Education, Sustainability and Ecosystem Assessment

, ,

Outline
partners
Outputs
Contact
  • The resolution of many environmental problems, such as climate change and biodiversity loss, cannot rely solely on technological solutions. Radical changes are needed in the behaviour of individuals and organizations, which in turn are influenced by the way information is generated and delivered to society. Through this programme, the UNU Institute of Advanced Studies (UNU-IAS) examines the methods and impacts of information generation in societies. Moreover, it examines the role of education and learning (formal, non-formal, and informal) in enabling social change and sustainability. The programme also designs assessment methodologies on ecosystems and human well-being, examining the changes in traditional landscapes and ecosystems, and their underlying causes. Finally, it tries to bring the best available information and knowledge on ecosystem services and biodiversity to inform policymaking and management.

    Focal Point

    Mr. Kazuhiko Takemoto, Senior Fellow of UNU-IAS, will coordinate the programme.

    Purpose

    The purpose of the programme is to examine the processes of knowledge generation, diffusion and maintenance, as well as new methodologies to assess the environmental and sustainability performance of ecosystems, organizations and society.

    Approach

    To assess the services provided by ecosystems, the programme takes several approaches involving a combination of qualitative methods of research, such as case studies, as well as more quantitative methods such as techniques of environmental economics. It also takes a form of multi-disciplinary, participatory and action-oriented approaches to focus on network formations.

    Gender

    The programme includes the participation of several women researchers. Regarding the research content, gender issues may emerge as an important topic to be further studied during the research implementation process.

    Target Audience

    The audience will be researchers, teachers, communities, NGO activists and policymakers in local, national and international organizations dealing with education for sustainable development, environmental education, ecosystem services or assessments.

    Intended Impact

    Impact: Contribution to the work of a specific UN agency
    Target: This programme contributes to the work of UNESCO.
    How: This contribution will be achieved through realization of the UN Decade for Education for Sustainable Development goals.

    Impact: Influencing policymaking at the national level
    Target: The programme targets policymakers at the national and local levels in Japan, in the area of environment and development.
    How: The assessment process, which includes representatives of national and local governments and agencies, will aid policymakers to uptake and utilize the research findings of the programme.

    Impact: Furthering knowledge in an academic field
    Target: The programme aims to further knowledge within the evolving field of education for sustainable development.
    How: The programme intends to generate new knowledge and theories on transformative learning and ecosystem management.

    Impact: Curriculum development
    Target: The programme targets educational institutions, such as schools and universities.
    How: Networking of educational institutions will contribute to integrating sustainable development into school curricula.

    Impact: Capacity development in developed/developing countries
    Target: The programme targets stakeholders involved in knowledge generation and dissemination, such as researchers, teachers, communities and NGO activists and policymakers.
    How: The dissemination mechanisms, including training, will help to impact the targeted audience.

    Research Findings

    The Japan Satoyama/Satoumi Assessment (both in English and Japanese) will be published in a book form in 2012. The programme will also generate research findings on how to develop capacities of communities to address environmental and sustainability issues in their contexts.

    Policy Bridging

    The above publication includes key recommendations and implications for policymakers moving forward, in particular, on ecosystem management and economic and human development in Japan. Research findings will inform development of national policies in addressing sustainability issues such as climate change, biodiversity loss and ecosystems degradation.

    Value Added

    The research will bring new insights in the methods of knowledge generation and assessments. This will help the UN system, member states and international and local organizations to engage in more effective and sustainable policies. The other added value is in the mobilization of local, regional and global networks to address environmental and sustainability issues.

    Timeline/Programme Cycle

    Certain components of the programme have a long history and will continue over the next two years.

    Evaluation

    The programme will have internal and external evaluation committees to assess its results. An internal evaluation will be carried out every year and an external evaluation every two years. The external committee will be composed of some of the best academics in the area available in Japan and/or abroad.

    Challenges

    The programme needs organization of research groups to address topics of interest to UNU-IAS and to be more in line with its mandate and organizational capacity.

    Expected Duration

    Program Start: 31 December 2013

  • Activities within the Programme will involve cooperation between the UNU Institute of Advanced Studies and seven partners:

    • UNU International Institute for Software Technology
    • UNU Office at the United Nations, NY
    • Asian Institute of Technology
    • United Nations Economic Commission for Europe
    • United Nations Environmental Programme
    • United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization
    • United Nations Industrial Development Organization
  • Title: Ecosystem Services Assessment of Japanese Socio-ecological Production Landscapes: a New Commons for a Nature-harmonious Society (tentative)
    Author(s): Watanabe, M. ed.
    Publication/Output Type: Article
    Available at: Global Environmental Research Vol.16 No2/2012, Association of International Research Initiatives for Environmental Studies
    Date Published: 2012

    Title: Monitoring and Evaluation of the Implementation of Education for Sustainable Development in Asia-Pacific Region
    Author(s): IGES/UNU-IAS Research Report
    Publication/Output Type: Research Report
    Date Published: 2012

    Title: Satoyama-satoumi no seitaikei to ningen no fukuri (Satoyama–Satoumi Ecosystems and Human Well-being) (in Japanese)
    Author(s): Duraiappah, A., Nakamura, K., Takeuchi, K., Watanabe, M. eds.
    Publication/Output Type: Book
    Publisher: Asakura Shoten, Tokyo
    Date Published: 2012

    Title: A Multiple Criteria Decision Making Model for Evaluating Sustainability of Business Enterprises
    Author(s): Rathviboon, S., Tabucanon, M.T. and Sivakumar, M.
    Publication/Output Type: Article (under review)
    Available at: International Journal of Production Economics
    Publisher: Elsevier
    Date Published: 2012

