Introducing Future Earth projects in Japan
The Japan Geoscience Union Conference 2015 which was held in Makuhari, Japan, from 24 through 28 May, included a union session titled “Future Earth – The Integrated Research for Sustainable Earth”.
The session consisted of 18 presentations and was well-attended. It included an introduction of one of the Future Earth projects in Japan, “Global and regional integration of social-ecological study toward sustainable use of biodiversity and ecosystem services” (“TSUNAGARI” Project), led by Prof. Masahiro Nakaoka of Hokkaido University. The session also included a presentation by Prof. Hiromichi Fukui of Chubu University, on “Digital Earth”, which is expected to serve as a dynamic framework to share interoperable information and improve collective understanding of the complex relationships between society and the environment. From RIHN, Prof. Tetsuzo Yasunari, Director-General, and Prof. Makoto Taniguchi, Head of the Future Earth Unit, made presentations on “Development of Future Earth in Asia”, and “Optimal governance for water-energy-food nexus in Asia-Pacific region”, respectively.
“TSUNAGARI”, literally meaning “connection” or “nexus” in Japanese, stands for “Trans-System, Unified Approach for Global And Regional Integration of social-ecological study toward sustainable use of biodiversity and ecosystem services”. The project is one of the two successful Japanese applications for Collaborative Research Actions on “Scenarios of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services”, and it is to be conducted for two years starting 2015.
In the presentation, Prof. Nakaoka explained that the project aims to establish a new transdisciplinary science to link knowledge to action for the sustainable use of biodiversity and ecosystem services in Asia, and that the project consists of the following four main objectives;
- Establishing methodologies to integrate fine-resolution spatial information of ecosystems to a broad-scale database for the improvement of precise evaluation of biodiversity and multiple ecosystem services.
- Examining and understanding scale-dependency in the effects of multiple human-induced drivers on variability in biodiversity and multiple ecosystem services, and in the decision-making processes of biodiversity and multiple ecosystem services use by societies at various levels.
- Evaluating the importance of ecosystem connectivity (from forest to marine ecosystems) on the variability and changes in biodiversity and multiple ecosystem services, and investigating how connectivity affects the interactions among local communities at different sites within a watershed, and on their decision-making.
- Developing new indicators and models for scenario analysis to achieve sustainable biodiversity and multiple ecosystem services use based on feedbacks between ecological and socioeconomic sciences using outputs of above-mentioned objectives.
（Partly adapted from the Conference and Belmont Forum websites.）
DATEMay 24, 2015
AUTHORFuture Earth Staff Member
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