The Mahathir Science Award Foundation (MSAF) and the Academy of Sciences Malaysia (ASM) hosted the International Conference on Tropical Sciences (TropSc) themed “Contributions to Sustainability”.
The conference, held from 25 to 27 October 2021, focused on the contributions of science and technology in addressing the challenges and values of the tropical region to achieving sustainability.
Conference tracks that ran throughout the event covered the four Mahathir Science Award categories: Tropical Agriculture, Tropical Medicine, Tropical Natural Resources and Tropical Architecture and Engineering. A special track was also dedicated on current issues such as climate change, open science, and the role of youth.
Researchers, policymakers, industry professionals and students from all over the world formed the participants of this conference.
An introductory remark was delivered by the President of the Academy of Sciences Malaysia, Professor Datuk Dr Asma Ismail FASc. Then, the conference was officiated by Tan Sri Samsudin Tugiman, Chairman of the Mahathir Science Award Foundation.
The former Prime Minister of Malaysia, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and the Ambassador of the Republic of Indonesia to Malaysia were also in attendance to deliver their addresses.
Keynote lectures were delivered by prominent experts as follows:
- Development of a Green and Sustainable University Campus in the Tropics by Professor Dr Wong Nyuk Hien
- A Strategy to Predict and Prevent Viral Pandemics by Dr Peter Daszak
Rounding up day one of the conference was a dialogue titled Sustainable Development in the Tropics, moderated by Tan Sri Dr Munir Majid from CARI ASEAN Research and Advocacy. The panellists are:
- Professor Jeffrey Sachs, Sunway University
- Professor Muhammad Yunus, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate
- Professor Jomo Kwame Sundaram FASc, Academy of Sciences Malaysia
- Professor Stewart Lockie, James Cook University
- Professor Njuguna Ndung’u, African Economic Research Consortium
Day two of TropSc kicked off with an address by the High Commissioner of the Republic of Kenya to Malaysia, HE Francis N. Muhoro, followed by a keynote address by Dr Shenggen Fan titled Circular Economy for Sustainable Agriculture.
Panel discussions followed the above programmes, addressing various challenges of the tropics:
- Changing Agriculture Landscape in the Tropics
- Digital Innovations for Public Health in the Tropics
- Sustainable Use and Health of Tropical Biodiversity
- Climate Change in the Tropics
Another keynote lecture was delivered by Academician Professor Emeritus Tan Sri Dr Zakri Abdul Hamid FASc, titled Sustaining Natural Resources for People and Planet.
The second part of the panel discussions ensued, with titles such as:
- Climate-Smart Agriculture in the Tropics
- One Health in Action: Tales of Emerging Pathogens and Things to Come
- Sustainable Blue Economy in the Tropics
- Leading Edge Material Development for the Tropics
The Ambassador of the Republic of Senegal to Malaysia, HE Abdoulaye Barro delivered his address on the third day of TropSc. A Special Lecture titled Investing in the Tropics was then delivered by Tan Sri Dr Jeffrey Cheah AO.
The third group of panel discussions was held on the third day of TropSc, focusing on the following topics:
- Open Science for Tropical Biodiversity
- Smart People-First Cities in the Tropics
- Green Energy in the Tropics
The next item on the agenda was a networking session with the theme “Focus on Africa: Fulfilling Potentials”. This agenda was followed by a soft launch of the Global Youth Development Index and Report.
Three more panel discussions focused on the topics was held on the third and final day of TropSc:
- Frontier Technologies in Tropical Agriculture
- Natural Product Development and Trade: The Future is in the Tropics
- Vector-borne and Neglected Diseases in the Tropics
Academician Emerita Professor Tan Sri Dr Mazlan Othman FASc concluded International Conference on Tropical Sciences with the Kuala Lumpur Communique on the Tropics.
Watch the Conference here.