Mechanism of Knowledge Dissemination
Capacity building at various levels can increase understanding and enhance the radius of perception but may not be enough to unlock carbon intensity over time. Dissemination of knowledge with such capacity as has been built can accelerate Asian countries' ability to fight the temperature increase of 2 oC. Knowledge dissemination can be through networks, forums or initiatives across Asia. These activities are illustrated below.
Networking Low Carbon Asia Network—LoCARNet
This network is a good example of regional collaboration in Asia and a platform to disseminate research for policy formulation.
LoCARNet is a network of researchers that facilitates the formulation and implementation of science-based policies for low-carbon development in the Asian region. It aims to facilitate science-based policies in order to realize a sustainable future based on a stabilized climate. The network endeavors to establish research capacity in the region based on South–South–North cooperation, and to reflect research findings in actual policies to achieve low-carbon growth (LCS-RNet Secretariat 2015).
With the success of the Low Carbon Research Network (LCS-RNet), the International Global Environment Study (IGES), which acted as the secretariat, has launched LoCARNet as an autonomous research network, operated through voluntary initiatives by researchers in various countries, sustaining close links with other like-minded stakeholders. LoCARNet aims to promotes research to support the development of policies for low-carbon growth by enabling dialogue between scientists and policy makers and to help the Asian region to move forward with low-carbon growth, with a number of ongoing favorable conditions to turn challenges into opportunities.
LoCARNet conducts a platform of information exchange as well as updating research progress, including pushing joint research on climate change in Asia. The uniqueness of LoCARNet is the creation of a network of prominent researchers in science, science policy and dialogue. The ownership of the knowledge is by countries and strengthening the South–South–North collaboration on climate issues.
The success of LoCARNet has been reflected by the number of country collaboration platforms, joint research projects and publications.
Research Forum Established in 2006 with the leadership of Kyoto University, Japan, and King Mongkut's University of Technology Thonburi, Thailand, the Sustainable Energy and Environment Forum (SEE Forum) is an Asia–Pacific academic and science and technological forum that brings forward dialogue on the global climate and energy security issues of common concern. The primary objective of the SEE Forum is to seek academic and science and technological cooperation that will contribute to solving the global climate and energy security issues (Sustainable Energy and Environmental Forum, 2015).
There are ten member countries—namely Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, India, Malaysia, Philippines, Japan, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam—that participate in this forum. The SEE Forum members will, either individually or collectively, bring the spirit of our common understanding and resolve to the attention of relevant policy makers and other science and academic networks, at national as well as international levels. Ultimately, the goal is to provide government agencies and policy makers with the information required to make sound decisions on global climate and energy security issues.
The main activity of the forum is to establish a research network that can work together on relevant topics with a focus on Asia. Promotion of bilateral and multilateral research, as well as exchange resources, including students, researchers and professors, are also a focus. The forum has allowed young SEE Forum researchers from Asian countries to work together on research into the energy situation in Asia. Within this initiative, knowledge of low-carbon activities has been disseminated from competent and experienced researchers to the younger generation. Members gather every year to update information and seek research collaboration. Linkage with the Asia University Network (AUN) and joint research supported by the SATREP Program are some of the products of this forum. More information can be found at seeforum.net.
Initiative—Global Warming Forum (Thailand Research Fund) This is an initiative by the Multilateral Environmental Agreements Knowledge and Strategic Development Think Tank Project (MEAs Think Tank) supported by a Thailand research fund (Global Warming Forum 2014). The forum frequently sets up dialogue and seminars on current topics on the low-carbon society with the right target group and consecutively updates information on low-carbon activities including negotiation and prominent scientific issues. The uniqueness of this initiative is the combination of participants comprising government, private industry, universities, NGOs and the community. This forum acts as a think tank and disseminates discussion papers, books and other output to policy makers and society.
Human Resource Development A leapfrog to a low-carbon society needs understanding of the real situation and problems in the region. This can be done collaboratively among countries in the region. An example of human development that answers the issue above is the Joint International Postgraduate Program on Energy and Environment (JIPP), which has been established by five leading universities in ASEAN, namely the Institute of Technology Bandung, Indonesia; University of Malaya, Malaysia; University of Philippines, Philippines; King Mongkut's University of Technology Thonburi, Thailand; and Hanoi University of Science and Technology, Vietnam. The program has led to a growing human resource and a network of experts who can drive energy technology and the energy market integration process in ASEAN. It will serve as a crystallization point to strengthen the cooperation in research and development among the universities in the member countries. The objectives of the program are to produce postgraduate students who can understand and find solutions to energy and environmental issues with the view of the ASEAN region and to support non-boundary competent human resources across the ASEAN region, as well as stimulating joint research and development among ASEAN universities. This program provides for students at the Masters and PhD levels in each university. The students have a chance to understand problems in other countries and collaborate on research topics under group supervisors from member universities. Mobility between universities is also encouraged (The Joint Graduate School of Energy and Environment 2014).