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APRU Presents to Scientists from Belt and Road Countries Gathered in Beijing

The Chinese Academy of Sciences invited APRU to present in Beijing at the first International Science Forum of National Science Organisations on the Belt and Road Initiative.

350 scientists and delegates from 40 countries came together at a two-day forum organised from 7-8 November 2016. The forum was organised against the backdrop of the Belt and Road Initiative which aims to jointly promote common and shared development worldwide through cooperation and partnership across a wide range of areas of interest.

Bai Chunli, President of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, addressed delegates at the meeting calling on scientific organisations, scientists and experts from diverse backgrounds to enhance their efforts and cooperation in developing communities of common interests, responsibility and goals, and in providing a strong scientific basis for construction of the Belt and Road Initiative.

The forum provided the opportunity for invited organisations and experts to explore various scientific means and opportunities for collaboration and work towards common goals and benefits.

Christina Schönleber, Deputy Director (International Secretariat), presented at the session on Adaptable and Green Technologies. The talk introduced key APRU initiatives and APRU members’ research in the area of green technology and sustainability. Ms Schönleber also highlighted how collaborations with the APRU network can benefit and advance scientific and economic development.

In conclusion to the event, 20 national scientific and research organisations from countries and regions along the Belt and Road Initiative issued a declaration on November 8, establishing an alliance of international scientists to promote cross-border cooperation.

According to Tan Tieniu, Vice-President of the Chinese Academy of Sciences,  the declaration represents the scientists’ and research organisations’ willingness to strengthen international cooperation among countries and regions along the Belt and Road Initiative, and includes mechanisms to enhance cooperation by holding the forum every two years; offer multilateral personnel exchange and student training programs, and facilitate joint scientific research projects.

More information about the Forum:

23 November 2016
Published in APRU News

Infographic: the Science of Disaster Science

A snapshot of global research in support of the 2016 Asian Ministerial Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction
By Taylor Stang

From heat waves to droughts and record rainfall to flooding, natural disasters affect every part of our planet. In 2015, three major international agreements addressing these threats were adopted: the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the Paris Agreement, adopted at the Paris Climate Change Conference (COP21), and the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk and Reduction (SFDRR). Along with these agreements, research into disaster science not only advances our understanding of these often catastrophic events, it can illuminate paths towards better preparedness, recovery and even prevention.

This week, the 2016 Asian Ministerial Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction (@amcdrr2016) is underway in New Delhi, India. In support of the conference, we developed a snapshot of global research on disaster science. With Scopus data from 2011-15, we used SciVal to examine levels of scholarly output, research impact, trending topics and more both globally and within Asia (as defined by the UN Statistics Division), home to 60 percent of the world’s global population (4.4 billion) and many of the most active institutions investigating disaster science.

The infographic was developed by Elsevier's Research Intelligence team in consultation with Prof. Takako Izumi of Tohoku University’s International Research Institute of Disaster Science (IRIDeS). It also available on Elsevier’s Research Intelligence website.  

We invite you to check back later this month for an in-depth article on research into disaster science, a summary of the 2016 Asian Ministerial Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction, and an interview with Dr. Izumi.

Click here to download the Infographic

- Elsevier Connect

08 November 2016
Published in APRU News

Regional Innovation Forum-Asia (RIF-Asia)

APRU is partnering with the Asian Disaster Reduction and Response Network (ADRRN) and other like-minded organisations, institutions and networks to hold the first Regional Innovation Forum (RIF) this December in Bangkok, Thailand.

RFI – Asia is a creative forum to foster multi-sectoral partnerships to ‘solve the unsolved’ problems that are hindering disaster risk reduction (DRR) and humanitarian efforts in the Asia Region.

Dr Takako Izumi, Coordinator of the APRU Multi-Hazards Program, will be representing the association at the RIF-Asia taking place from December 6 - 7 in Bangkok.

Building on the recommendations from the first Asia Science Technology Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction (ASTCDRR), Dr Izumi will be giving a keynote address on Academia’s role in the multi-stakeholder innovation. Increased dialogue and networking among scientists in the universities, policy makers, civil society and the media is imperative in developing innovative and user-friendly science-based solutions to reduce disaster risk.

The objectives of the upcoming forum in Bangkok are:
- To promote cross-sectoral collaboration on innovation work.
- To provide annual platform to various business, science, civil societies, UN, and other stakeholders in the region for sharing of their innovative ideas to solve the ‘unsolved’.
- To generate specific innovation projects, which can provide evidence based solutions, as concrete outcomes from the forum.
- To seek linkages of these innovative solutions to local/national disaster risk reduction plan and policies.

