October 23, 2007 ICSU - CAETS Discussions, Tokyo

October 23, 2007 4:30PM   -   6:00PM


ICSU – CAETS Cooperation

October 23, 2007

Keio Plaza Hotel, Tokyo


Summary of Meeting


During the 17th CAETS Convocation an informal discussion meeting was held just after the close of the afternoon Convocation session, beginning about 5:15 PM on Tuesday, October 23, 2007. This meeting was scheduled to take advantage of the presence and included the attendance of Catherine Bréchignac, President-elect of ICSU, who was in Tokyo for another meeting, and ICSU President, Goverdhan Mehta, a Convocation speaker, and the representatives of the CAETS member academies attending the Convocation. Dr. John Zillman, chair of the CAETS Committee on International Organizations, chaired the meeting.

Dr. Zillman briefly outlined the interests of CAETS in working on issues of common interest with other international organizations, noting that CAETS was already cooperating with ICSU on one of ICSU’s current studies. Dr. Bréchignac briefly outlined the general areas of current and future ICSU studies and observed that most of these studies needed the involvement of one form or another of engineering expertise.

During the discussion that followed it was noted that CAETS offers a communications network through its member academies to the wide range of engineering expertise existing in their memberships. Some attendees mentioned establishing an overall agreement for cooperation and others noted that effective response to specific study needs has already been demonstrated without the need for such an agreement.

It was discussed and agreed that representatives of each organization would be welcome at the other organization’s major meetings.

The President-elect of WFEO also attended the session. Many of the comments about cooperation included working with WFEO and other organizations with areas of common interests.

During the discussion, the following specific issues were mentioned as possible areas for future CAETS-ICSU collaboration: Scientific and technological data exchange;     Natural disaster reduction; Climate change; Renewable energy technologies; Water resources; and Global observing systems.

The meeting canvassed the desirability of jointly sponsored meetings, joint projects and reciprocal representation on study advisory committees as possible practical mechanisms for achieving CAETS-ICSU collaboration.  It was agreed that whatever mechanisms are adopted should be simple and aimed at achieving useful input of CAETS academy expertise to ICSU studies and activities (and vice versa) with a minimum of formality.

It was not felt necessary to develop a formal CAETS-ICSU Agreement at this stage.  It was, however, agreed that, following the meeting, the CAETS Secretary should write to his ICSU counterpart, summarizing the positive outcomes of the meeting and suggesting that they jointly explore some specific areas of follow-up in the light of the discussion at the meeting.

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