The history tells us that, up until the industrial revolution in Europe, Asians had led the knowledge world. From the concepts of zero and decimals to manufacture of cast iron, paper and ceramics, and to invention of compass and gunpowder, most innovations took place in Asia.
Asia is now in the process of writing the history again which is firmly based upon past experience of innovative culture. Asia has been enjoying rapid economic growth and thus playing a more important role in world¡¯s politics. Asia is where we can observe the most diverse development models and dynamic economies.
However, the rapid economic development of Asia is largely based upon production factors such as huge expense of natural resources and environment. The world¡¯s manufacturing activities are mostly taking place in Asia utilizing its cheap labors, causing rapid urbanization and socio-economic problems. It is true millions of Asians are living in poverty lacking access to basic services such as clean water, energy and housing.
But it is also true that, on our way to economic development and prosperity, Asia can evade the past wrong-doings since the industrial revolution such as belching out unlimited green house gases adopting cleaner technologies to our newly forming economies.
It is a common challenge not just for the policy makers or governments of Asian countries, but also for the Asian scientific communities to find a greener approach to economic growth. It becomes more necessary to increase the opportunities for sharing green growth policies throughout Asian countries. We should continue to develop cooperation models for green policies and green business to be ¡°One Green Asia¡±.
The Association of Academies of Sciences in Asia (AASA) celebrated the tenth anniversary in 2010. I believe AASA has done a great job in paving the way to build a strong and influential scientific organization in Asia for past ten years. AASA member Academies also showed their efforts by conducting several joint research projects successfully. One good example is the ¡°Sustainable Development in Asia (SDA)¡± Project. SDA Project was initiated in April of 2007, in the hopes to provide consultation and advice for national and regional governments in Asia and concerned international organizations on environment, energy, resources and culture. With the joint efforts of AASA member academies, the SDA project has successfully come up with the final four thematic reports and a synthesis report.
I am honored to serve as the new president of AASA and to take the duty of further accomplishing the mission of AASA. Asia is a network of diverse of heritage, culture and economies. In order to respect these diversities and to find an effective way of cooperation, regional activities should be encouraged more as well as cooperation among member academies in whole. The Vice Presidents and the Board Members representing different regions will put efforts to organize thematic regional activities to give inputs to AASA, and thus to IAP. I believe that AASA will continually move forward to resolve critical issues that we are facing and we need member academies¡¯ active participation and strong support as ever.