FIO Signed MOU with Universiti Malaysia Terengganu, Seeing New Results from China- ASEAN Maritime Cooperation Fund

Src: International Cooperation Division (FIO) 

On January 29, Secretary General QIAO Fangli of FIO and Principal Dato’ Noraeini Bt Mokhtar of Universiti Malaysia Terengganu (UMT) signed the MOU on Joint Development of Ocean Foresting System (OFS) and Personal Exchange in Qingdao. The signing ceremony was attended by 10 Malaysia delegates, including Mr. Nursalleh K Chang, the Assistant Director General of Malaysian Meteorological Department, Mr. Muhammad Helmi bin Abdullah, the Director of Technical Research and Development Division, Dr. Mohd Fadzil Mohd Akhir, the Dean of School of Marine and Ocean Sciences of UMT and over 10 Chinese research members. The signing of this MOU has not only met requirements from the 4th China-Malaysia Marine Cooperation Joint Committee Meeting, which was successfully convened on December 15, 2017 and co-chaired by Mr. LIN Shanqing, the Deputy Director General of the State Oceanic Administration (SOA) of China and Mr. Abu Bakar, the Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MOSTI) of Malaysia, but also noted a further step of China and Malaysia in marine science and technology cooperation. According to the MOU, both countries will make collaborative actions in construction of OFS, capacity building in marine observation and monitoring, research on upwelling around Malay continental shelf surrounding sea areas, and personal exchange. Following the signing ceremony was a workshop on cooperation details.

The Universiti Malaysia Terengganu (UMT), located at Mengabang Telipot, Kuala Terengganu, is among the 20 Malaysian public universities and a top-ranking university with the largest campus along the east coast of Malysia. The founding of the university can be traced back to 1979 when the Center for Fisheries and Marine Science was founded in Mengabang Telipot, Terengganu in 1979. Over the years, the center moved on from its original role and diversified to become a comprehensive university for marine science, fishery and other sciences and art research and provides undergraduate, postgraduate and PhD education. FIO has formed long-term partnership with UMT since 2009.

The Malaysian Meteorological Department, a national oceanic and meteorological forecasting unite, learned the Wave-tide-circulation Coupling Forecasting System from FIO in November 2012 and makes it an operating system in their forecasting process. The Director General back then Ms. Che Gayah Ismail sent letters to SOA and FIO on November 16, 2012 respectively to express their gratitude.

Numerical modeling is the core of Ocean Forecasting System (OFS). Operating a marine environmental foresting system is an important indicator to reveal the national power in science and technology and strategically significant for marine hazards prevention and reduction, ecological protection and maritime safety. Over the past 50 years, the developed American and European countries had played pivotal roles in studying numerical modeling. After 2 decades of hard work, China has developed the Wave-tide-circulation coupling numerical modeling for the first time in the world and led the research on wave-induced non-breaking turbulence theory. Besides, the technological breakthroughs in massively high-efficiency parallel modeling, tide-circulation coupling and marine data assimilation are all greatly increased the forecasting capability of China, transferring China from a passive learner to a creative leader. This forecasting system helps a lot in the drift-path analysis of 2011 Nuclear Leakage Pollutant in Japan and 2018 Sanchi Oil Spill off the east coast of China. The top international academic journal Nature has published the related reports.

To further implement “Belt and Road Initiative”, build a community of shared future and positively respond to the global marine governance, FIO “goes out” by marine science and technology and also improve the capacity in preventing and reducing marine hazards “at home”. The project of “OFS and Hazards Prevention/Reduction”, initiated in 2010, is the multilateral cooperation under the framework of IOC/WESTPAC and sponsored by China-ASEAN Maritime Cooperation Fund. The OFS developed by FIO has been operated in Thailand since July 2017, ending the country’s history without a forecasting system, and played crucial role in marine hazards reduction of Thailand.

The signing of this MOU will positively enhance FIO’s construction of OFS around Malaysia and conduction of joint observation, and lay solid foundation for the follow-up cooperation between FIO and UMT. Furthermore, it will boost the friendship between peoples of two countries and contribute to the development of “Belt and Road Initiative” in Malaysia.