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Award-winning Experts to Lead Activities of Regional Youth Forum

Quezon City, Philippines — Several award-winning climate change and marine and coastal management experts are expected to hold dynamic discussions and workshops during the 2nd EAS Youth Forum, one of the special events of the East Asian Seas (EAS) Congress 2009. Among these are: Dr. Felino Lansigan of the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB); Dr. Beverly Goh of the National Institute of Education of Singapore (NIE); Dr. Laura T. David of the University of the Philippines – Marine Science Institute (UP MSI); Dr. Juergen Weichselgartner of the Land–Ocean Interactions in the Coastal Zone (LOICZ) in Germany; and Dr. Filemon Uriarte, Jr. of the ASEAN Foundation.The Forum's goal is to inspire a greater number of youths to become more involved in efforts to sustainably manage the oceans and coasts of the EAS Region and to help address pressing concerns including climate change.Dr. Felino Lansigan, a co-recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize given to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in 2007, will host a discussion to provide participants with firm scientific foundations on the reality of climate change as well as how skeptics view the matter. A professor at the Institute of Statistics of the UPLB, Dr. Lansigan was a lead author of one of the chapters of the IPCC's Third Assessment Report in 2001. He is also a recipient of the 2009 National Academy of Science and Technology (NAST) Hugh Greenwood Environmental Science Award, one of the nine recipients of the award, for his contributions to research on hydrology and water resources in the Philippines. He has held positions in the steering committees of numerous international organizations working on marine and coastal issues, including those of the LOICZ, the Global Water System Project and the Land Use and Cover Change Program. He currently co-chairs the UPLB Climate Change Program.Dr. Beverly Goh will be one of the workshop panelists on creative methods for information dissemination. An assistant professor at the Natural Sciences and Science Education - NIE in Singapore, Dr. Goh runs the Southeast Asia Regional Node of the LOICZ programme of the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme (IGBP) and International Human Dimensions Programme (IHDP). She is the Vice President of the Singapore Institute of Biology since 2006, and coordinates the Environmental Science specialization of the MSc (Life Sciences) Programme at NIE. Her current research is on ecotoxicology and the effects of environmental pollutants on marine organisms.Dr. Laura David, the first Filipino woman with a Ph.D. in physical oceanography, will serve as one of the panelists on discussions of the various sectoral efforts in addressing climate change, as well as how the youth can be effectively engaged in their activities. She was the 2007 Outstanding Young Scientist (OYS) awardee of the NAST in the field of physical oceanography. Dr. David's ongoing research project involves looking at how human activities on land and sea affect coastal areas and our vulnerability to climate change. Dr. David is tirelessly passionate in promoting marine science education and she has worked with a team in producing movie clips of underwater life which was shown by the National Geographic Channel and used in the movie "Spy Kids". Currently, she is an associate professor and the Deputy Director for Instructions of UP-MSI.Dr. Juergen Weichselgartner, the workshop panelist on activity and project management for the youth forum, is the Senior Science Coordinator of IHDP/IGBP Core Project LOICZ Institute for Coastal Research of the GKSS Research Center in Germany. His current research involves coastal management and global environmental change, knowledge barriers and science communication, and vulnerability assessment and governance. He obtained his Ph.D. in Geography from the University of Bonn.Dr. Filemon A. Uriarte, Jr., executive director of the ASEAN Foundation and former Secretary of the Philippine Department of Science and Technology, will inspire and empower the participants by sharing his experiences on engaging the youth in various ASEAN activities. Dr. Uriarte, an environmental engineer, academician and a recipient of numerous prestigious recognitions including being named one of the Ten Outstanding Young Men (TOYM) in 1974, was declared Academician of the NAST, a lifetime appointment awarded to outstanding scientists and professionals, which currently has 50 awardees. He has over 20 years of experience serving in various senior level positions for UNESCAP, WHO, UNEP, UNESCO and ASEAN, and has written numerous technical and scientific papers.These experts are believed to provide inspiration and impart valuable knowledge to the participants on how they can best contribute to save our environment, particularly the oceans and coasts.Specifically designed for young environmental enthusiasts, the EAS Youth Forum is a week-long series of exciting activities where participants get a unique opportunity to interact with climate change experts, legislators and authorities in coastal and marine management. Participants also gain access to lectures by esteemed environmentalists and experts on a wide variety of marine and coastal management and climate change topics. Young people from all across the region are expected to converge in Manila in November to experience this unique event with fellow youth environmentalists.