The WESTPAC 10th International Scientific Conference concluded on 20 April 2017, Qingdao, China with a number of recommendations made towards future marine science development and cooperation. The Conference, entitled “Advancing Ocean Knowledge, Fostering Sustainable Development: from the Indo-Pacific to the Globe”, attracted immense interest with the participation of more than 700 marine scientists, governmental officials, resources managers and international organizations from 21 countries within and outside the region. The 10th WESTPAC Conference was hosted by the Government of China, through its State Oceanic Administration (SOA), jointly organized in Qingdao, China by the First Institute of Oceanography (FIO) and the IOC Sub-Commission for the Western Pacific (WESTPAC).
The conference featured 6 keynote speeches, 22 sessions and 8 workshops structured around four themes (1) Understanding Ocean Processes and Climate in the Indo-Pacific; (2) Ensuring Marine Biodiversity, Food Safety and Security; (3) Maintenance of Ocean Health; and (4) Enhancing Knowledge of Cross-cutting and Emerging Issues.
Among others, highlights included;
• “WESTPAC Outstanding Scientist Award 2017” in order to honor marine scientists for their long-term dedication to marine science development and cooperation in the region. Dr Weidong Yu (China), Dr Youn-Ho Lee (Republic of Korea) and Dr Teruhirsa Komatsu (Japan) were awarded the WESTPAC Outstanding Scientists Award;
• “WESTPAC Best Young Scientist Award 2017” to encourage young marine scientists to devote themselves to marine science. Five young scientists were selected as winners for the “WESTPAC Best Young Scientist Award” in view of their outstanding scientific research and presentations at the Conference;
• the WESTPAC Young Scientist Forum to provide an open-ended platform for the young generation of marine scientists in the region to share their perspectives and exchange views with WESTPAC senior experts on marine science development and collaboration; and
• an outreach activity of Bring Marine Science into Schools, which aims to inspire the enthusiasm and motivation of young students at school on marine science, at their early ages. This activity reached out to more than 1,200 students in two primary and elementary schools in Qingdao.
At this the 10th WESTPAC Conference, WESTPAC continued its tradition to nurture young science leaders and heighten international exposure of young scientists via the “WESTPAC Young Scientist Travel Grant”. With generous financial support from the Government of China, close to forty young scientists were provided with travel grant to enable their participation in the Conference.
The results of the Conference is under consolidation and analysis and shall be published at a later stage.
For more information on this Conference, please refer to the dedicated website at http://www.iocwestpac10.com