SIMSEA Research Group Launched at UMS
The Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS) launched the SIMSEA Research Group on 11 March 2016. By doing so UMS joins other institutional partners in Japan, New Zealand and the Philippines in generating policy and community-relevant knowledge. SIMSEA which stands for The Sustainable Initiative in the Marginal Seas of South and East Asia is an international alliance of natural and social scientists with support from the International Council for Science Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific (ICSU ROAP). .The collaboration emerged as one of the outcomes of the Future Earth programme, a global sustainability agenda supported by ICSU ROAP. SIMSEA's regional office is hosted by the Marine Science Institute of the University of the Philippines in Manila. This is a transdiciplinary research platform with a two-pronged objective of:
- Co-designing an integrative programming that would establish the sustainability of the Marginal Seas of South and East Asia, and
- Facilitating cooperation among researchers in closing the gaps in scientific knowledge, through projects and programmes, for the benefit of societies.
For the period of 2015-2020, the key research topics are as follows:
- coastal and marine ecosystem services sustainability, as well as the cumulative effects of extreme changes
- weather patterns particularly on humans and livelihoods.
- the relationships between rapid urbanization and marine pollution associated with changing urban and rural landscapes.
- monitoring of tipping point and resilience of marginal seas in relation to global change.
- the impacts of economic growth on socio-economic and environmental well being,
- the mechanisms to define balance, trade-offs and cultural bottom lines in resource use.
- Indicators for ocean health in different regions; and
- cultural and other determinants of unity and wise use of resources
- ecologically coherent networks of locally managed marine areas including Marine Protected Areas
- co-developing and co-learning, while fostering ocean views among planners, users and managers.
In Malaysia, the institutional partners include Universiti Malaysia Terengganu (UMT) and Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS). The UMS SIMSEA Research Group is being led by Prof. Fadzilah Majid-Cooke. Researchers from the various centres of excellence and faculties of the university are members in this new research platform.