What's New from the Secretariat July

The third Executive Committee meeting of this fiscal year was held on July 21. The meeting is supposed to be held once a month, but we did not have one in June as there were few items for the agenda.

First, a report was made on the state of budget execution. There was another report on the funds for overhead costs, whose purpose had not been decided at the May Executive Committee meeting. It was reported that the funds for overhead costs could be used for our 21st Century COE Program.

The next report item concerned the completion of The Common Marine Plants of Southern Vietnam, an illustrated book containing 183 species of marine plants, whose publication was subsidized by the 21st Century COE Program. Vietnam’s coastal environment has been deteriorating due to resort development, road construction, and other factors. However, there is a severe lack of basic data on marine life, which would be needed for the conservation of biodiversity and environmental assessments. TSUTSUI Isao, the head author, planned the publication of the book to improve the current state of the country even if only slightly by sharing with people in the study area the results of the research he conducted for his ASAFAS doctoral dissertation. In view of this goal, the book is written both in English and Vietnamese. Many unique ingenious ideas are also included in the book so that it can be used in fieldwork. The book is available at the Japan Seaweed Association (http://www.h4.dion.ne.jp/~jsaweb/bookinfo/tutui_zukann.htm) or Marine Algae Research Co., Ltd. (Contact: ARAI Shogo shogo.arainifty.com) (¥1,800 plus shipping). We will continue to do our best to return the results of research to the areas where we work, through such publications.

With regard to the International Symposium scheduled to be held on November 23-24 in Bangkok, with the theme “Coexistence with Nature in a ‘Glocalizing’ World: Field Science Perspectives,” Prof. HIRAMATSU Kozo, the chairperson of the Working Group, distributed the program listing 19 speakers, the titles of the presentations, and the names of the workshop moderators and commentators. Based on this program, he explained the state of preparations for the symposium. Only four months remain before the symposium, but the preparations are proceeding smoothly.

As an agenda item, the recruitment of graduate students to be dispatched to field stations in the latter half of FY2005 was discussed. It was decided that the deadline for application would be September 20, and the selection would be made on October 20. In the afternoon of the meeting, ASAFAS graduate students were informed of the fact that the recruitment had begun through an e-mail message with guidelines for applicants and an application form included as an attached file.

With regard to the International Symposium to be held in the final year of the Program, the Working Group met twice, on June 2 and July 4, before the Executive Committee meeting. At the EC meeting, based on the discussions of the Working Group, Prof. KOSUGI Yasushi, the head of the Research Promotion Section presented a draft plan for the symposium outline, and this was followed by discussion. The matters agreed to included that the theme would be “Developments and Prospects of Integrated Area Studies: In the Path of Human-Nature Co-existence in a Glocalizing World,” that the symposium would be held on November 11-12, 2006 at the Kyoto University Clock Tower Centennial Hall, and that it would consist of four sessions, relating to on-site education, trans-disciplinary, comparative area studies and area informatics. From now on, we will organize an executive committee for the symposium, consisting mainly of young researchers, to work out a concrete and detailed plan.(Sugishima)

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