University of Toyama′s GRASS Centre Establishes Scientific Collaboration with Estonian University of Life Sciences Institute of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences

The GRASS Centre at the University of Toyama recently formalized a scientific collaboration with the Institute of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences at the Estonian University of Life Sciences. Faculty members from the Global Research Centre for Advanced Sustainability Science (GRASS) visited their counterparts in Estonia to partake in a signing ceremony for a five-year Memorandum of Understanding (MoU). The primary objective of this agreement is to foster scientific collaboration in the areas of sustainable development, agriculture, forestry, and environmental sciences.

Signing Ceremony (Photo Credit: Risto Mets)

During the signing ceremony, Prof. Naoya Wada, the Director of the GRASS Centre, led a delegation that included Prof. Horie Norio and Prof. Geetha Mohan. The event commenced with introductory presentations from both institutions. Mr. Aret Vooremäe, the Director of the Estonian University, provided insights into his institute, highlighting the activities of nine Chairs and two centers under its umbrella. Dr. Indrek Melts, Researcher, Chair of Biodiversity and Nature Tourism, and Ms. Aki Kadulin, Junior researcher from the same chair, represented the Estonian side.

University of Toyama′s GRASS Director Presenting University of Toyama Souvenir to the Director (Photo Credit: Risto Mets)

Prof. Naoya Wada then presented an overview of the University of Toyama, detailing its graduate schools and campuses, as well as the initiatives undertaken by the GRASS Centre. Subsequently, both directors signed the cooperation agreement.

Public lecture delivered by Dr. Geetha Mohan (Photo Credit: Prof. Horie Norio)

Following the signing, two public lectures were delivered by researchers from the University of Toyama. Prof. Wada Naoya discussed ongoing ecological and climate change-related studies in the alpine ecosystems of the Tateyama Mountain Range in Japan, while Prof. Geetha Mohan focused on enhancing climate adaptation through integrated bioproduction and adaptation strategies in rural areas of Asia and Africa.

Courtesy meeting with Rector Prof. Ülle Jaakma (Photo Credit: Aki Kadulin)

Later in the day, the delegation paid a courtesy visit to the Rector Prof. Ülle Jaakma of the Estonian University of Life Sciences to explain the purpose of their visit. After the meeting, they toured various laboratories, including the herbarium and entomological collection.

Visiting to Herbarium Collection (Photo Credit: Prof. Geetha Mohan)

Subsequently, they met with Prof. Paavo Kaimre, Chair of Forest and Land Management and Wood Processing Technologies, to discuss and exchange knowledge about wood processing in Estonia and Japan. Prof. Dr. Monika Suškevičs explored potential collaboration avenues in stakeholder participation and biodiversity & climate adaptation governance.

Meeting with Prof. Paavo Kaimre, Chair of Forest and Land Management and Wood Processing Technologies (Photo Credit: Prof. Geetha Mohan)

Dr. Indrek Melts, representing the Estonian University of Life Sciences, expresses optimism about the collaboration with the University of Toyama for sustainable agriculture and forestry, aligning with broader sustainable development goals. He emphasizes the importance of this partnership, stating that it aims to integrate traditional wisdom into research, fostering innovative approaches for understanding and managing ecosystems. By bridging traditional practices with scientific methods, the collaboration promotes a holistic understanding of ecosystem dynamics. Additionally, it creates valuable opportunities for student and researcher exchanges, contributing to advancements in sustainable practices.