From March 22 to 24, IRD researchers will be speaking at several side events held alongside the Asia-Pacific Forum on Sustainable Development 2021 (APFSD) to urge decision-makers in Southeast Asia to tackle without delay the environmental problems that threaten our future and that of our children.

The numbers are appalling. Premature deaths linked to air pollution are skyrocketing to 7M per year. Ocean plastics cost US$ 1,3M a year to tourism, fishing and shipping industries in the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation region. The Asia-Pacific region has been identified as a hot spot for most of the pollutants funnelled into the oceans through rivers. And the implementation of relevant environmental policies could save consumer goods companies US$ 4 billion per year while reducing global plastic leakage by up to 45% over the next ten years. 

In the light of these alarming figures covering emerging pollutants, biodiversity and health in the Asia-Pacific region, the Embassies of France and Japan in Thailand associate with ESCAP to hold four side-events to the Asia-Pacific Forum on Sustainable Development, urging policymakers to implement concrete actions on ground.

Factoring in the environmental cause is the next big step towards a brighter future for individuals, for companies, and for the political union of the region to achieve the sustainable development goals (SDG). This is why from 22 to 24 March, high-level researchers from Thailand, France and Japan will gather for an enlightening online program of talks, conversations and online courses to raise awareness on crucial environmental stakes, and discuss how to build a better future and more sustainable cities in the region.


IRD researchers take action to raise awareness among decision-makers

Xavier Mari, biogeochemist and oceanographer at IRD will speak on 22 March from 3 to 4.30pm at the online event on air pollution entitled "Black carbon: the dark side of human activity". He will discuss with other experts the results of past and ongoing projects and solution-based initiatives designed to mitigate air pollution and reduce emissions. The IRD exhibition "Black Carbon" will also be made available online to participants to deepen their understanding of what causes particulate matter (PM) pollution and its risks to our health and environment.

Replay the event online:

Emily Strady, also a researcher at IRD, will provide her expertise on plastic pollution in the marine environment at the event "Leaking Cities in South-East Asia: Marine Plastic Pollution". She will outline interventions that can significantly reduce the global dumping of plastics in the oceans, particularly in South-East Asia.

Replay the event online:

Finally, during the launch of the e-learning course "Integrated action on Biodiversity/ Ecosystems, Health and Climate", IRD will be mentioned as one of the leading organisations in the implementation of PREZODE initiative. This initiative, in line with the OneHealth approach promoted by France, will combine research projects and operational actions to prevent emerging zoonotic risks and pandemics. The crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated that the interconnection between environmental problems (erosion of biodiversity, destruction of ecosystems, climate change and the emergence of new infectious diseases) is now indisputable. The PREZODE initiative and this e-learning course reaffirm the need to strengthen the links between human, animal and environmental health networks to better assess and detect threats and develop preventive actions.


Full programme : 

  • 22 March - 12:15pm - 1:45pm* | Carbon neutrality: The Future of South-East Asia - registration 
  • 22 March - 3pm - 4:30pm* | Black Carbon: The Dark Side of Human Activity - registration 
  • 23 March - 4:15pm - 5:45pm* | Leaking Cities in South-East Asia: Marine Plastic Pollution - registration 
  • 24 March - 4:15pm - 5:45pm* | eLearning: Integrated action on Biodiversity/ Ecosystems, Health and Climate - registration