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GLOBE Asia-Pacific Annual Meeting a Great Success

The GLOBE Asia-Pacific Regional Coordination Office, in collaboration with GLOBE Maldives and the Environmental Protection Agency, organized the Annual Regional Meeting from 15-17 April 2024. This event was generously sponsored by the GLOBE Implementation Office and gathered a diverse group of participants, including 12 GLOBE Country Coordinators, the Director of Community Engagement and Program Strategy from the GLOBE Implementation Office, the Coordinator of the Asia-Pacific Regional Coordination Office, GLOBE Web Managers from Axient, GLOBE Working Group Members, and Assistant Country Coordinators from the region. The central theme for this year's meeting was "Navigating Sustainability: Empowering Communities through Environmental Action."

During the opening session of the 2024 GLOBE Asia-Pacific Regional Meeting, Ibrahim Naeem, Director General of EPA Maldives, highlighted the core mission of The GLOBE Program. He emphasized its pivotal role in fostering global collaboration among students, educators, researchers, and citizens to propel the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) forward. Naeem particularly emphasized the Program's commitment to engaging youth in environmental science through diverse GLOBE Activities.

Following Naeem's address, Mohamed Zahy from USAID, representing the U.S. Embassy, shared his remarks and expressed support for The GLOBE Program in the country. Dr. Tony Murphy (pictured left) provided updates on the program and upcoming GLOBE activities, extending a warm welcome to all GLOBE Countries. Dr. Desh Bandhu concluded the session with his closing remarks, expressing gratitude to all participants for their attendance at the regional meeting and extending appreciation to GLOBE Maldives for their exceptional hospitality as the local host.
The Country Coordinator meeting commenced with updates from The GLOBE Program, delivered by Dr. Murphy. Dr. Bandhu, Coordinator of the Regional Coordination Office (RCO), then briefed the participants on the activities and webinars organized since the previous regional meeting, illustrating their positive impact on the regional community. Each participating Country Coordinator and Assistant Country Coordinator subsequently presented the GLOBE activities undertaken in their respective countries.

A discussion ensued with members of the GLOBE Working Group in the region, focusing on strategies for disseminating information effectively within the region, tailoring it to the community's needs, and enhancing engagement. David Overoye from Axient elaborated on the new developments of the GLOBE website and tools for Country Coordinating Sites (CCS), including the new Data Entry system on The GLOBE Program's app, GLOBE Observer, Data Visualizations, and the utilization of the GLOBE website for educators. Participants also actively participated in hands-on training sessions on GLOBE Observer.

The meeting held in the Asia-Pacific Region was of paramount importance as it served as a nexus for collaboration, knowledge exchange, and capacity building among stakeholders from various countries. Participants, including educators, researchers, and policymakers, convened to share insights, best practices, and innovative approaches in environmental science and education. Through presentations, workshops, and discussions, the meeting aimed to bolster the capacity of individuals and communities to address common environmental challenges effectively. Furthermore, it provided a platform for regional coordination, aligning efforts towards achieving shared objectives such as advancing the United Nations SDGs and promoting environmental stewardship. By fostering partnerships and facilitating dialogue, the meeting played a pivotal role in promoting environmental sustainability and fostering a collective response to regional environmental issues.

The Asia-Pacific meeting held great significance for The GLOBE Program for several reasons. It provided an opportunity for the program to strengthen its presence and impact in a crucial region known for its diverse environmental challenges and opportunities. By convening stakeholders from across the Asia-Pacific, including educators, researchers, and government representatives, the meeting facilitated knowledge exchange, collaboration, and capacity building, aligning with the core mission of The GLOBE Program. Additionally, the meeting enabled The GLOBE Program to showcase its achievements, share best practices, and gather feedback for improvement, thus enhancing its effectiveness and relevance in the region. Moreover, the event served as a platform to reinforce its commitment to advancing global environmental education and contributing to the United Nations SDGs, particularly by engaging youth in environmental science and fostering community action. Overall, the Asia-Pacific regional meeting played a vital role in advancing the goals and impact of The GLOBE Program in the region and beyond.

Images courtesy Dr. Desh Bandhu, Coordinator, GLOBE Asia-Pacific Regional Coordination Office.