Young LOICZ Forum (YLF 2011)

Enhancing Capacities for Global Change Mitigation in Asia-Pacific Coastal Zones

YLF Handbook for download

YLF Handbook for download

25 Participants – 21 Nationalities – 4 Awards: 1. Young LOICZ Forum 2011 in Yantai was a big Success

Participants and (some) Trainers of the Young LOICZ Forum 2011 (Photo: J. Weichselgartner) Participants and (some) Trainers of the Young LOICZ Forum 2011 (Photo: J. Weichselgartner)

In order to build strategic capacities for sustainable coastal zone management in the Asia-Pacific region, LOICZ organised a special event around its Open Science Conference (OSC) 2011: the Young LOICZ Forum (YLF) Capacities for Global Change Mitigation in Asia-Pacific Coastal Zones, 8-15 September, 2011, in Yantai, China. The organisers of the first YLF, Dr. Juergen Weichselgartner and Dr. Cheng Tang, welcomed senior scholars, young scientists and coastal managers for a one-week structured training on scientific techniques and soft skills. “The participants had the opportunity to establish links and networks for their future research, to share interdisciplinary knowledge from different parts of the world, and to develop a set of skills that are vital for their future career”, summarised C. Tang the extensive capacity-building programme that started with a two-day Proposal Development Training Workshop led by the Asia-Pacific Network for Global Change Research (APN). As an important component of the YLF, it provided an important opportunity for sharing knowledge on proposal development, submission, and selection process. Dr. Akio Takemoto, Director of the APN Secretariat, confirmed that the workshop increased awareness of the APN among the participants and their capacity to develop competitive proposals not only for APN’s annual calls, but also for other funding agencies.

The design of the YLF took into account that young scientists and managers, particularly in developing countries, lack opportunities to get in contact with international institutions, to access research networks and to obtain supervision from leading experts. “With lectures, practical exercises, social activities, a field trip, and selected OSC sessions in a cross-disciplinary and multicultural learning environment”, illustrates J. Weichselgartner, “the YLF went far beyond traditional scientific training activities, but provided a unique learning opportunity for networking, acquiring transferable and soft skills”. The most important capacity development outputs often are the least tangible: the opportunity for participants to expose their own research and experiences to international peers and the “trickle-down effects” and “global networking” that an event such as the YLF creates and fosters. The launch of a Young LOICZ Alumni via the recently set-up fan page on Facebook will maintain close programmatic and substantive ties among participants, with LOICZ, and between participating institutions. It also provides the possibility to follow-up with specific surveys and monitoring the significance of the YLF and the career development of trainees.

A milestone of the YLF was the award ceremony during the LOICZ OSC dinner, in which four excellent young coastal scientists and managers have been honoured for their outstanding performance and contribution. For excellence achieved in the Young LOICZ Forum 2011, YLF Awards have been given to Elizabeth Shadwick (CSIRO, Australia), Christine Omuombo (University of Nairobi, Kenya), Guangzhe Jin (Hiroshima University, Japan), and Pronab Kumar Halder (Centre for Global Change, Bangladesh). Again: Congratulations and Thanks to all supporters of the YLF – the APN, ESSP, IHDP-Taipei, SCOR, SOLAS, Springer, UNU-EHS, UNESCO-IOC to mentioned just the essential ones – the numerous resource persons, and, last but not least, all trainers and participants.

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