MAIRS-CORDEX joint virtual workshop on climate change and regional research collaboration held

Peking: A joint event of MARIS-FE and WCRP-CORDEX themed on climate change and regional research collaboration was held on November 9 and 10.

At the fourth International Conference on Regional Climate – CORDEX in Beijing in October 2019, a side meeting was held in collaboration with Future Earth community. The outcome of this side event was an agreement to work with collaboration and information exchange across science disciplines, transfer the research results to policy, and to ensure that the academic community engages more effectively with policy-makers, decision-makers in the public and other stakeholders through the co-design, co-production, and co-deliver principles.

The Future Earth Global Research Project – Monsoon Asia Integrated Research for Sustainability-Future Earth (MAIRS-FE) and the World Climate Research Programme – Coordinated Regional Downscaling Experiment (WCRP-CORDEX) are now taking steps towards elaborating on further cooperation between CORDEX, MAIRS-FE, and other relevant actors in the Asia region starting with a workshop to outline an extended and more established collaboration scheme, including a discussion on topics of special urgency and interest for the regions. The objective is to find a framework to set up a network and cooperate, connect the dots between MAIRS-FE, CORDEX, experts, potential funders, and other stakeholders.

The workshop attracted around 50 participants who are working on the research topics related to climate extremes/risks, impacts of climate change and air quality on health, and water resources in the context of climate change mitigation. Over 20 organizations in the region were involved, including universities, research institutions, funding organizations, and science alliance.

The organizers and participating institutions emphasized the importance of integrating regional research plans and exchange activities and provided suggestions on how to establish the framework of collaboration. Professor Zhu Tong from the College of Environmental Sciences and Engineering of Peking University, chair of the MAIRS Science Steering Committee, took air pollution and environmental health research as an illustration to introduce how simulation and observation methods can serve air pollution exposure and health effects assessment. Besides, Professor Fredolin Tangang from the School of Environmental and Natural Resources, University Kebangsaan Malaysia, a member of both the scientific advisory committees of MAIRS and CORDEX, highlighted the needs of integrated study in Southeast Asia, a region with a highly fragile environment and frequent extreme climates. Professor Tangang emphasized the importance of cooperation and research applications in alleviating forest fires, optimizing water use, and improving air quality.


At the end of the workshop, the participants shared the opinions and interests on future cooperation framework in order to support the sustainable development of Asian regions and application through integrated climate change-related research activities. It was suggested starting with a small or pilot project in research and capacity building, and then gradually exploring in-depth cooperation methods and scaling up approach in Asia.

Representatives from Nanjing University, Future Earth, Asia Pacific Global Change Research Organization, and International Science Organization Alliance expressed their expectation to build a cooperation network with MAIRS and CORDEX to maintain exchanges as key partners. This will provide more opportunities for the scientific community to explore and cooperate in future environmental research and governance.