New UNU-ISP projects focus on climatic and ecosystem changes


  • 2011•06•12     Tokyo

    The United Nations University Institute for Sustainability and Peace (UNU-ISP) has launched two new projects focusing on climatic and ecosystem changes in Asia and Africa.

    The UNU-ISP project “Strategy to Enhance Resilience to Climate and Ecosystem Changes Utilizing Traditional Bio-production Systems in Rural Asia” is supported by the Environment Research and Technology Development Fund of the Ministry of the Environment, Japan. Prof. Kazuhiko Takeuchi, Vice-Rector of UNU and Director of UNU-ISP, will act as the principal researcher to investigate the topic.

    The development of sustainable agricultural production with improved agricultural productivity that also deals with the impact of climatic and ecological changes remains an essential task in climate change adaptation policies and biodiversity policies. This two-year UNU-ISP project (2011–2013) aims to examine the influence of climatic and ecological changes on agriculture in Asia and the vulnerability of the social economy, quantitatively and qualitatively, through econometric and statistical models and research conducted in agricultural communities. In identifying the merits of applying organic methods to both commercial large-scale production and traditional production, the project will attempt to suggest strategies for strengthening social resilience and promote sustainable development of agricultural communities in the Asian region.

    Project partners include the University of Tokyo and the Research Institute for Humanity and Nature.

    For more information see the news article on the UNU-ISP website.

    The UNU-ISP project “Enhancing Resilience to Climate and Ecosystem Changes in Semi-Arid Africa: An Integrated Approach” is one of the elements of the Science and Technology Research Partnership for Sustainable Development (SATREPS), a collaborative programme of the Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST) and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). UNU-IAS Director Takeuchi will act as the project leader.

    As a part of global efforts to tackle the impacts of climate and ecosystem changes, we urgently need to overcome vulnerability of terrestrial ecosystems in developing countries, and especially in Africa. This research project aims for three objectives by focusing on the semi-arid region of northern Ghana, where the change impacts have been severely felt in forms of unpredictable floods and droughts: (1) forecast and assessment of climate and ecosystem change impact on agricultural production; (2) risk assessment of extreme weather events and introduction of adaptive water resource management methods; and (3) planning and implementation of capacity development programmes enabling local residents and professionals to utilize the assessment results derived from (1) and (2).

    The goal of this five-year project (2011—2016) is to propose effective and implementable measures to build an integrated resilience enhancement strategy. It is expected that this “Ghana model” could potentially be applied across the African Savannah.

    Project partners include the University of Tokyo, University of Ghana, Kyoto University, Ghana Meteorological Agency, and University for Development Studies (Ghana).

    For more information see the news article on the UNU-ISP website.