Global Environment

Global Environment Research in Japan - The Asia Pacific Network for Global Change

The Asia Pacific Network for Global Change


Global change research requires a high level of international cooperation. Inter-governmental networks now support this type of research in three major regions of the world -- Europe and Africa, North and South America, and the Asia-Pacific. These are the European Network for Research in Global Change (ENRICH), the Inter-American Institute for Global Change Research (IAI) and the APN, respectively.

In particular, the APN has the following objectives:

  • supporting regional cooperation in global change research on issues particularly relevant to the region.
  • standardizing, collecting, analysing, and exchanging scientific data relating to global change research
  • improving of scientific and technical capabilities and research infrastructure of nations in the region
  • cooperating with research networks in other regions
  • providing scientific knowledge to the public, and input to policy decision-making
  • developing appropriate mechanisms for transfer of expertise and technology


The APN conducts the following activities:

  • supporting global observation activities necessary for research
  • holding Inter-Governmental Meetings, Scientific Planning Group meetings, etc.
  • organizing workshops to develop research topics in priority areas for the APN
  • collaborating with START and its regional committees
  • publishing newsletters and meeting reports
  • developing information exchange systems for participating countries, including a Homepage for the Internet.

APN activities fall into the following groupings of support activities identified by countries involved in the APN:

Climate system change and variability

  • Asian monsoon and ocean processes
  • ENSO (El Nino -Southern Oscillation)
  • greenhouse gases (GHG) and atmospheric composition change
  • impact on terrestrial ecosystems

Coastal processes and impacts, including sea level change

Terrestrial ecosystem change and impacts, involving

  • forests, grasslands, agricultural land
  • biodiversity
  • land use/land cover change
  • land degradation

Other important topics

  • acid deposition, impact of agriculture on environment and policy support research In all cases, the APN is giving increasing emphasis to the human dimensions of global change.

The APN offers a flexible forum for dialogue between governments in the region to support global change research activities. The Secretariat for the APN is based at the Research and Information Office of the Global Environment Department of the Environment Agency of Japan. The Association of International Research Initiatives for Environmental Studies (AIRIES) is the liaison office for activities.

APN support activities are decided by the annual Intergovernmental Meeting (IGM), and supported by the Steering Group and the Scientific Planning Group. The IGM is the annual meeting of the highest decision-making body of the APN, attended by government representatives of participating countries. The second IGM, held in March 1997 in Tokyo, was attended by representatives from Australia, Bangladesh. China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Laos, Malaysia, Mongolia, New Zealand, Philippines, Russia, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and the U.S.A., as well as observers from Global Change System for Analysis, Research and Training (START), START regional committees, and other related global change research programs.

The 2nd Scientific Planning Group Meeting of the APN (Tokyo, 24 March 1997)

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