Asia Pacific Network for Global Change Research (APN)
Established in 1996, APN is an intergovernmental network consisting of 21 member countries that aims to promote research on changes in the global environment in the Asia-Pacific region by encouraging greater cooperation between developing country scientists and policymakers. The Network supports a variety of research on the impact of human activity to the environment, including changes to ecosystems, changes to ocean and terrestrial systems, and long-term changes to the earth's climate.
Home to nearly half the world's population, monsoons, and the El Nino phenomenon, Asia also benefits from a high economic growth rate and suffers from deforestation and desertification. This unique set of characteristics demonstrates the importance of APN's focus on the Asia-Pacific as a region in need of greater transnational scientific and policy collaboration.
The current five-year strategic plan outlines three main agenda items in the areas of science themes, policy interactions, and institutional goal setting. Through these agenda items, APN member nations hope to encourage greater participation by developing countries in support of the effort to investigate and find solutions to changes in the Earth's life-support systems.
A factor common to all these initiatives that is a fundamental key to their success is the involvement of the private sector. The U.S. and Japanese governments are able to define the seriousness of climate change, develop policies, and provide funding for research and implementation of new technologies. However, without the cooperation and participation of NGOs, universities, and private business, the hurdles in researching, developing, and commercializing cutting-edge environmentally friendly technologies would be insurmountable.