Click here for more information about the Regional Innovation Forum-Asia.

07 November 2016
Published in APRU News

Is your university ready to protect the lives of students, staff and faculty during an emergency?

News Release
For Immediate Release

Is your university ready to protect the lives of students, staff and faculty during an emergency?

Hong Kong, 6 September, 2016 – Is your university ready to protect the lives of students, staff and faculty during an emergency? Is your university capable of providing support to local governments and communities during such crises? These are the questions that the Association of Pacific Rim Universities’ (APRU) Multi-Hazards (MH) Program aims to help universities with replying a resounding “yes”.

The APRU MH Program led from the International Research Institute of Disaster Science (IRIDeS) at Tohoku University in Sendai, Japan and other member universities across the Asia-Pacific, are collaborating to build safer and more resilient societies on the ‘Ring of Fire’ which are susceptible to tsunami, floods, earthquakes and volcanic activity. Through education and research, the Multi-Hazards program has succeeded in enhancing disaster preparedness measures on campuses and improving dialogue with governments, industry and civil society.

At the 1st UNISDR Asia Science and Technology Conference for Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) the MH program’s strong recommendation to include the importance of disaster management plan by universities was adopted in the outcome paper. This policy document will be shared with policymakers at the Asian Ministerial Conference on DRR 2016 in November to progress the campus safety agenda.

“This is great progress with a lot of potential to move the universities toward developing better disaster plans and training”, said Amy B. Aiken who is the Director at the Department of Emergency Management, Florida International University.

The success of the MH program’s efforts at the recent conference also reflects the growing importance of academia’s role in the science-policy interface. Dr Takako Izumi, APRU Multi-Hazards Program Coordinator, said, “there is no other organisation advocating and addressing the need for measures like we did. It highlights that the Multi-Hazards program is not only doing research but also has been actively involved in regional and international discussion and contributing to the implementation of the Sendai Framework”. 

The APRU Multi-Hazards Campus Safety Working Group consists of representatives from Chulalongkorn University, Florida International University, National University of Singapore, Osaka University, Tohoku University, University of Sydney and University of the Philippines.

#  #  #

For additional information, please contact:
Ashley Pereira
Communications Manager, APRU
Tel: +852 3469 2550
Fax:  +852 2719 5756
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

06 October 2016
Published in APRU News

Ear to Asia

Ear to Asia is an exciting interview-style podcast (hosted by ABC broadcaster Sen Lam) which engages listeners in in-depth conversations with Asia Institute's academic staff and their research. From Japan to Turkey, from China to Indonesia, and to many places in between, Ear to Asia talks with researchers who focus on Asia -- in all its diversity of peoples, societies and histories.

Listen to the 'teaser' episode now and subscribe to hear all forthcoming episodes:

The Asia Institute is The University of Melbourne's key centre for studies in Asian languages and cultures. 
06 October 2016
Published in APRU News

Global Health distance education course is “LIVE!” again

(Photo: University of Southern California)

“Global Health LIVE!” is a graduate seminar for students from universities around the world, including USC, University of California, Irvine; National Taiwan University; and University of Tokyo. First offered in Fall 2015, the course extends global health theory to global health practice, and  features renowned global health leaders as guest lecturers to discuss their challenges and successes in the field. The course is taught by Drs. Shubha Kumar and Mellissa Withers.

Global Health LIVE! extends global health theory to global health practice. Over the course of 10 weeks students from universities around the world attend live sessions simultaneously for two hours via live video using Google Hangouts.

Past guest lecturers included Hans Rosling, Purnima Mane, Al Somer, Larry Gostin and more. Students interacted with the lecturers and each other in teams. One major assignment requires students to work in groups to create videos on global health leadership topics.  View the 2015 video projects »

Preventive Medicine 568: Ethical Issues in Global Health

Beginning in Fall 2016 a new online global health ethics course taught by Drs. Shubha Kumar and Mellissa Withers is bringing five APRU universities together for a virtual classroom experience in global health ethics. Students from USC, Osaka University, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, National Autonomous University of Mexico, and the University of the Philippines will participate simultaneously each week for 11 weeks. This online graduate-level seminar course will introduce students to some of the major ethical challenges in conducting global health research and practice using case studies on a range of topics including organ transplantation, clinical trials in developing countries, assisted reproductive technologies, and many more. Learn more »

15 September 2016
Published in APRU News