Future Earth Asia Center is a regional initiative that facilitates co-design and co-production of research, science-policy engagement and communications for sustainable transformation in Asia.
Our mission is to promote sustainability and transdisciplinary research in Asia and the Pacific, fostering knowledge that builds solutions to the challenges facing the region.
The Future Earth Asia Center constitutes part of the Future Earth Secretariat. It is hosted by the Research Institute for Humanity and Nature in Kyoto, Japan.
Research Institute for Humanity and Nature (RIHN) has conducted inter- and trans-disciplinary research in search of the ideal interaction of humanity and nature since its foundation in 2001, in addition to academic research spanning the natural sciences, humanities, and social sciences, while also considering regional characteristics and historical contexts. RIHN, therefore, feels close affinity with the co-design and co-production approach to research of Future Earth.
Asia is of global significance, particularly when considering future pathways towards sustainability.
The Asian monsoon and the Himalayan Tibetan Plateau drive a unique climate which, through traditional cultures and practices, have supported a range of sustainable natural ecosystems and human societies for millennia.
More than 60% of the global population is concentrated in Asia, and the total GDP of Asian countries is equal to about one-third of the global GDP. Asia’s geographical extent and demographic and economic weight mean that development in the region will inevitably influence global sustainability.
The region as a whole is characterized by rapid economic and population growth, intensive urbanization, and great disparities of wealth both within and between countries. Social and ecological vulnerability to the potential impacts of climate change is high and the region is most disaster-prone in the world.
The region is also a huge hotspot for greenhouse gas emissions and air and water pollution. The biodiversity loss of the terrestrial and marine ecosystems of this region is increasing most rapidly in the world driven by many climatic and human-related factors.
At the same time, Asia contains a complex mosaic of social and ecological diversity developed through a long history of human interaction with nature. This has enabled many traditional systems of agriculture and livelihood to support large number of people through time. The region embraces many opportunities to inspire new pathways to sustainability through more active recognition of the wisdom embedded in traditional thought and patterns of livelihood.