First Interim Scientific Advisory Group Meeting



  1. The First Meeting of the Interim Scientific Advisory Group for the Preparatory-Phase Activities of the Acid Deposition Monitoring Network in East Asia (EANET) (hereinafter referred to as ISAG) was held in Yokohama from 12 to 14 October 1998.
  2. The Meeting was attended by the members of ISAG and their alternate members nominated by the following participating countries: Indonesia, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Malaysia, Mongolia, the Philippines, the Russian Federation, Thailand and Vietnam. Nominees of China attended the meeting as observers.
  3. The Meeting was also attended by invitees nominated by the following organizations with competence in relevant fields: the Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC) created under the North American Agreement on Environmental Cooperation (NAAEC), the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO), the United Nations, the United Nations Environment Programme Regional Office for Asia and Pacific (UNEP/ROAP), and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO).
  4. A list of participants is attached in the Annex I.
    Opening of the Meeting
  5. The Meeting was opened with remarks by Mr. Yoshi Hirose, Director General of the Air Quality Bureau, Environment Agency (Japan).
    Organization of the Meeting
  6. Prof. Hajime Akimoto (Japan) was elected as the interim chairperson.
  7. The Meeting adopted the provisional agenda that had been prepared and circulated by the Interim Secretariat (EANET/ISAG 1/2/1).
  8. The Meeting reviewed the draft terms of reference for the Interim Scientific Advisory Group (EANET/ISAG 1/2/3) that had been prepared and circulated by the Interim Secretariat. The Meeting adopted the terms of reference as it is.
  9. The Meeting elected three co-chairpersons and three co-vice-chairpersons as the Bureau:
    Co-chairperson Co-vice-chairperson
    Session 1
    (agenda 3 and 4)
    Dr. Zambyn Batjargal
    Dr. Vu Van Tuan
    Session 2
    (agenda 5 and 6)
    Dr. Pojanie Khummongkol
    Dr. Seog-Yeon Cho
    (Republic of Korea)
    Session 3
    (agenda 7, 8, 9 and 10)
    Dr. Muhamad B. Awang
    Mr. Igor V. Sribny
    (Russian Federation)
    From among the bureau members, the Meeting elected Dr. Muhamad B. Awang (Malaysia) as the Head of the Bureau.

    Overview of the Preparatory-phase activities

  10. The Interim Secretariat presented an overview of the preparatory-phase activities (EANET/ISAG 1/3), which were agreed at the First Intergovernmental Meeting on the Acid Deposition Monitoring Network in East Asia held from 19 to 20 March, 1998.
  11. The Meeting noted the background, objectives, major activities, organization and schedule during the preparatory phase. It was proposed that an informal meeting should be held between the first and second ISAG meeting, to provide opportunities to exchange views and up-to-date information as regards the implementation of the preparatory phase activities, and to prepare for the Second ISAG Meeting.
    Review and adoption of quality assurance/quality control programs, and data reporting procedures and formats
  12. The Interim Network Center presented draft QA/QC programs (EANET/ISAG 1/4/1 including its Annexes 1-4) and draft data reporting procedures and formats (EANET/ISAG 1/4/2 including its Annexes 1-5) for the preparatory-phase activities of EANET, which had been prepared by the Interim Network Center.
  13. The Meeting extensively and thoroughly discussed and reviewed these draft documents. A new document “Future Direction of Dry Deposition Monitoring of EANET”, which replaced Annex 4 of the draft QA/QC programs, was also developed by the Meeting. Major points of discussion are summarized as follows:
    (QA/QC Program)

    • The importance of identifying gaps between the desirable and achievable levels in respective countries was emphasized. In this light, the participating countries are expected to make efforts for implementing QA/QC activities, in accordance with the QA/QC programs adopted by the ISAG, taking into account the situation in respective countries. The programs should be further reviewed and revised, where necessary, before the formal establishment of EANET, based on the experiences during the preparatory phase.
    • The sharing of responsibilities between the Interim Network Center and the National Centers, in terms of QA/QC activities, was discussed. While the National Centers should carry out the primary QA/QC activities, INC should review the information related to QA/QC activities and implement programs to promote harmonization of QA/QC practices among the participating countries.
    • Data quality objectives (DQOs) were recognized as desirable goals, in principle. It was emphasized that DQOs should be kept as they are, instead of lowering those values to reflect presently achievable levels.
    • It was noted that the DQO values could be same for both remote/rural sites and urban sites. It was agreed that the separate DQO values for urban sites should be deleted.
    • Also discussed was rationalization for the differentiated frequencies for monitoring of both inland aquatic environments and soil and vegetation.
    • A Task Force should be established for i) the preparation of a draft QA/QC program for dry deposition monitoring during the preparatory phase concerning the first priority chemical species and particles, for consideration and adoption by ISAG, and ii) for the development of a strategy paper for future direction of dry deposition monitoring of EANET, for consideration by ISAG;
    • It was emphasized that the cooperation with other network programs and organizations, such as WMO’s GAW program and CSIRO activities in South East Asia, should be reinforced.-

    (data reporting procedures and formats)

