Pan-TPE hosts a session on the 2nd UN science-policy-business forum to raise international attention to the Third Pole
Third Pole region bears many similarities with the Arctic and Antarctic in their sensitivity and amplified responses to global climate changes, therefore global attention needs to be raised and cooperation be promoted to jointly combat climate change in those fragile ecosystems. Pan-TPE program PI and TPE cochair Prof. Yao Tandong commented Sunday, March 10 on the 2nd United Nation Science-Policy-Business Forum in Nairobi, Kenya.
This year's forum focuses on the nexus of science, innovation and entrepreneurship for the environment, and highlights Over 2000 Registered Participants, 40 Specialized Sessions and 160 top speakers representing Business Leaders, Subject Experts and Policy Makers from 68 countries. Yao made this comment during The Third Pole session, one of the specialized sessions and the only one organized and coordinated by Chinese scientists. It was themed by Third Pole: A call for Action to Combat Climate Impacts in Fragile Ecosystems, and invited 7 speakers from 3 continents and five countries consisting of scientists, policy advisors, program managers, UNEP officials and entrepreneurs.
During his key-note talk, prof. Yao talks about sustainability in vulnerable environment regions entitled From TPE to Pan-TPE and beyond by first identifying the geographical ranges of the Third Pole and Pan-Third Pole before demonstrating the significant impacts of climate changes on regional sustainability in terms of water availability, biodiversity and human security. He then introduced the efforts by Chinese scientists to reach out in the international academic community to further understand the status quo of TP environment and forecast future impacts, including the launch of the Third Pole Environment initiative (TPE) in 2009 with leading scientists throughout the world, the transition from TPE to Pan-Third Pole Environment (Pan-TPE), and the ongoing discussion to launch a new program for global environmental protection through integration of three poles research. According to him, TPE and Pan-TPE have already entered into reliable and mutually-benefited cooperation with many organizations and programs including UNEP and WMO, though further collaborations are needed with global research community to work together to combat global climate change issues and to protect global environmental. His comment was later supplemented/echoed by Prof. LI Xin from Institute of Tibetan Plateau Research in a case study in an endorheic river basin in pan-Third Pole region aiming at UN SDG.
In the following talks, Mr. Dagfinnur Sveinbjornsson, CEO of the Arctic Circle strongly identified the Arctic research with the TPE research, and proposed specific approaches for the north and third pole to enhance communications. UNEP observer in the Arctic Council Jan Dusik elaborated on the significant impacts of cryosphere changes in Arctic and mountains glaciers, Greenland ice sheet and Antarctica, as each accounting for about one third of land based sources of global sea level rise, and all affecting global weather and ocean circulation patterns. The importance of cryosphere change in mountain regions to regional livelihood was also hailed during the session, as a Cusco-based indigenous people’s non-governmental organization ANDES director Alejandro Argumedo shared their innovation approaches to enhance agrobiodiversity, food security and climate resilience by quoting cases from the Himalaya and Andes Mountains.