The United Nations University Institute of Advanced Studies (UNU-IAS) and the City of Yokohama have signed a Memorandum of Understanding aimed at strengthening ties and broadening cooperation, especially on biodiversity-related policies and programmes.
The formal Signing Ceremony was held on Monday afternoon, 25 April 2011, in the Mayor’s reception room at Yokohama City Hall. The document was signed by UNU-IAS Director (and UNU Vice-Rector) Govindan Parayil and Yokohama Mayor Fumiko Hayashi.
“UNU-IAS, which has been operating in Yokohama since 2004, has been engaged in numerous local programmes and research projects”, said Prof. Parayil. “This new Memorandum of Understanding will serve as the foundation for an official international cooperative initiative between the United Nations University and the City of Yokohama.”
Interest in biodiversity and sustainable development has increased significantly since the tenth meeting of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity was held in Nagoya, Japan, in October 2010. UNU-IAS, which has expertise in policy-oriented research and human resources in this field, will work with the City of Yokohama in cultivating knowledge resources and establishing a regional governance model for biodiversity.
The two parties also plan to cooperate through collaboration in research activities, public outreach events and human intellectual exchanges. Initially, UNU-IAS will support Yokohama in preparing its annual report on biodiversity. Future partnership endeavours could include research in such areas as climate change and urban energy management.