The 52nd Annual Session of the Coordinating Committee for Geoscience Programmes in East and Southeast Asia (CCOP) was held at the Berkeley Hotel Pratunam, Bangkok, Thailand on 31 October – 3 November 2016. It was organized by the Department of Mineral Resources, Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, Thailand and co-organized by the Department of Groundwater Resources, Department of Marine and Coastal resources, Department of Primary Industries and Mines and Department of Mineral Fuels with the CCOP Technical Secretariat (CCOP TS). The Session was attended by 332 delegates from the following Member Countries: CAMBODIA, CHINA, INDONESIA, JAPAN, REPUBLIC OF KOREA, LAO PDR, MALAYSIA, MYANMAR, PHILIPPINES, THAILAND and VIETNAM. MONGOLIA attended as an observer. From the Cooperating Countries, CANADA, DENMARK, FINLAND, GERMANY, THE NETHERLANDS, NORWAY and UNITED KINGDOM were in attendance. From the Cooperating Organizations, EuroGeoSurveys (EGS) and Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) attended the session. Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) Geoscience Division (formerly SOPAC) attended as an observer organization. Also present at the Meeting were the Honorary Advisers of CCOP and the staff of the CCOP Technical Secretariat (CCOP TS).
The welcome addresses were delivered by Police General Asawin Kwanmuang, Governor of Bangkok and Dr Tawsaporn Nuchanong, Permanent Representative of Thailand to CCOP, and Director-General, Department of Mineral Resources, Thailand. Mr. Mior Sallehhuddin Mior Jadid, Acting Chairperson of the CCOP Steering Committee, Permanent Representative of Malaysia to CCOP and Director-General of Malaysia’s Minerals and Geoscience Department delivered a special message. H.E. General Surasak Karnjanarat, Minister of Natural Resources and Environment, Thailand officially opened the 52nd CCOP Annual Session and the Exhibition with the theme “Geoscience for the Society”. H.E. Ambassadors of Cambodia, Timor-Leste and Germany in Thailand, as well as Minister Counsellor of Indonesia Embassy in Thailand graced the Opening.
Special Discussion on Geoscience for the Society
In celebration of the 50th year anniversary of the founding of CCOP, a special discussion on how CCOP has contributed to the society, in particular to East and Southeast Asia region and what are the opportunities and challenges in the future, was convened. The Discussion was from the perspective of Cooperating Countries, Member Countries and Technical Secretariat. The panelists were Dr Michael Patterson, Representative of the United Kingdom to CCOP, Chief Operating Officer of the British Geological Survey (BGS) and CCOP Honorary Advisers Mr Chen Shick Pei, former CCOPTS Director and Dato’ Yunus Abdul Razak, former Chairman of the Steering Committee. The discussion was moderated by Dr. Dhiti Tulyatid, Lecturer, Mahidol University.
The CCOP 50th Anniversary Book together with the CCOP Memories book were produced to mark this important milestone of CCOP. These were distributed to all the delegates of the 52nd Annual Session.
Special Recognition of Honorary Advisers
CCOP Honorary Advisers, Dr. Yoshihiko Shimazaki (Japan), Dr. Anthony Reedman (United Kingdom) and Dr. Oystein Berg (Norway) were specially acknowledged for their long involvement and dedicated service to CCOP.
Election of Officers
Dr. Sommai Techawan, Deputy Director-General, Department of Mineral Resources (DMR), Thailand was elected Chairperson of the Session, and Ms. Lilian A. Rollan, Deputy Permanent Representative of the Philippines to CCOP, as Vice-Chairperson. The representatives from China (Dr Zhang Minghua) and Norway (Mr. Gunnar Søiland) were elected as Rapporteurs.
The CCOP Progress Report started by a presentation of the updates of the CCOP CO2 Storage Mapping Program (CCS-M) and the CCOP-KIGAM Unconventional Oil and Gas Project (UC) by Project Coordinator, Mr Simplicio Caluyong. Dr Adichat Surinkum, Director of the CCOP Technical Secretariat, summarized the Progress Report of CCOP including organizational changes (personnel), the current financial situation, technical activities and cooperation and support from Cooperating Countries and Organizations during the year 2015 with emphasis on the progress during January to June 2016. The Member Countries, Cooperating Countries and Cooperating Organizations represented at the Session made presentations on their country and organization report.
Vietnam Institute of Geosciences and Minerals (VIGMR) and Korea Institute of Geoscience and Mineral Resources (KIGAM) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to facilitate projects and cooperation between the two institutes under the CCOP framework. Representing VIGMR is Dr. Trinh Hai Son, Deputy Director of VIGMR and Dr. Yongje Kim, Executive Director of KIGAM’s International Cooperation Office. It was witnessed by Mr. Mior Sallehhuddin Mior Jadid, Acting Chairperson of the CCOP Steering Committee and Dr Tawsaporn Nuchanong, Permanent Representative of Thailand to CCOP.
A thematic session on the topic “Geoscience for the Society” was held.
The CCOP Workplan for 2017 was presented by the CCOPTS Director for the information and comments of the Session. The Advisory Group met and discussed separately, and presented at the Session their recommendations for CCOP.
The Philippine Delegation informed the Session that they will host the 53rd CCOP Annual Session and 69th CCOP Steering Committee Meeting. These will be held in Cebu City, Philippines on 15-19 & 20-21 October 2017 respectively with a field trip planned in Bohol Island.
Field trip to Samut Sakhon and Samut Songkham was organized on the last day. It included a boat tour at the coastal area of KlongKlone Mangrove Forest and a visit to the Mangrove Forest Learning and Development Center 2 (Samut Sakhon Mangrove Forest Research Centre).