Asia and Pacific GLOBE Countries Formalize Regional Consortium at Philippines Meeting and Host International TTT Workshop
Country Coordinators and representative from 12 Asia and Pacific countries convened in Iloilo City, Philippines, 18 – 19 May 2007, to formalize the Asia and Pacific Regional Consortium. Participants from Bangladesh, Fiji, India, Maldives, Marshall Islands, Mongolia, Nepal, New Zealand, Palau, Philippines, Sri Lanka, and Thailand were hosted by GLOBE Philippines. This meeting provided participants with the opportunity to network with GLOBE representatives in the region and rekindled enthusiasm among many to strengthen their engagement with the GLOBE Program.
Asia and Pacific Regional Consortium Representatives
Dr. Teresa Kennedy, Deputy Director of GLOBE, and Mr. Eric Stonebraker, Regional Desk Officer for Asia and the Pacific, opened the meeting with a presentation on GLOBE Priorities, GLOBE's ESSPs, the 2007 Annual Conference and the upcoming 2008 GLOBE Learning Expedition and Annual Conference in Cape Town. Each Country Coordinator or representative provided a status report detailing recent activities and plans for the future. (Presentations are available for download.) South Korea Country Coordinators, unable to attend the Conference, prepared a report that was presented to the group. Mr. Raj Mehta, Advisor to India's Ministry of Environment and Forests as well as Country Coordinator for India, provided updates about the GLOBE International Advisory Committee (GIAC) and described his role as GIAC's Asia and Pacific Representative. Dr. Charlie Navanugraha, representing GLOBE Thailand, gave an overview of the upcoming Regional GLOBE Learning Expedition to be held, in Thailand, 13 – 18 November 2007.
The major focus of the meeting was the creation of the Asia-Pacific Regional Consortium Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). Mr. Mehta and Dr. Kennedy initiated the discussions by providing examples from currently existing regional structures that Asia and the Pacific might learn from and adapt to their needs. The newly formed Consortium established six main priorities for the Asia and Pacific Consortium:
- Promoting and strengthening regional and international implementation, activities and relations among students and teachers in GLOBE countries, especially those within the Asia and Pacific region.
- Strengthening national implementation of GLOBE throughout the region.
- Developing regional and international GLOBE projects and collaborations between countries and their schools.
- Developing the regional Master Trainer Core to promote capacity building throughout the region.
- Enhancing communication and information sharing among all GLOBE countries in the region and the GLOBE Program Office.
- Developing a sustainability plan for GLOBE in Asia and the Pacific.
Working groups were developed for each of the established priorities and were composed of Country Coordinators with a range of levels of experience. Chairpersons were nominated for each working group to form the first GLOBE Asia-Pacific Regional Organizing Committee.
An important highlight of the meeting was a discussion of the GLOBE Alumni Network. GLOBE Alumni are students who have graduated from secondary school and have both the desire to recommit to the GLOBE Program on a new level and the dedication to serve their GLOBE Learning Community in a volunteer capacity. Ms. Watcharee Ruairuen, GLOBE Alumni representative for Asia and the Pacific, spoke about opportunities for GLOBE Alumni to become involved assisting Country Coordinators, Partners, teachers and students in their implementation of the GLOBE Program. Partners are asked to identify Alumni who may be interested in taking leadership roles within GLOBE. Please contact Asia and Pacific Alumni Representative, Ms. Watchareee Ruairuen at firstname.lastname@example.org.
International Train-the-Trainer Workshop
Following the meeting, the GLOBE Philippines hosted an international Train-the-Trainer workshop from 21 – 25 May 2007. Fifty-seven participants from 15 countries attended the workshop. Five new GLOBE Master Trainers were certified. They are:
- Dr. Jayashree Deshpande, Hydrology
- Mr. Tudor Senaratne, Land cover
- Mr. P. Sudhakar, Land cover
- Ms. Damayanthi Balasuriya, Soil
- Dr. Avinash Tiwari, Soil
Seventeen new Master Trainer Candidates began the Master Trainer Program. During the Friday Field Day at Bulabog Putian National Park, participants had the opportunity to take what they had learned during the week and apply it to a new environment. Participants developed questions about the environment and then conducted measurements to learn more. The day ended on an exciting note with the Philippines Science High School – Western Visayas Campus signing a MOU with the Bulabog Putian National Park creating a GLOBE field research area within the Park.
12 October 2007