The 12th General Assembly of the Asian Seismological Commission (ASC) was held during 12-14th May, 2018 at the Century City International Conference Center, Chendu, China. The event was jointly organized along with the International Conference for the Decade Memory of the Wenchuan Earthquake, as a part of the 4th International Conference on Continental Earthquakes (www.4thicce.com). Chinese President Xi Jinping sent a special message for the joint conference that was read out. Prof. Thorne Lay, President, IASPEI, and Dr. Paramesh Banerjee, President, ASC delivered their speeches at the Opening ceremony of the Joint Conference on 12th May, 2018 (available at www.asc-iaspei.org).
A report from IASPEI Newsletter: IASPEI Newsletter June 2018
Speech by the President of ASC, Dr. Paramesh Banerjee
The joint Conference had a total of 1408 registered participants from 49 different countries of which 129 mentioned ASC as their primary association. The Conference was divided into five themes, i.e, Visible Crust, Earthquake Dissection, Resilient Cities and Towns, Smart Service, and Regional International Cooperation, and had 436 oral and 401 poster presentations. Total 107 abstracts were accepted for presentation in five ASC sessions, 52 of which were for oral presentation and the rest for poster. The ASC gratefully acknowledges financial grants received from the IUGG, IASPEI and Seismological Society of Japan (SSJ), that were mostly used towards participation of the participants. Special thanks go to the China Earthquake Administration (CEA) for sponsoring travel expenses for 36 participants and hosting the ASC General Assembly at Chengdu.
The ASC also organized a pre-conference training course titled “The North-Central Asian Earthquake Observation Techniques” during April 16 to May 11, 2018. Total 21 participants from Armenia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Russia and Tajikistan joined in the training course. The entire course was subdivided into three parts, and trainings were imparted at three different locations: Part-I The theory of earthquake observation, April 16-28, 2018 at Beijing, Part-II The hands-on practical training on operation and installation of seismological instruments and allied software, April 29-May 9, 2018 at Zhuhai, Part-III Lecture series on Effort to mitigate earthquake hazards May 10-11, 2018 at Chengdu.
The ASC General Assembly was officially opened by Dr. Paramesh Banerjee, President, ASC, followed by remarks from Prof. Torne Lay, President, IASPEI, Prof. Harsh GUPTA, immediate-past President of the IUGG and Mr. Chunfeng HU, the general secretary of the Local Organizing Committee of the conference and Director General of the Department for International Cooperation of the CEA. The inauguration session was followed by four keynote presentations made by Prof. Harsh Gupta, Prof. Kenji Satake, Dr. Paramesh Banerjee and Prof. Zhongliang Wu.
The ASC sessions in the conferences were:
- S2-1-2 Strong motions, early warning, and lessons from great earthquakes, convened by Kenji Satake, Gary Gibson, Richard Allen, Yang Dake, Ma Qiang, Liu Ruifeng, and Huang Wenhui
- S2-2-3 Anthropogenic seismicity: Induced and triggered earthquakes, convened by Harsh Gupta, Shi Yaolin, and Chen Yong
- S2-3-6 Global seismo-geodetic observation: GPS, strain accumulation and silent earthquakes, convened by Paramesh Banerjee, Sidao Ni, Geng Jianghui, Yue Han, Zeng Qiming, and Zhang Jingfa.
- S3-1-6 Seismic hazard assessment, convened by ChunXiang Cao, Ruben TATEVOSSIAN, Toshiaki Yokoi, and Ramesh P. Singh.
- S5-1-1 Regional cooperation in seismo-geodesy: An ASC initiative convened by Li Li and Paramesh Banerjee.
During the 3-days assembly, ASC Executive Committee had 3 Bureau Meetings and 1 Council Meeting. An unanimous resolution was passed to adopt a new constitution of the ASC with revised original ASC Statutes adopted in 1996, introducing some major changes in vision and mission statements. The revised constitution is awaiting ratification by the IASPEI.
Elaborate discussions were also held on inadequate state of earthquake disaster preparedness in most of the Asian countries and an immediate need to setup a Pan-Asian centre under the ASC control to facilitate data sharing, technology transfer and capacity building within Asian countries towards building a better earthquake resilient society.
A special meeting was arranged with Prof. Guoguang Zheng, the Vice Minister of Emergency Management and the Administrator of the China Earthquake Administration (CEA), other senior CEA officials, Prof. Thorne Lay, President, IASPEI and Dr. Paramesh Banerjee, President, ASC. In the meeting, among other things, need for a closer cooperation between the CEA and ASC towards seismological research, earthquake disaster preparedness and regional as well as international collaborative approaches were highlighted. It was emphasized that the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) of the China government involves a vast region of the Asian continental land mass and these is a scope of a regional scientific cooperation within participating Asian countries towards better earthquake disaster mitigation under the BRI umbrella where ASC can play an active role.
Finally, at the valedictory session of the Conference, a number of recommendations were adopted and declared as The Wenchuan Resolution, out of which following three are most relevant to the ASC:
- As an outcome of the International Conference for the Decade Memory of the Wenchuan Earthquake, the inter-governmental-agency collaboration for seismic safety along ‘the Belt-and-Road (the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st-Century Maritime Silk Road)’ was advocated.
- The 4th International Conference on Continental Earthquakes (4th ICCE) announced the launching of the China Seismic Experiment Sites in the Sichuan-Yunnan region and the Tienshan-Pamir region, and calls for international cooperation.
- The 12th General Assembly of the Asian Seismological Commission (ASC) proposes to take up a major initiative for international cooperation to establish an integrated Asia-Pacific seismic and geodetic observation facility.