The 53rd Annual Session of the Coordinating Committee for Geoscience Programmes in East and Southeast Asia (CCOP) was held at the Waterfront Cebu City Hotel and Casino, Cebu City, Philippines on 16 – 19 October 2017. Itwas organized by the Philippine Government through the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), the Energy Resource Development Bureau (ERDB) of the Department of Energy (DOE) and other relevant Philippine agencies with the CCOP Technical Secretariat (CCOP TS).
The Session was attended by representatives of the following Member Countries: CAMBODIA, CHINA, INDONESIA, JAPAN, REPUBLIC OF KOREA, LAO PDR, MALAYSIA, MYANMAR, PAPUA NEW GUINEA, PHILIPPINES, THAILAND and VIETNAM. MONGOLIA attended as an observer. From theCooperating Countries, CANADA, DENMARK, FINLAND, GERMANY, UNITED KINGDOM and UNITED STATES OF AMERICA were in attendance. From theCooperating Organizations,Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) and UNESCO-Bangkok attended the session. Energy China Forum (ECF)attended as an observer organization. Also present at the Meeting were the Honorary Advisers of CCOP and the staff of the CCOP Technical Secretariat (CCOPTS).
The welcome addresses were delivered by Atty. Wilfredo G. Moncano, the Permanent Representative of the Philippines to CCOP, and Acting Director, Mines and Geosciences Bureau, DENR, and Mr Baltazar Tribulano,Chief of the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office of Cebu, Officer-In-Charge of the Provincial Environment and Natural Resources of the Provincial Government of Cebu, representing the Governor of the Province of Cebu. Special messages were delivered by Mr Ioannis Abatzis, Vice-Chairperson of the CCOP Advisory Group, and Representative of Denmark to CCOP; and Mr. Shahar Effendi Abdullah Azizi, Vice-Chairperson of the CCOP Steering Committee, Permanent Representative of Malaysia to CCOP and Director General of the Department of Mineral and Geoscience Malaysia. Hon. Roy A. Cimatu, Secretary of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), officially opened the 53rd CCOP Annual Session.
Atty. Wilfredo G. Moncano, Permanent Representative of the Philippines to CCOP, and Acting Director of the Philippine Mines and Geosciences Bureau, DENR, was elected Chairperson of the Session and Dr. Young Joo Lee, Director of Global Cooperation Division, Korea Institute of Geoscience and Mineral Resources (KIGAM), as Vice-Chairperson. The representatives from Thailand (Ms. Wanida Rangubpit)and Canada (Dr. Philip Hill) were elected as Rapporteurs.
The CCOP Progress Report started by a presentation on the updates of the CCOP-KIGAM Unconventional Oil and Gas Resources Project (UC Project) Report by Project Coordinator, Mr Simplicio Caluyong. USB flash disks containing the Map of potentially prospective shale energy resource basins in Asia and other relevant information were distributed to all participants at the Session. 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 2016 with emphasis on the progress during January to June 2017. The Member Countries, Cooperating Countries and Cooperating Organizations represented at the Session made presentations on their country and organization report.
The CCOP Workplan for 2018 was presented by the CCOPTS Director for the information and comments of the Session. The Representative of UK proposed that Urban Geology be included in CCOP 2018 Work Plan. BGS would be prepared to provide support and expertise to facilitate at least one workshop, venue to be discussed and agreed. The Delegations from Philippines and Papua New Guinea requested CCOP to include in its 2018 Work Plan, “Coal Resources Assessment in Mindanao for power generation”, and “Harmonization of the Reporting and Classification System of Mineral Resources in the CCOP Region using the United Nations Framework Classification of Resources (UNFC)” respectively.
The Korean Delegation informed the Session that they will host the 54th CCOP Annual Session and 71st CCOP Steering Committee Meeting, to be held in Busan, Republic of Korea on 28 October to 3 November 2018.
The Advisory Group met and discussed separately, and presented at the Session their recommendations for CCOP.
A thematic session with poster session on the topic “The Role of Geoscience in Safeguarding Our Environment” was held. Keynote address on “Sustainability in the Mining Sector: Geoscientific Contributions to Global Challenges” was delivered by Dr. Ralph Martin Friedrich Watzel, President, Bundesanstalt für Geowissenschaften und Rohstoffe (BGR, Germany). There were 5 sub-sessions under the thematic session: Mineral and Energy Resources Development and Environmental Protection; Geohazard Risk Reduction; Geoscience Information Management; Groundwater Resource Development and Environmental Protection; and Geoheritage.