The International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) and Asiaflux co-organized a short training course and workshop where scientists, academicians and entrepreneurs shared scientific knowledge to ensure sustainability of life on earth through flux monitoring. Guided by the theme Bridging Atmospheric Flux Monitoring to National and International Climate Change Initiatives, Asiaflux Workshop 2014 was held on 18-23 August at IRRI headquarters.
Dr. Akira Miyata, chair of Asiaflux and director of the Agro-Meteorology Division of the National Institute for Agro-Environmental Studies, explained that IRRI was the apt choice for the activity with its extensive and long history of methane flux study. Methane is an important greenhouse gas that contributes to global warming. IRRI is also recognized as one of the focal points for research of crop science in the world, thus, providing the best platform to promote flux studies in tropical ecosystems in monsoon Asia.
In his opening speech, Robert Zeigler, director general of IRRI, stated that the Institute has long been working on reducing greenhouse gas emissions from rice fields. “We look at changes in rice-based systems in Asia,” Dr. Zeigler said. “We need all the tools at our disposal to try to understand how our interventions affect other aspects of system performance and their impact on the environment.”
Meanwhile, Reiner Wassmann, head of IRRI’s climate change research, emphasized that, apart from the provision of tools and information to assess GHG and mitigation programs, how to engage the stakeholders to ensure practicality of results is another important concern.
Prior to the conference, a two-day training course was conducted by staff from Campbell Scientific. It focused on the basics and principles of the Eddy Covariance System (ECS), a system to measure carbon dioxide, methane, and heat fluxes between soil and plants and atmosphere. The participants also had a hands-on experience in setting up various ECS and basic programming of the software that runs the ECS.
Asiaflux 2014 was supported by the Asia-Pacific Network for Global Change Research, Campbell Scientific, National Institute for Agro-Environmental Science and the National Institute. Dr. Wassman and Ma. Carmelita Alberto, associate scientist at the Crop and Environmental Sciences Division, were in charge of the preparations and activity implementation of the workshop.
Asiaflux is a regional research network bringing together scientists from university and institution in Asia to study the exchanges of carbon dioxide, water vapor, and energy between land-based ecosystems and the atmosphere. The organization conducts flux monitoring and data management in Asia, international workshops/conferences, and trainings, and information sharing.