1st Session of the 2nd Council of the Asian Palaeontological Association held in Nanjing
From November 25th to December 3rd 2023, the 1st Session of the 2nd Council of the Asian Palaeontological Association and the Asian Palaeontological Young Scholars Forum was held in Nanjing, P.R. China. The council meeting was held on November 25th, 2023 from 8:30-10:00 A.M. in the Nanjing Hengda Hotel, Nanjing. This 1st session of the 2nd Council of the Asian Palaeontological Association and the Asian Palaeontological Young Scholars Forum was sponsored by the Asian Palaeontological Association (APA) and organized by the Palaeontological Society of China. Seven topics were discussed, and a post-conference field trip was organized.
A total of 12 council members from China, Lebanon, Japan, Korea, Mongolia, and Thailand attended the council meeting, including DENG Tao (China), NI Xijun (China), WAN Bin (China), WANG Yongdong (China), WANG Jun (China), ZHANG Zhifei (China), LUTFALLAH AZAR Dany (Lebanon), ENDO Kazuyoshi (Japan), OJI Tatsuo (Japan), HUH Min (Korea), TSOGTBAATAR Khishigjav (Mongolia), and UDCHACHON Mongkol (Thailand). These represented more than half of the total number of council candidates.
There are seven issues on the agenda of this council meeting:
1. Approval of the “Minutes of the APA Council Meeting and General Assembly."
2. The final list of council members
3. Honorary Council Member
4. Post-Conference Field Trip to Yunnan
5. Upcoming APA events
6. 2nd Session of the 2nd Council of the APA
7. Other topics
The draft minutes were printed and distributed to all the council members who attended this meeting. Each carefully reviewed the relevant content and put forward about ten revision suggestions. The final version of the minutes of the previous meeting will be reviewed again and approved along with the minutes of this meeting.
The issue was to decide the final list of council members. To prevent APA from being dominated by only a few countries, the total number of the council members from China and Japan will be limited to 11 (not more than half).
Newly added to the above list of member names from this second round of the APA Council are: FERNANDO Allan Gil S., KITAMURA Akihisa, MISHRA Vijay Prakash, NI Xijun, TSUIHIJI Takanobu, WAN Bin, WANG Jun and ZHANG Zhifei.
One minor point was raised in this regard: email contact information for three candidates could not be provided prior to this council meeting. Despite this problem, all council members present at the meeting agreed (1) that the other 20 proposed candidates will be included in the final list of council members, (2) that the three individuals mentioned above will also be included in the final list of council members on a provisional basis because they served as members of the previous (1st) Council and are known to all, (3) that the relevant council members will continue to make contact with the collaborators of the three individuals mentioned above to verify whether their research institutions and email addresses have changed, and (4) that the final list of council members will be confirmed at the next council meeting, which will be held next year.
Then, a new system concerning the membership of the APA Council, or the Honorary Council Member, was proposed and discussed. In order to ensure the stable development of the Asian Palaeontological Association and a smooth transition between old and new council members, it was proposed that the Asian Palaeontological Association adopt an honorary council system. In this system, when the president or vice president of the association reaches the end of her/his term, she/he will automatically become an honorary council member for the next term. The honorary council members will serve for only one term before ending their service. Cuhhently, there is only one candidate for an Honorary Council Member, ZHAN Renbin, the previous president of APA. The council members at the meeting briefly discussed and applauded together for adopting this new system.
Next year's APA affairs were the focus of the next discussion, especially about the 2nd session of the 2nd Council of APA, about the time and form, online or on-site, as well as whether or not to have an APA session in IGC 2024 in Busan, Republic of Korea. The President, Prof. Endo, suggested that if there are less than half, i.e., less than 12 potential participants, after scheduling the next council meeting on-site, the meeting should be held online. Concerning the latter issue, Prof. Huh Min suggested that in IGC 2024, as a sub-session in session T11, they can set up an APA session. After a brief discussion, it was agreed by all the council members present at the meeting that we will hold our APA session at IGC2024, and that we plan to hold our next council meeting on-site at IGC 2024.
In the discussion on other issues, Dr. WAN Bin proposed the establishment of a secretarial working group, inviting young people from different countries to participate in the practical management of APA. There can be 3–4 deputy secretary-generals or secretaries.
As another point, Prof. AZAR Dany proposed that APA should consider accepting individual members in addition to the corporate members in order to improve the financial stability and future development of APA. All council members expressed that international accounting and international financial disclosure are both challenging and that specific measures should be discussed in detail at the next council meeting.
President Endo also proposed the idea of a reciprocal waiver of the registration fees to enhance the exchange of people and ideas among APA countries
Regarding the next Asian Palaeontological Conference (APC) 3, although it will be held four years ahead in 2027, there are still many issues to be resolved, and it was agreed that the council members would cooperate with the organizers so that the preparations for APC3 would go smoothly.
From left to right: WAN Bin (China), UDCHACHON Mongkol (Thailand), TSOGTBAATAR Khishigjav (Mongolia), WANG Yongdong (China), DENG Tao (China), ENDO Kazuyoshi (Japan), OJI Tatsuo (Japan), HUH Min (Korea), LUTFALLAH AZAR Dany (Lebanon), ZHANG Zhifei (China), NI Xijun (China), WANG Jun (China) .
In summary, the council members finalized the draft of the minutes of the APA council meeting and general assembly held during APC2 in Tokyo, confirmed the final list of the council members, established the honorary council member system, and outlined the important discussion topics for the next council meeting such as financial budgets and plans for the participation of young people from different countries in the secretariat group.