Season’s Greetings from UNU-IAS

An end-of-year message from our Director, Prof. Shinobu Yume Yamaguchi.

Dear partners, friends and colleagues, 

Season’s greetings from the UNU Institute for the Advanced Study of Sustainability (UNU-IAS)!  

As this year draws to a close, we extend our deepest gratitude to you all for supporting our work to advance global sustainability.  I am pleased to highlight a few of our recent activities and achievements. 

Earlier this month our experts were at the UN Climate Change Conference (COP28) in Dubai, which concluded with a historic call to transition away from fossil fuels. We provided science-based inputs on critical topics such as just transition, climate–SDG synergies and the rights of people displaced by climate change.  

UNU hosted an important UNESCO conference this week, focused on education for sustainable development (ESD). As part of this ESD-NET 2030 Global Meeting, UNU-IAS organized a key session highlighting the transformative potential of local collaboration and action-oriented learning. 

In September the SDG Summit was held at UN Headquarters in New York, marking the mid-point of the 2030 Agenda. Through two side events we advanced discussions on harnessing science and technology, and collaboration in postgraduate education

We also concluded a research project on wastewater reuse, developing a mechanism for companies to integrate smart reuse techniques into their value chains. A workshop in November presented and discussed the outcomes of the project. 

Our Operating Unit in Kanazawa, Ishikawa (OUIK) provided scientific advice to Kanazawa City, leading to its selection by UNEP as one of 11 Role Model Cities for ecosystem restoration. OUIK also hosted a field visit and public seminar by members of the UNU-IAS advisory board. 

To support implementation of the new Kunming–Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework, in October we published a guide for policymakers to formulate national strategies and action plans. It serves as a manual for incorporating landscape approaches — governance strategies that harmonize human activities with biodiversity conservation. 

In September we welcomed 11 new students from ten different countries to begin their learning journeys in our master’s and doctoral programmes. They include the first cohort of our specialization on the Paris Agreement — a flagship initiative to train the climate leaders of tomorrow. We will soon expand access to these courses as a standalone diploma for participants from businesses, governments and civil society. 

Our recent media commentary includes a “bookazine” by Diplomatic Courier as well as articles in The Japan News, Japan Today and Africa Business

These are just a few highlights from our recent research, policy engagement and capacity development activities. I encourage you to sign up for our monthly newsletter, UNU-IAS CONNECT, to keep informed about our latest work and opportunities. 

Thank you very much for your inspiration, support and collaboration, which have been instrumental in all of our achievements. May the coming year bring many more shared accomplishments. 


With very best wishes for the holiday season and a Happy New Year, 


Shinobu Yume Yamaguchi 

Director, UNU-IAS 


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