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IOC Sub-Commission for the Western Pacific (WESTPAC)

Advancing knowledge and cooperation for a healthy ocean and prosperous society

Five Prestigious Individuals and One National Agency awarded IOC’s 50th Anniversary Certificate

IOC Sub-Commission for the Western Pacific (IOC/WESTPAC) presented the IOC 50th Anniversary Certificate on 28 March 2011 at its Eighth International Scientific Symposium, Busan, Republic of Korea, to the Department of Marine and Coastal Resouces (Government of Thailand) and five former WESTPAC Officers, Professor Dr. Aprilani Soegiarto (Indonesia), Professor Dr. Jilan Su (China), Professor Dr. Keisuke Taira (Japan), Professor Dr. Manuwadi Hungspreugs (Thailand), and Professor Dr. Hyung Tack Huh (Republic of Korea).

On the occasion of the 50th Anniversary of the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO, the IOC Certificates were designed and presented to these outstanding previous IOC/WESTPAC Officers and national agencies in recognition and appreciation for their dedication, commitment, service and contribution to the development of the IOC Sub-Commission for the Western Pacific.

The IOC Sub-Commission for the Western Pacific (IOC/WESTPAC) has been officially established in 1989. After twenty year efforts, WESTPAC has now a systematic framework and strategic process for its member states through the development of regionally-specific country driven projects in addressing their common issues. IOC/WESTPAC has taken a significant step forward from program conceptualization to operation, which fully embodies South-South and South-North cooperation with country commitments and national resources, as reflected notably through a variety of field studies, joint cruises, buoy deployment, international workshops, training courses, and exchange of scholars/students.

Brief information on the five Prestigious Individuals and one National Agency awarded IOC’s 50th Anniversary Certificate

Government of Thailand
The contribution of the Government of Thailand to IOC cannot be overemphasized….Since 1994, the Government of Thailand, through it National Research Council and then Department of Marine and Coastal Resources, has been hosting the WESTPAC Office and providing all office facilities and local administrative staff. The Royal Thai Government under the leading role of Department of Marine and Coastal Resources has been encouraging and supporting universities, government agencies, and academic institutions to participate in the development and implementation of IOC-WESTPAC activities, such as Gulf of Thailand Programme ,South East Asian Ocean Global Observing System (SEAGOOS), Harmful Algae Bloom (HAB), Rapid Assessment Survey of Marine Biodiversity and Non-Indigenous Species Project, the Fluvial Sediment Supply to the South China Sea, Ensuring Seafood safety, Response of Marine Hazards to Climate Change, Coral Reef under Climate and Anthropogenic Perturbations, and ODINWESTPAC etc.

Professor Dr. Aprilani Soegiarto (Indonesia)
Professsor Dr. Aprilani Soegiarto received his PhD in marine science from University of Hawaii in 1972. Since early 1980s, he has taken various positions at the national oceanographic institutions, such as director of the National Institute of Oceanology, Deputy Chairman for Natural Sciences, then Vice Chairman for the Indonesian Institute of Science. Due to his extraordinary contributions, he has been given life achievement award by the Indonesia Oceanographer Association.

In addition to promoting marine science at national level, Prof. Soegiarto has made extraordinary contribution to the development of marine science in the Western Pacific region. He is one founding member for IOC Programme Group on Western Pacific which was established in 1972, then he served as the first chairman of IOC working Group on WESTPAC in 1980. Meanwhile, serving as the fourth vice chair of IOC represent Asia and Pacific region during 1980s, he was instrumental in the establishment of the IOC Sub-Commission.

Professor Dr. Jilan Su (China)
Professor Dr. Jilan Su received his Doctor’s Degree from University of California, Berkeley in 1967. Focusing on coastal circulation dynamics over 40 years, Prof. Su has led several national key research programmes and international projects, including China-Japan Joint research program on Kuroshio. He also contributed to the intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change (IPCC), first as a Principal Lead Author for the Oceans chapter, then as a co-author for the Temperate Asia chapter in its special report “The Regional impacts of Climate Change”, and the Chair of the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission.

