24 July 2019 - 02 August 2019
China, Japan, Malaysia

IIASA Director General and CEO visits Asia

IIASA Director General and CEO Albert van Jaarsveld made an extended visit to Asia from 24 July - 2 August 2019.

© Joshua Meyer | gaijinpot.com

© Joshua Meyer | gaijinpot.com

During the visit he attended meetings with IIASA national member organizations in China, Japan and Malaysia and with key members of academia and major research organizations, to discuss enhancing IIASA research collaborations further.

IIASA researchers have established strong collaborations in the region, particularly related to assessments and scenarios of the complex, inter-related challenges that are faced in the sustainable management of the energy, water, food, climate, and ecosystem resources. 

Iain Stewart, Head of IIASA External Relations Communications and Library accompanied van Jaarsveld on the visit.


The visit to China incorporated meetings with Jinghai Li, President and Yu Han, Secretary General, of the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC), who are the IIASA national member organization in China. 

He also met with Leiwen Jiang, Founding Director of the Asian Demographic Research Institute, who partner extensivley with the IIASA World Population Program on various research collaborations. 

The IIASA Energy Program have been collaborating closely with the Global Energy Interconnection Development and Cooperation Organization (GEIDCO), of whom IIASA recenltly became a member. Van jaarseveld met here with Secretary General Wu Xuan and other representatives of the organization.

Since 2018, IIASA has been expanding capacity building activities with Peking University (PKU), operating the PKU-IIASA International Postdoctoral Fellowship Program, the visit to China concluded with a meeting with Gang Tian, Vice President of the University and other representatives.


In Japan, van Jaarsveld met with representatives from the Ministry of the Environment and with the Japan Committee for IIASA, who form the IIASA national member organization in Japan. He also met with Watanabe Chiho, President of the National Institute for Environmental Studies (NIES), who have worked extensivley with IIASA on integrated assesement modelling and other research collaborations.

The International Forum for Sustainable Asia and the Pacific (ISAP) 2019, was co-organized by United Nations University, Institute for the Advanced Study of Sustainability (UNU-IAS) and the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES) and took place on 30-31 July 2019 in Yokahama, with a view to engage Asia's key decision makers in substantive discussions about actionable approaches for realising sustainable development.

During the forum, van Jaarsveld gave an opening address in plenary session 3, on 31 July: "The Role of Policy-Oriented Research for Integrated Climate and Development Policies" and participate in the panel sessions: "Integrating Climate Change and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Asia: How Can the Link be Strengthened" and "Communications for Science-based Decision-making".


The extended trip of Asia, concluded in Malaysia where van Jaarsveld met with  representatives from the Academy of Sciences Malaysia, who are the IIASA national member organization in Malaysia.

Most recetntly IIASA has expanded research collaborations with Malaysia, developing research projects focused on tackling haze and biomass burning in Malaysia and Asia; the development of sustainable bio-economy in Malaysia and South East Asia; and in working towards zero deforestation palm oil.

19.07 IIASA Asia National Member Organization visit

IIASA and China

Research collaborations between IIASA and the People’s Republic of China (China) have been highly productive since China became a member country of IIASA in 2002 through the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC)

Since 2010, research collaborations between IIASA and China have focused on reducing greenhouse gas emissions, sustainable agriculture, water resources, disaster preparedness, demography, and the transition to a sustainable energy system in China.

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IIASA and Japan

Research collaborations between IIASA and Japan have been highly productive since the institute was founded in 1972. Key aspects of this beneficial relationship since 2010, has involved cooperation with more than 40 Japanese organizations and resulted in over 460 scientific publications and a range of research advances.

Recent studies have included in-depth analyses of how to maximize the co-benefits from measures to reduce both air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions in Japan and Asia; the development of a new set of scenarios to underpin future climate modeling, impact, vulnerability, adaptation, and mitigation assessments; and research into the evolution of diseases and commercially-exploited fish. 

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IIASA and Malaysia

Malaysia officially became a member of IIASA in 2011 through the Academy of Sciences of Malaysia. Since membership began a number of research collaborations have been developed with IIASA researchers, including projects focused on improving air quality, sustainable land and forest management, the changing energy landscape, and projecting demographics in Malaysia.

Beyond continuing these research collaborations, there is significant opportunity to grow the relationship between IIASA and Malaysia’s scholarly community, through joint research projects, scientific exchange and collaborative capacity building activities. Opportunities for such activities will be facilitated through the forthcoming IIASA strategic plan 2021-2030 and new IIASA membership strategy, which the Academy of Sciences of Malaysia are helping to shape via their role on the IIASA governing council.

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Last edited: 05 August 2019


Albert van Jaarsveld

IIASA Director General and Chief Executive Officer

Directorate - DG

T +43(0) 2236 807 700


Iain Stewart

Head of Communications and External Relations

Communications and External Relations

T +43(0) 2236 807 433


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