The 9th WESTPAC International Scientific Symposium was jointly organized in Nha Trang coastal city by the National IOC Committee for Vietnam; the Institute of Oceanography, VAST; and the IOC Sub-Commission for the Western Pacific (WESTPAC).

The four day WESTPAC 9th International Scientific Symposium, entitled “A Healthy Ocean for Prosperity in the Western Pacific: Scientific Challenges and Possible Solutions ” concluded on 25 April 2014 with participation of close to six hundred marine scientists, and governmental officials from 24 countries within and outside the region.

The Symposium featured 6 keynote lectures, 14 sessions, and 9 workshops structured around four themes: (1) Understanding Ocean Processes in the Indo-Pacific Region; (2) Ensuring Marine Biodiversity, Food Safety and Security; (3) Maintenance of Ocean Health; and (4) Cross-Cutting and Emerging Issues.

Among others, one of highlights was the open-ended Research Directors’ Forum, which was convened on 22 April 2014 for Directors from marine scientific institutes, academic faculties and/or operational agencies in the Indo-Pacific, with one Joint Directors’ Statement adopted towards the attainment of the future we want: “A Healthy and Safe Ocean for Prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region”. It called for the following: urgent action to establish the Indo-Pacific Ocean Observations and Services Network (IPON); creation of the Scientific Steering Committee for Indo-Pacific Ocean Observations and Services Network (SC-IPON) as an arm to guide the development of IPON; heightened recognition from IOC/UNESCO Member States, regional leadership and policy decision makers on the need to establish IPON; marine scientific communities to undertake further research on, and sustained observations of, the ocean processes and climate, earth dynamics, and the impacts of climate change and anthropogenic activities on vulnerable marine biodiversity and ecosystems; Increased assistance to developing nations in the Indo-Pacific region, including Small Island Developing States (SIDS); and enhanced efforts to build capacity developing nations in the Indo-Pacific region, in particular through the development of technical assistance programs and materialization of the “IOC Regional Network of Training and Research Centers on Marine Science”.

Nine side workshops were also organized in parallel by respective WESTPAC Projects and relevant partners with focus to review the current progress and come up with roadmaps for the next intersessional period. These workshops were as follows: Coastal & Marine Biodiversity and Conservation (WESTPAC-CMBC), Harmful Algal Bloom (WESTPAC-HAB), Ocean Remote Sensing for Coastal Habitat Mapping (WESTPAC-ORSP), Coral Reef under Climate and Anthropogenic Perturbation (WESTPAC-CorReCAP), Toxic Marine Organisms (WESTPAC-TMO), Recruitment Monitoring of Coral Reef Organisms (WESTPAC-DRMREEF), Ocean Acidification, Asian CORE project, and EWIN 2013 Expedition.

During the Symposium, Five scientists, Dr. Fangli Qiao (China), Dr. Suchana Chavanich (Thailand), Dr. Yutaka Michida (Japan), Dr. Nguyen Tac An (Vietnam), and Dr. Yasuwo Fukuyo (Japan) received “WESTPAC Outstanding Scientists 2014 Awards”, in recognition for their long term dedication to regional marine science development and cooperation in the region. Five WESTPAC Best Young Scientists were also selected from all oral and poster young scientist presenters in order to encourage young marine scientists to devote themselves to marine science, sustained observations and services underpinning the sustainability of ocean and coastal resources to benefit all.

Summary report of WESTPAC 9th International Scientific Symposium presented at the Tenth Intergovernmental Session of the IOC Sub-Commission for the Western Pacific, Phuket, Thailand, 12-15 may 2015:


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Dr. Vo Si Tuan, Chair of the National Organizing Committee opened the Symposium

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Prof. Chau Van Minh, VAST President addressed the Symposium


Dr. Tran Son Hai, Permenent Vice Chair of the Khanh Hoa Provincial People’s Committee presented welcome remark at the Symposium


Dr. Wendy Watson-Wright, Executive Secretary of the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) and Assistant Director General of UNESCO presented congratulatory remark at the Symposium


Prof. Chau Van Minh presented token of appreciation to Dr. Wendy Watson-Wright at the Symposium

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Participants at the Symposium
Taking group photo