During his service as the Vice-Chair, Acting Chair, and Chair of the IOC Sub-Commission for the Western Pacific, Prof. Su strongly advocated the need for WESTPAC Scientific Program to provide input for integrated coastal management. In addition, during his service, WESTPAC multi-disciplinary scientific symposium was also officially established as a regular principal inter-sessional activity of WESTPAC in order to enable scientists from different countries to exchange experiences.

Prof. Su, is also the member of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Third World Academy of Sciences, and foreign member of Russian Academy of Natural Sciences.

Professor Dr. Keisuke Taira (Japan)
Professor Taira completed his PhD study on Physical Oceanography from University of Tokyo in 1980. Before serving as the Vice President of the University of the Ryukyus since 2007, Prof. Taira had held various important titles in the oceanographic communities in Japan, including Director for Ocean Research Institute of the University of Tokyo, and the President of Oceanographic Society of Japan.

He has been devoting most of his research to the measurements of ocean currents . He discovered the Clockwise circulation at 1500m layer below the Kuroshio by Sound Fixing And Ranging (SOFAR) floats in the Shikoku Basin. Due to his great contribution to the deep sea measurements, he was awarded the Merit for Promotion of Ocean State by Prime Minister of Japan.

The outstanding contribution to WESTPAC of Prof. Taria is the Promotion of North- East Asian Regional GOOS when he was Chairman 1996-2002, which is the first regional goos of IOC with the establishment of Real Time Database and Delayed Mode Database at national and regional level. Meanwhile, Prof. Taira had also made great efforts to promote academic cooperation between WESTPAC member states through the Japan Society for Promotion of Science.

His motto is “Make the best efforts for recourse!”.

Professor Dr. Manuwadi Hungspreugs (Thailand)
Professor Dr. Manuwadi Hungspreugs is the first chemical oceanographer in Thailand. She received a Ph.D. in Chemical Oceanography (University of Liverpool) in 1966.. After returning to Thailand, she worked briefly at the Ministry of Education then transferred to Chulalongkorn University to assist in the establishment of Department of Marine Science in 1968.

During her professional career, she actively participated in and collaborated with many marine scientific international groups/organizations with a view to enhancing the marine scientific studies in Thailand.

Professor Manuwadi is one of advocate for the establishment of the IOC Sub-Commission for the Western Pacific, and greatly promoted the regional capacity on Marine Pollution Monitoring through the development of regional projects and conduct of d several workshops and training activities. Her last position with WESTPAC was the First Vice Chairman until her retirement from the Thai Government service.

Though retired, she still dedicates her time in supporting junior marine scientists in Thailand.

Professor Dr. Hyung Tack Huh (Republic of Korea)
Professor Huh got his PhD in Biological Oceanography from University of Wisconsin in 1975. Starting as Chief Program Coordinator for Marine Science of Korean National Commission for UNESCO, 1962-1966, his professional career enables him to be widely recognized nationally and internationally. He used to serve as the President of Korean Ocean Research and Development Institute, National Project Coordinator for the UNDP/GEF Large Marine Ecosystem Project and President for Various Korean Societies of Oceanography. In recognition of his contribution, Dr. Huh has received various honors, including the highest presidential award: National Science Award in 2001.

The history of Dr. Huh with UNESCO/IOC could date back to 1966 when he served as the chief program coordinator of Korean National Commission for UNESCO, he has played a instrumental role in organizing the Cooperative Study of Kuroshio (CSK) , the IOC’s first program in the Western Pacific conducted during early 1960s .

Served as the Vice Chairman and the Chairman for WESTPAC, he Played a major role in coordinating and promoting regional and international cooperative programmes, through which tangible progress in scientific activities and capacity building have been made for the marine sciences of the Western Pacific and North Pacific region as well.

He likes a western proverb “ Where is a will, there is a way ”.