- Association AffairsPacific Science Association
1. Official Resolutions of the 23rd Pacific Science Congress
Following are the Official Resolutions of the 23rd Pacific Science Congress, as approved by the PSA Council and Academia Sinica. They were compiled and edited by the PSA Council Resolutions Committee: Burke Burnett (PSA Executive Secretary), Phil Cowan (PSA Council Delegate, New Zealand), Terry Donaldson (PSA Council Delegate, Guam), and Kevin Johnson (PSA Council Delegate, USA), with contributions by Shelley James (iDigBio) and Nancy Lewis (PSA and East-West Center).
Recalling the theme of the 23rd Pacific Science Congress, “Science, Technology, and Innovation: Building a Sustainable Future in Asia and the Pacific,” the Organizers of the Congress:
Recognize the essential role of science and technology in developing solutions to the monumental challenges of global environmental change and human security in the nations of Asia, the Pacific, and beyond,
Exhort the countries and territories in the Asia-Pacific region to lead scientific research and efforts to find appropriate solutions to the challenges facing the world and the region in coming decades, and
Acknowledge that science is inherently global, and that international collaboration and cooperation are essential to successful outcomes that meet both planetary health and human needs.
The Organizers of the Congress also call upon the scientific community, governments, the business community, nongovernmental organizations, and local communities in the region and elsewhere to recognize the following:
• Human activities are having extremely significant impacts on the planet’s biosphere and climate, and these impacts are likely to grow worse as the global population moves from 7.3 billion today to nearly 10 billion in the year 2040. Without a substantial change in direction that recognizes that [End Page 99] we live on a “limited Earth,” as well as major advances in food, water, and energy technology, the continued viability of both human civilization and the species we share the planet with are seriously threatened. The social, economic, and cultural paradigm shifts that are required are perhaps the greatest challenges humanity has ever faced, and we must learn to live within planetary limits and to work together more cooperatively as a global community with shared interests. Without immediate action to address global environmental change, the risk of severe, widespread, and irreversible impacts to the biosphere and human societies is very high.
• Working towards sustainable development goals, disaster risk reduction, and climate change mitigation and adaptation are the key fundamental challenges facing the world in the 21st century. The impacts of global change, including climate change, challenges of global food production, water availability and access, loss of biodiversity and ecosystem services, disaster impacts, access to health services, and other major challenges tend to fall disproportionately on lower-income countries and small island states, thus both exacerbating existing inequities and limiting development options. Mitigating and adapting to human-driven changes to the Earth’s systems will require understanding and anticipating these changes. This critical human endeavor, in turn, depends on critical advances in science and technology research, innovation, deployment, and implementation.
• It is also essential to recognize that the practice of science and its role in society is changing. Traditional disciplinary-oriented research will continue to be essential, but there is also a growing need for multidisciplinary and transdisciplinary approaches to study how natural phenomena are linked to social phenomena as coupled systems. For example, climate is an extremely complex system, and yet the ways in which it is also linked to food production, economies, energy systems, etc., makes understanding how to address the climate challenge even more complicated. The problem therefore cannot be successfully addressed without understanding climate as an interactive system linked to social phenomena. This calls not only for enhanced collaboration and cooperation between scientists in different disciplines, but also the need for greater co-production of knowledge, whereby scientists work together with policy makers, natural resource managers and other stakeholders, and the public to frame research questions and generate knowledge that is more usable by the nonscience community to solve problems. These new approaches to identifying science questions offer enhanced potential to facilitate cross-fertilization of ideas and thus generate greater knowledge and innovation.
• Rapidly emerging research fields, including biotechnology, robotics, artificial intelligence, nanoscience, and Big...