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The AsiaFlux 2022 conference offered new knowledge as well as the joy of communicating in person
The Sarawak Tropical Peat Research Institute (TROPI) hosted 160 scientists with different areas of expertise from various parts of the world for the AsiaFlux 2022 conference.
By: International Peatland Society (IPS)
Twelve keynote speakers opened the conference, namely, Deputy Minister of Urban Planning, Land Administration and Environment Datuk Len Talif Saleh, as well as Dr Ryusuke Hatano, emeritus professor of Hokkaido University; Dr Gavin McNicol, assistant professor at the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences at the University of Illinois Chicago; Dr Ülo Mander, professor of physical geography and landscape ecology at the Institute of Ecology and Earth Sciences, University of Tartu, Estonia; Dr Paul Stoy, associate professor at the Department of Biological Systems Engineering, University of Wisconsin; and Dr Takashi Hirano, a professor from the Laboratory of Ecological and Environmental Physics at the Research Faculty of Agriculture, Hokkaido University.
In addition, the keynote speakers included Dr Maria Strack, professor at the Department of Geography and Environmental Management, University of Waterloo, and Tier II Canada Research Chair in ecosystems and climate, who is the editor of the IPS book Peatlands and Climate Change; Dr Fredolin Tangang, a professor in climatology at the Department of Earth Sciences and Environment, Faculty of Science and Technology, National University of Malaysia; Dr Joon Kim, professor and Future Earth Programme director at the Seoul National University Asia Centre (SNUAC); Dr Jin Wu, assistant professor at the University of Hong Kong (HKU) School of Biological Sciences; Dr Ryuichi Hirata, senior researcher at the National Institute for Environmental Studies Earth System Division, Japan; and Dr Alexander Knohl, professor of bioclimatology at the Faculty of Forest Sciences and Forest Ecology, University of Göttingen, Germany.
"As President of the IPS, it was a good opportunity for me to see the excellent work that our long-term member of the Executive Board Dr Lulie Melling has done and is still carrying on in researching tropical peatlands in Malaysia. It is also clear that she is a very good conference organizer," commented Marko Pomerants, who attended on behalf of the IPS.
Pomerants acknowledged the opportunity to contribute: "I must be grateful that I had the possibility to introduce the IPS's more than long term of experience during my speech: International Peatland Society - Over 50 Years of Peatland-Related Knowledge Transfer and explain our willingness to improve our performance by hiring, for the first time, a scientific officer to serve the interested community."
The COVID-19 period has left its mark on everyday international communication, so the AsiaFlux conference provided a great deal of extra value in meeting the IPS members from Asia. "Dr Suwardi Suwardi and Professor Budi Intra Setiawan from the Indonesian National Committee of the IPS demonstrated their interest to be more active in IPS commissions and expert groups again," stated Marko Pomerants.
AsiaFlux was established in 1999 as the Asian arm of FLUXNET, the worldwide flux network, to develop collaborative research and data sets concerning the cycles of carbon and water in key ecosystems in Asia, to organize workshops and training on current and related global change themes, and to train the next generation of scientists to become informed leaders with varied skills and perspectives. The first AsiaFlux workshop was held in Sapporo, Japan, in 2000. Additional information can be found at www.asiaflux2022.com.
The International Peatland Society is the leading network of peat and peatland experts, with 1,758 members from 31 countries. For more information, visit http://www.peatlands.org.