Sunday, February 28

Sarawak to host AsiaFlux next year

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Lulie (centre) together with other Sarawak delegates proudly hold the Sarawak flag after the state wins the bid to host AsiaFlux Conference next year.

KUCHING: Sarawak has won the bid to host the next edition of AsiaFlux next year at the recent AsiaFlux which was held in Takayama City, Japan.

AsiaFlux 2020, which will be held in Kuching from Sept 22 to 24, is a highly specialised conference organised by Malaysian Peat Society (MPS), Sarawak Tropical Peat Research Institute (TROPI) and AsiaFlux Scientific Steering Committee, and co-organised by National Institute for Environmental Studies (NIES), and Hokkaido University.

With the central theme ‘Understanding Tropical and Subtropical Ecosystem Processes’, the conference will highlight a special session on Tropical Peatland, and feature renowned scientific leaders, including Nasa.

“The main aim is for this conference to act as a platform to create awareness to the government, industries and people especially potential young scientists from South East Asia such as Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam, on the importance of GHG Cycling in guiding sustainable land use policies in the region,” said the organising chairperson Dr Lulie Melling.

As a member of the AsiaFlux Science Steering Committee (2018-2020), president of the Malaysian Peat Society and director of TROPI, Lulie is a pioneer peatland researcher whose contributions have been instrumental in the paradigm shift within peatland development.

She said in 2020, Sarawak will be celebrating its 10th anniversary of TROPI Flux Study in collaboration with AsiaFlux (including Korea Flux and Japan Flux). The upcoming milestone is one of many; with TROPI’s recent recognition within the Global Team by Nasa – and as the only Southeast Asian entity to be included. As a local leader in the global peat community, TROPI is the only group that runs and manages three Flux towers to study the carbon and energy fluxes for different ecosystems on tropical peatland in Sarawak.

Supported by the Ministry of Tourism Arts and Culture Sarawak through Business Events Sarawak (BESarawak), this conference is an inevitable progression subsequent to the global phenomenon – the 15th International Peat Congress 2016 (Kuching).

In pursuing its aim to drive social and economic transformation, BESarawak continues to support high-yielding conferences into the state under its Legacy Impact Programme – which looks into the 4 pillars of social and economic transformation; categorised as ‘Advancing the Field, Community Benefits, Economic Outcomes and Public Policy’.

AsiaFlux2020 is expected to bring progressive and cutting-edge solutions and breakthroughs to existing peatland development problems that Sarawak and the world is currently facing.

“Having the likes of Nasa as a featured speaker is of high significance and Sarawak is going to immensely benefit from having such experts on our turf to share knowledge and expertise in Sarawak, to the world. As priority is given to Sarawak’s 7 Key Focus Areas (7KFAs) within Sarawak, AsiaFlux 2020 is expected to be a game changer in the industry,” chief operating officer of BESarawak Amelia Roziman said.

The 7 KFAs are, namely, urban development/redevelopment, social, agricultural, environmental and industrial development with SCORE as the locus, service industry and digital economy.