    Title: A Realist Evaluation of Critical Factors Influencing RCE Development
    Author(s): Atiti, A.
    Publication/Output Type: Tentative for peer reviewed article
    Date Published: 2012

    Title: Developing Capacities of African RCEs to Foster Transformative Learning Processes
    Author(s): Atiti, A.
    Publication/Output Type: tentative paper for peer reviewed article
    Date Published: 2012

    Title: Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) for Green Economy: Fostering Learning for Sustainable Consumption and Production
    Author(s): Education for Sustainable Development team, UNU-IAS
    Publication/Output Type: Book chapter
    Available at: Green Economy and Good Governance for Sustainable Development: Views from Different Angles
    Publisher: UNU Press, Tokyo
    Date Published: 2012

    Title: Enhancing Education for Sustainable Development within Global RCE Networks: The Role of Higher Education Institutions
    Author(s): Fadeeva, Z. and Atiti, A.
    Publication/Output Type: Article
    Available at: International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education. (manuscript under review)
    Date Published: 2012

    Title: ESD Good Practices on Transformative Learning Processes in RCEs
    Author(s): Education for Sustainable Development team, UNU-IAS
    Publication/Output Type: Booklet
    Date Published: 2012

    Title: Health, Biodiversity and Traditional Knowledge — Strengthening Policy-Practice Linkages for Community Health
    Author(s): Payyappalli, U. Suneetha.M.S.
    Publication/Output Type: A Policy Report by UNU-IAS in collaboration with UNEP/FRLHT and Compas
    Date Published: 2012

    Title: Integration of Traditional Medicine in the Health System of Japan: Policy Lessons and Challenges, Health Policy
    Author(s): Payyappalli, U, Mihaela Serbulea
    Publication/Output Type: Book (under review)
    Date Published: 2012

    Title: Local Health Practitioners in India — Resilience, Revitalization and Reintegration
    Author(s): Payyappalli, U. and G. Hariramamurthi
    Publication/Output Type: Book chapter (in press)
    Available at: Indigenous medicine, state and society. Medical pluralism in contemporary India
    Publisher: Orient Blackswan, New Delhi

    Title: Perspectives of ESD in Asia-Pacific
    Publication/Output Type: tentative edited book
    Publisher: UNU Press, Tokyo
    Date Published: 2013

    Title: ProSPER.Net Young Researchers’ School: Networking and Learning for Sustainability (tentative)
    Author(s): Tanaka, A. C.; Balaban, O.; Doll, C. N. H.
    Publication/Output Type: Article

    Title: Reflections on Expansion of RCEs for Transformative Learning Process
    Author(s): Atiti, A.
    Publication/Output Type: Article
    Available at: Australian Journal of Environmental Education (tentative)
    Date Published: 2012

    Title: Satoyama and the Socio-ecological Production Landscapes in Cambodia
    Author(s): Ichikawa, K.
    Publication/Output Type: (tentative)
    Date Published: 2013

    Title: Satoyama Initiative and Green Economy
    Author(s): International Satoyama Initiative team
    Publication/Output Type: Book chapter
    Available at: Green Economy and Good Governance for Sustainable Development: Views from Different Angles
    Publisher: UNU Press, Tokyo
    Date Published: 2012

    Title: Satoyama-Satoumi Ecosystems and Human Well-being
    Author(s): Duraiappah, A., Nakamura, K., Takeuchi, K., Watanabe, M. eds.
    Publication/Output Type: Book
    Publisher: UNU Press, Tokyo
    Date Published: 2012

    Title: Social Learning Processes for Sustainability in Regional Centres of Expertise
    Author(s): Atiti, A.
    Publication/Output Type: Article
    Available at: Cleaner production Journal (manuscript under review)
    Date Published: 2012

    Title: Socio-ecological Indicators for Practitioners
    Author(s): Eyzaguirre, P.B, Subramanian, S. and Nakao, F.
    Publication/Output Type: Booklet (tentative)
    Date Published: 2012

    Title: Socio-ecological landscapes in Asia
    Author(s): Ichikawa, K., ed.
    Publication/Output Type: Booklet
    Date Published: 2012

    Title: Special Section on Assessment of Institutions of Higher Education from the Perspective Of Community Engagement
    Author(s): Fadeeva, Z. and Galkute, L., eds.
    Publication/Output Type: Book
    Date Published: 2012

    Title: Strengthening Network Ties: ProSPER.Net Advancements in Manila
    Author(s): Tabucanon, M. T. and Tanaka, A. C.
    Publication/Output Type: Article (tentative)
    Available at: Journal of Education for Sustainable Development
    Date Published: 2012

    Title: Sustainability Appraisal for Academic Institutions (tentative)
    Author(s): Tanaka, A. C. and AUA Project Members
    Publication/Output Type: Article

    Title: The Regional Differences of the Satoyama Landscapes in the Japanese Periurban Environment
    Author(s): Ichikawa, K. and Toth, G
    Publication/Output Type: (manuscript under review)
    Available at: Garrity, D. and Nair, PK (eds.) Agroforestry – The Way Forward
    Publisher: Springer Science
    Date Published: 2012

    The Programme will disseminate its research findings through publications (e.g., books, reports and working paper series), media releases, meetings with academics in the community and practitioners in the area, website, conferences, forums and networks of researchers and training workshops.

  • United Nations University
    Institute of Advanced Studies
    6F, International Organizations Center, Pacifico Yokohama
    1-1-1 Minato Mirai
    Nishi-ku, Yokohama
    Japan 220-8502