutions to ensure effective management of the parks,” Haji Mohd Rozan emphasised. “Alongside with the natural wealth and beauty of a place, the most important aspect about the ASEAN Heritage Parks is its benefits to local people and the local economy,” he added.
He stressed that local communities should have a voice in sustainable development. “They should share revenue flows and earn their livelihoods with minimal impact on the environment of the ASEAN Heritage Parks,” he continued.
Dr Raman Letchumanan, Head of the Environment Division at the ASEAN Secretariat, said that the roles of park managers are also crucial to the success of conservation of the heritage parks. “Park managers have first-hand knowledge of the challenges of park management, and they have each developed smart solutions to manage their respective parks while maintaining conservation to an optimum level,” he added.
The Conference, which opened yesterday, is expected to close tomorrow with the formation of a draft regional action plan for ASEAN Heritage Parks. Earlier, the 28 park managers had also received in-principle approval to access small grants from the European Commission to undertake site-level work at their respective parks.
The 3rd ASEAN Heritage Park Conference is organised by the ASEAN Secretariat and the ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity.
For more information on the ASEAN Heritage Parks, visit www.aseanbiodiversity.org
Increasing food production and improving food safety - these are some of the key areas in which both the public and private sector can collaborate to promote food security in the region. This outcome was a result of the recent ASEAN Conference on Food Security: The Role of the Private Sector, held from 16 to 18 June in Singapore. The Conference further highlighted that collaboration was also needed in the areas of facilitating trade in food commodities and developing more effective food markets.
The Conference brought together ASEAN policy makers responsible for food security; representatives of international organisations; and regional agricultural and food processing companies to discuss key food security issues in the region. Ways to improve the economic environment to support investment in agriculture and food processing, collaboration on food safety and how companies can factor the effects of climate change into their business plans were also discussed. The outcomes of the Conference will now be shared with ASEAN’s senior officials and Ministers responsible for agriculture and forestry.
The Conference also sought views from private sector on the implementation of the ASEAN Statement on Food Security and the ASEAN Integrated Food Security (AIFS) Framework and the ASEAN Multisectoral Framework on Climate Change: Agriculture and Forestry towards Food Security (AFCC) for the improvement of regional food security.
“The private sector is the engine of growth for the agriculture sector,” said the Deputy Secretary-General of ASEAN for ASEAN Economic Community, S. Pushpanathan, opening the Conference. “They have the knowledge, capacity and resources along with the whole food supply/value chain to support the development of sustainable and long-term food security,” he continued.
The Conference was organised by the ASEAN Secretariat, the ASEAN-US Technical Assistance and Training Facility and the Agri-food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore.
Ten of ASEAN’s young researchers from Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore and Thailand will be participating at the 60th Nobel Laureate Meeting in Lindau, Germany this year. This is the second time ASEAN participates at the global scientific convention where great minds come to meet.
Yusril Yusuf, Indonesia
Tonni Agustiono Kurniawan, Indonesia
Chern Han Er, Malaysia
Zhengyang Zhang, Singapore
Mohammad Anwar Mohamed Iqbal, Malaysia
Voraphoj Nilaratanakul, Thailand
Rachel Nge, Malaysia
Ian Harvey Arellano, Philippines
Low Kit Yee, Malaysia
Sau Har Lee, Malaysia
The researchers have been selected to attend the Meeting from 27 June to 3 July 2010. The interdisciplinary meeting will bring together more than 650 international young researchers and 61 Nobel prize winners from the fields of chemistry, physics, medicine/physiology.
Expressing his pleasure at the ASEAN researchers’ participation, the Secretary-General of ASEAN, Dr Surin Pitsuwan, said, “Science and technology are critical instruments to help our region develop and increase its competitiveness. By building our human capacity and centres of excellence in science, we will help to foster development and application of innovative technologies that could be translated into tangible benefits, not only for our community, but for the global community.”
Dr Surin, who initiated the students’ participation in the meeting, added, “Ten of our young and brightest scientific minds have been given this invaluable opportunity to participate in this prestigious conference for the transfer of knowledge between generations of scientists. I hope it will inspire and educate them, and connect them with the international scientific community. I hope that more of our talented students can take part and benefit from this forum in future.”
Since 1951, more than 25,000 young scientific researchers from all over the world have participated at the annual Meetings. The meetings are held yearly in Lindau, Germany, and they invite Nobel Laureates to interact with young scientific researchers from all over the world. Last year, five researchers from ASEAN attended the Meetings for the first time.
In the ongoing efforts to develop a Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity, which is to be submitted to the 17th ASEAN Summit in October 2010, the 2nd High Level Task Force Meeting on ASEAN Connectivity was convened at the ASEAN Secretariat from 25 to 27 May 2010.
The meeting, chaired by Viet Nam’s Vice Minister of the Ministry of Planning and Investment, Nguyen The Phuong, was attended by delegates from ASEAN Member States, representatives from the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the Economic Research Institution for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA) and the World Bank (WB).
The meeting focused on the following issues: (1) physical connectivity, namely transport, ICT and energy; (2) institutional connectivity, which encompasses trade liberalisation and facilitation, investment and services liberalisation and facilitation, mutual recognition agreements/arrangements, regional transport agreements, and capacity building programmes; and (3) people-to-people connectivity, including tourism, education and culture.
The ASEAN Leaders, in 2009, agreed to establish the Task Force to develop an ASEAN Master Plan on regional connectivity, that include, among others, innovative infrastructure financing mechanisms, taking into account the work done and planned to ensure optimum synergy rather than duplication of work.
As ASEAN is located at the crossroads of an economically vibrant and growing region, it has the potential to physically anchor itself as the transportation, Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and tourism hub of the region. Enhancing intra-regional connectivity within ASEAN and its sub-regional grouping would thus benefit all ASEAN Member States.
The Task Force was also mandated to identify specific measures with clear targets and timelines and to develop viable infrastructure financing mechanisms for the implementation of the Master Plan.
The Task Force first met in Ha Noi in March and is scheduled to hold their third meeting in Bangkok in July.
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