From November 12 to 24, 2015, Future Earth was at the center of various events that took place in Tokyo and Kyoto, Japan. Prof. Manfred Lange of The Cyprus Institute (CyI), the Director of the Regional Future Earth Center for the Middle East and North Africa (MENA region), participated in many of these events. Main points on the agenda of workshops, symposia and Agoras in Tokyo and Kyoto, as well as of joint meetings between Future Earth’s Science and Engagement Committees, its Secretariat, and with its Governing Council included: first steps towards implementation of Future Earth’s Knowledge-Action Networks (KANs), advancing regional implementation arrangements, and establishing an approach to fundraising.
One of the main outcomes of these meetings concerns a much larger clarity on the concept of KANs, the vital role of the existing Core Project community in developing these, and their broad architecture in relation to the eight Societal Challenges in the Future Earth 2025 Vision document (http://futureearth.org/our-vision). The MENA Regional Future Earth Center is involved in one of the KANs on the Food-Water-Energy Nexus, which is expected to become operational within the next few months.
Another important result of the discussions in Tokyo concerns the integration between the Regional Centers for Asia, Europe, Latin America, Middle East and North Africa with the Global Hubs, which will foster joined activities to roll out Future Earth in the regions.
The next steps on the agenda for the MENA Regional Future Earth Center at CyI include an open call for a Regional Advisory Committee that will provide guidance on our activities in the region and preparations for a workshop involving the scientific communities at large that will outline a first Future Earth science agenda for the MENA region.