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iCUBE Workshop at Korea University


iCUBE Workshop at Korea University

iCUBE Workshop Links Climate Change, Biodiversity and Energy to Sustainable Development and Ecosystem Resilience

More than 30 experts from four countries gathered at the iCUBE Workshop in Korea University in February with the aim of developing strategies to deal with current problems of climate change, biodiversity, energy and resilience through wide international cooperation to achieve a sustainable society. The workshop was led by Prof. Woo-Kyun Lee, Director of Brain Korea 21 Plus Eco-Leader Education Center for Wise Adaptation to Climate Change (BK21Plus ELEC), Korea University. Seeking to establish links between the natural sciences and social sciences research, participants at the workshop examined perspectives of natural sciences needed to build new approaches to determine changes in biodiversity and ecosystem services. In order to share the information of each participant’s research and their interests, all experts gave lectures and discussed different perspectives and methods to approach biodiversity, energy, climate change adaptation, and sustainable development. Governance strategies to successfully manage ecosystems (biodiversity) were also identified for their holistic approach. Prof. Yowhan Son from Korea University talked about “Ecosystem Management of the Aral Sea Area”, drawing from his research focus on environmental aspects, introducing vegetation in desiccated areas to slow down the desertification of the Aral Sea and minimising dust storm effects. He found that by adopting agroforestry, there would be sustainable land-use, which means they could rehabilitate the desertifying land. For sustainable environment and society, the research also focused on socio-economic aspects such as building capacity, assisting in training and educating the people of Kazakhstan. Dr. Robyn Wilson from Monash University Malaysia also gave a lecture about wet tropical areas of Queensland and their sustainability against climate change. Her research team focused on the vulnerability and resilience of tropical forests of Queensland and the habitats of leaf-eating marsupials. The research team stated that the key vulnerabilities of these animals are mainly caused by global warming. These animals cannot withstand the extreme heat due to their short-term metabolic response to the ambient temperature. Dr. Wilson also gave participants solutions for saving these endangered animals, which included re-vegetation, translocation among others. Dr. Yusnani Mohd Yusof of UBD and Prof. Woo-Kyun Lee focused on socio-economical resilience and estimation of carbon budget using terrestrial and remote sensing. With these research studies and lectures, participants could gain in-depth knowledge of these fields and realize the severe realities of endangered ecosystems. One of the highpoints of the workshop was the Team Project, where participants worked in groups to focus on one of the topics of the workshop: Climate Change, Biodiversity, Energy, and Resilience. At the end of the workshop, each group proposed their research plans to protect the ecosystem. To understand environmental management in the host country, delegates visited the Korea Forest Research Institute (KFRI) and KoFlux Gwangneung Supersite, and the Korea National Arboretum to witness how South Korea manages their forest reserves. A large part of Korea’s environmental management involves monitoring forest fires using a Forest Radar System and a Forest Fires Prediction System. South Korea has committed significant funding towards creating state-of-the-art fully-fledged systems to protect their forest. The iCUBE Workshop in Korea University marks the first time that an iCUBE event has been held outside of Brunei Darussalam since its establishment in 2011. With UBD serving as its Secretariat, iCUBE is composed of select research universities across the world including King’s College London, University of Bonn, National University of Singapore and University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The Consortium meets and holds expeditions regularly to study and discuss pressing environmental issues such as climate change, and to develop strategies to overcome them

iCUBE workshop speakers and participants at the Korea Forest Research Institute weather monitoring station.

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