Sustainability Science Conference 2023 at University of Toyama
The University of Toyama hosted a two-day international sustainability science conference (SSC) 2023 on “Sustainable Transformation Systems to Achieving SDGs and a Resilient Society” held on January 20-21, 2023, at Gofuku Campus. The conference brought together 120 participants from all over the world and focused on two special lectures on day one of the conference. The second day was dedicated to three key thematic areas: i) Transforming resilience-focused food systems under climate change, ii) Transitions to water sustainability and resilient societies, and iii) Socio-ecological transformations for ecosystem management.
Opening the day one session, Prof. Saito Shigeru, President of the University of Toyama, delivered his opening remarks and highlighted the importance of sustainable transformation in action to strengthen our resilient capacity to transform our societies towards sustainable development.
The first special lecture on “Establishing a Decentralized and Connected City Regions for Localizing SDGs in the Face of COVID-19” delivered by Prof. Kazuhiko Takeuchi, President, Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES), Visiting Professor, United Nations University Institute for the Advanced Study of Sustainability (UNU-IAS). Prof. Takeuchi underlined the necessity of the Triple R framework (Response-Recovery-Redesign) for the Post COVID-19 for a sustainable and resilient World.
Prof. Kensuke Fukushi, Academic Programme Advisor and Academic Director at the United Nations University Institute for the Advanced Study of Sustainability (UNU-IAS), talked in his special lecture on “Economic Activities in Anthropocene- Challenges and Opportunities” predominantly the issues related to the energy and water for adopting sustainable and resilient solutions.
Group picture: from left to right
Prof. Wada Naoya, Director, Centre for Far Eastern Studies, University of Toyama
Prof. Ikeda Masayuki, Director, Vice-President, University of Toyama
Prof. Fukushi Kensuke, Academic Director, United Nations University Institute for the Advanced Study of Sustainability (UNU-IAS)
Prof. Takeuchi Kazuhiko, President, Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES), Visiting Professor, United Nations University Institute for the Advanced Study of Sustainability (UNU-IAS)
Prof. Saito Shigeru, President, University of Toyama
Prof. Kitajima Isao, Director, Vice-President, University of Toyama
Prof. Geetha Mohan, Centre for Far Eastern Studies, University of Toyama
Dr. Indrek Melts, Researcher, Chair of Biodiversity and Nature Tourism, Estonian University of Life Sciences.
The second day of the conference started with opening remarks by Prof. Kensuke Fukushi, Academic Director, United Nations University Institute for the Advanced Study of Sustainability (UNU-IAS) addressed the importance of panel discussion themes of the conference and highlighted the diverse research group of participation around the world to discuss food systems, water security, socio-ecological issues, ecosystem management and resilient societies in person and virtual.
Prof. Geetha Mohan moderated all three thematic sessions. In the first session, a discussion focused on transforming the resilience-focused food systems by Mr. Alexander Wilhelm Brumm (Germany) and Mr Bahati Ally Magesa (Tanzania) from UNU-IAS, Japan; Prof. I Made Sudarma, Udayana University, Indonesia; Dr. A Amarender Reddy, ICAR, India expressed the importance of transdisciplinary research and integrated approach for the development of resilient food systems, sustainable strategies and frameworks to overcome the food insecurity, especially dryland areas.
The second and third sessions started in the afternoon with keynote remarks by Dr. Allison Woodruff, Asian Development Bank (ADB), Philippines. Dr. Allison underlined the water security issues in Asia and the Pacific, along with the necessary transformation actions needed to meet the agenda of 2030 agenda for sustainable development by considering the following measures as improving governance and categorizing finance, building resilience and adaptive capacity, promoting inclusiveness and technological advancement, and embracing environmental sustainability and circular economy.
The panellist in these two sessions discussed the transitions to water sustainability and resilient societies by Prof. Binaya Kumar Mishra, Pokhara University, Nepal; Mr. Janbern Lope Aquino Barel (Philippines) and Ms. Sayani Halder (India), UNU-IAS, Japan; Dr. Mohamed Kefi, Water Research Technologies Center, Tunisia addressed the water environment and as well as the socio-economic perspective for valuing water security through efficient planning and sustainable implementation of water resources management through technologies like decentralized wastewater treatment systems and spatial analysis applications. On the other hand, the final session discussed the socio-ecological transformation for ecosystem management by Dr. Shamik Chakraborty, Hosei University; Dr. Indrek Melts, Estonia University of Life Science, Estonia; Dr. Chethika Gunasiri, Sri Lanka Development Corporation, Sri Lanka, and Dr. Gideon Baffoe, University of York, United Kingdom highlighted the necessity of adopting a socio-ecological approach, combining agriculture and biodiversity conservation and use of traditional and local knowledge for the long term sustainability and the ecological impact of local livelihood activities.
The key message emerging from the panel discussion included the integration and collaboration among multidisciplinary needed to implement and achieve sustainable and resilient societies. Prof. Geetha Mohan and Prof. Naoya Wada made the conference’s final concluding and closing remarks .