PROGRAM TITLE:	Regional Institutes for Global Change
ACTIVITY STREAM:	Understanding and Assessment
SCIENCE ELEMENT:	Climate and Hydrologic Systems, Chemistry and 
Biogeochemical Dynamics, Ecological Systems and Dynamics, Human 
Interactions and Influences

 NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION

DESCRIPTION:  The United States has been actively pursuing development 
of a network of regional institutes for global change research.  The original 
U.S. concept, which was first presented to the White House Conference on 
Science and Economic Research Related to Global Change in April of 1990, 
called for three such institutes -- one each in the Americas; in Europe and 
Africa; and in the Far East and Southwest Pacific.  As this concept has 
developed and matured, it has become clear that a "regional institute" would 
be an appropriate mechanism for fostering regional cooperation in global 
change research in the Americas and that "regional networks" would 
probably be more appropriate for the other two regions.

Initial planning for an Inter-American Institute concluded in May of 1992 
with the signing of an "Agreement to Establish the Inter-American Institute 
for Global Change Research (IAI)" in Montevideo, Uruguay.  This Agreement 
was signed by eleven governments (Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Costa 
Rica, Dominican Republic, Mexico, Panama, Peru, the Uni-ted States, and 
Uruguay) and five additional governments have signed since then (Canada, 
Colombia, Cuba, Ecuador, Paraguay).  

The Implementation Committee for the IAI (IAI/IC) has met regularly to 
plan for the first meet-ing of the Conference of the Parties to be convened 
shortly after the agreement comes into force -- that is, following ratification or 
equivalent final approval by six countries.  Five have now ratified and a sixth 
ratification is expected shortly.  The IC will therefore hold what is expected to 
be its final meeting early in 1994.  The IC set up two substantive working 
groups to further develop a scientific agenda and to address organizational 
and management issues.  The IC has established an Office of the Executive 
Scientist.  Dr. Ruben Lara Lara from Mexico is currently serving in this 
position. This Office is supporting a series of seven scientific planning 
workshops to develop a draft scientific program for the IAI for review and 
approval by the Conference of the Parties.  The first of these workshops -- 
coastal oceanic and estuarine processes -- was held in August 1993 and the 
report is expected to be published shortly.

The Commission of the European Communities (EC) is now developing 
plans for a "European Network for Research In Global CHange (ENRICH)".  
The EC has sponsored a series of meetings of experts and, more recently, a 
task force to initiate planning for ENRICH.  The EC will convene a major 
workshop on ENRICH on 11-13 November in Seville.  Similarly, Japan has 
taken the lead in initiating planning for an "Asian-Pacific Network for Global 
Change Research (APN)".  Japan hosted an International Workshop in 
December 1992 in Tokyo to begin development of plans for the APN.  This 
meeting agreed that the countries of the region should pursue development 
of five "sub-regional" networks to be loosely coordinated by a "network of 
networks".  The second workshop to further develop planning for the APN is 
tentatively planned for early 1994.  The U.S. looks forward to working in close 
cooperation with Japan and with the EC in promoting cooperation in global 
change research among the industrialized and developing countries.    

In 1991 the IGBP, WCRP, and HDP established the Global Change SysTem for 
Analysis, Research and Training (START) which is envisaged as "a world-
encompassing system of Regional Research Networks (RRN), each of which 
includes a Regional Research Center (RRC) and affiliated Regional Research 
Sites (RRS)."  START is being supported by a Project Office in Washington, 
D.C.  The U.S., the EC, and Japan have all consulted with START regarding 
the planning and development of the above initiatives.  Relationships 
among the three institutes/networks discussed above and between these 
institutes/networks and START will be considered in detail at a workshop 
scheduled for late 1993 in Bellagio, Italy.

STAKEHOLDERS:  Includes all national and international partners and 
programs as listed above.

SHORT-TERMS POLICY PAYOFFS:  The Regional Institutes are designed to 
foster regionally based international cooperation in global change research to 
support a broad range of policy-related activities.  Developed and developing 
countries must work together to apply their scientific expertise, data, 
observational capabilities, and resources to develop a comprehensive 
approach which will enable us to fully understand the processes that underlie 
global change.

PROGRAM CONTACT:  Lou Brown