    • It was emphasized that the primary objectives of the preparation of reporting formats for the preparatory phase were 1) to identify the minimum information required for the review and evaluation by ISAG on preparatory phase activities; 2) to facilitate compilation of the essential information for participating countries to report; and 3) to examine the applicability of these formats and elaborate more appropriate formats for the future;
    • To achieve the above objectives, each participating country is invited to submit a report in the preparatory-phase data reporting format to the extent possible with available resources;
    • Concern was expressed that the timetable for data submission may be too tight, i.e. October 1999 would be too early. It was also expressed that the timing should not be delayed because the data is primarily needed to examine the feasibility for implementing network activities;
    • Also, concern was expressed on the workload associated with the preparation of the report, in particular in case that the format become so extensive;
    • To accommodate the above concerns, reporting formats for the preparatory phase were simplified as much as possible, in particular by omitting the parts concerning the implementation of QA/QC programs. Data reporting formats for EANET should be further elaborated, including formats for reporting information on the implementation of QA/QC programs, before the formal establishment of the Network;
    • Data reporting format for dry deposition monitoring, should be further elaborated when the QA/QC program for the first priority chemical species and particles during the preparatory phase has been developed;
    • It was noted that formats for reporting information on the implementation of the national segment of the QA/QC programs should be presented and reviewed by the ISAG members at a later stage.
  14. The Meeting made amendments to the above drafts and eventually adopted the revised documents “Quality Assurance/Quality Control (QA/QC) Programs for Acid Deposition Monitoring during the Preparatory Phase of EANET” (EANET/ISAG/1/4/1 rev. including its Annexes 1-3) and “Data Reporting Procedures and Formats” (EANET/ISAG/1/4/2 rev. including its Annexes 1-5) for submission to the Third Meeting of the Working Group. The document “Future Direction of Dry Deposition Monitoring of EANET” was also approved by the Meeting. (attached in the Annex II)
    Review of training Programs
  15. The Interim Network Center presented draft training programs for the Network (EANET/ISAG 1/5/1) developed by the Interim Network Center.
  16. The Meeting reviewed the above training programs for the Network and provided comments and advice on the ongoing programs as well as for further elaboration of such programs, in particular
    • A few participants pointed out that developing own training program to meet the purpose of EANET is most desirable. However, as it is difficult to develop such a program due to a limitation of time and resources, existing Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) Training Course in Hyogo should be utilized to the maximum extent:
    • It was proposed that the interim Network bodies, in particularly INC, should make efforts to further co-ordinate with JICA in terms of future development of the Course, including elaboration of the curriculum, to best reflect EANET objectives:
    • Concern was expressed regarding the selection of trainees in the JICA Training Course, in terms of channels and processes for course application, conditions set on trainees’ qualification and measures to ensure appropriate connection with network activities:
    • Effort should be made to identify the training needs of the participating countries and to accommodate such needs in the future, including application of “training the trainers” approach, putting more emphasis on QA/QC programs, etc.:
    • It was also emphasized that the cooperation with other training activities, such as the Rains Asia workshops financed by the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank, etc., should be further reinforced:
    • Effort should also be made to seek sponsorship by international organizations, such as UNEP, for the future development of the training programs for the Network:
    • Cooperation regarding research activities also should be reinforced.
  17. The Meeting took note with appreciation, the revised document “Training Programs for the Network” (EANET/ISAG 1/5/1 rev.) for the submission to the Working Group meeting.
    Report on the preparatory-phase national monitoring plans
  18. An overview of preparatory-phase national monitoring plans in the participating countries was presented by the Interim Network Center (EANET/ISAG 1/5/1). This overview was followed by explanations by the representatives of the participating countries.
  19. The Meeting carefully considered the national monitoring plans and provided comments and suggestions for their further elaboration, in particular
    • It was found during the process of developing national monitoring plans that the current criteria for remote sites and sites for inland aquatic environment, presented in the Technical Manuals, are not necessarily compatible with the actual “field” conditions. More comprehensive criteria may have to be formulated on the basis of scientific data accumulated through observations during the preparatory phase.

    Review of information on other scientific activities relating to acid deposition problems

  20. Presentations were made on scientific activities conducted by other relevant organizations, and international monitoring networks and programs in the world:
    • Environmental Assessment Programme in Asia and the Pacific
      by the United Nations Environment Programme
      (presentation: Mr. Surendra Shrestha)
    • Trans-boundary Pollution Models in Northeast Asia
      by the United Nations
      (presentation: Mr. Li Shaoyi)
    • Global Atmosphere Watch (GAW)
      by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO)
      (presentation: Dr. Alexandre V. Soudine)
    • Acid Deposition in South East Asia and tropical Australia
      by the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO), Australia
      (presentation: Dr. Gregory P. Ayers)
    • National Atmospheric Deposition Program
      by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), United States of America
      (presentation: Dr. Bruce B. Hicks)
    • RAINS ASIA model
      financed by the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank
      (presentation: Dr. Pojanie Khummongkol)
  21. The Meeting took good note of the above activities and expressed hope to continue exchange of information among EANET and different scientific activities.
    Other business
  22. The Chairperson referred to the schedule for the Second Meeting of the Interim Scientific Advisory Group, and requested the Interim Secretariat to prepare and make necessary arrangements for the meeting in consultation with the participating countries.
    Consideration and Adoption of the report of the meeting
  23. The Meeting adopted the Report of the First Meeting of the Interim Scientific Advisory Group for the Preparatory-Phase Activities of EANET (12 – 14 October 1998, Yokohama, Japan).