U.S. Mission to ASEAN Launches InnovASEAN

Man speaking. (Mission Image)
Former ASEAN Secretary General Dr. Surin Pitsuwan at the ASEAN Humanitarian Centre in Jakarta. The AHA Center utilizes modern technology to help coordinate relief when strikes anywhere in ASEAN.

The U.S. Mission to ASEAN today launched InnovASEAN, an online blog about the application of science, technology, and innovation to the development of ASEAN Community.  The blog will be maintained and moderated by U.S. Mission to ASEAN Science Advisor Dr. Montira Pongsiri, an environmental scientist from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

“The challenges facing the ASEAN region are diverse and complex,” said U.S. Ambassador to ASEAN David Carden.  “How can ASEAN ensure the sustainable use of the region’s natural resources while protecting the environment, human health and well-being?  What can be done to combat wildlife trafficking, which is reducing biodiversity and increasing risk of disease outbreaks?  How can science be applied to predicting and responding to natural disasters? InnovASEAN aims to create a space where people from different backgrounds across ASEAN – scientists, business leaders, government officials, youth – can engage in dialogue about the ways science can inform policy decisions for the benefit of ASEAN’s future.”

“Science, technology and innovation are cross-cutting elements.  They are essential ingredients of numerous efforts for the benefit of our people—be it economic development, poverty eradication, rural development, educational programs, health promotion and sports; or disaster risk reduction and management, environmental protection and effective governance,” said H.E. Alicia Dela Rosa Bala, Deputy Secretary-General for ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community.

InnovASEAN will be published every two weeks, and will highlight topics that are currently being discussed within ASEAN and the global community.  The blog will invite, and regularly feature, submissions from “guest bloggers” across the ASEAN region, who will offer perspectives from their fields of expertise.

Dr. Pongsiri’s first post is entitled “Healthy Ecosystems, Healthy People: Making the Connection in ASEAN”.

The blog can be accessed via the Mission’s website at https://asean.usmission.gov/.

Two boys picking through trash. (Mission Image)
Science, technology, and innovation will be needed to  help ASEAN address challenges like pollution and  environmental degradation.