Taking International Environmental Human Resource Training to the Next Step

Shinji Kaneko

Director of HICEC

Shinji KANEKO, Professor of Graduate School for International Development and Cooperation, Hiroshima University

I would like to express my sincere thanks to the many individuals and organizations that took part in the COE for Social Capacity Development for Environmental Management and International Cooperation, one of the 21st Century Center of Excellence Programs between FY2003 and FY2007. During those years, Hiroshima University introduced the basic framework for assessing social environmental management capacity consisting of the OECD’s 1999 DPSIR framework with the addition of capacity (C), known as the DPSIR+C. The primary object of research was Indonesia, and the framework was used to elucidate the process by which a capacity is formed, the relationship between such a capacity and the country’s economy, and how such processes and relationships work in the case of environmental performance. Also, a proposal was made regarding the establishment of a cooperative international environmental program by which medium-to-long term environmental policies can be formulated for nations that receive aid: policies that enhance capacity by taking into account the stages of development of such nations and their distinguishing features. From FY2008 to FY2012, Hiroshima International Center for Environmental Cooperation (HICEC), Hiroshima University, with the support of the MEXT Special Coordination Funds for Promotion of Science and Technology, will be engaged in the Global Environmental Leader Education Program for Designing a Low Carbon Society. The primary focus will be on the issue of global warming and the achievement of a low carbon society. Such an achievement requires addressing five areas: urban system design to prevent global warming; wise use of biomass resources; environmental impact assessment; policy and institutional design; and environmental education. Our aim is to have developing countries work hand in hand with Japan in developing international environmental leaders, a task which we will undertake in a more effective and practical manner. To this end, we will establish an international environmental program to produce 12 masters and 6 doctoral graduates every year, selected strategically both in Japan and developing countries, as leaders who can plan for a low carbon society. Moreover, we will institute parallel programs for the ongoing education of graduates by promoting joint researches based on local needs and having those research achievements fed back into new teaching materials. Such efforts will help create a global human resources network spanning various nations and fields of inquiry, and bring about an international system of knowledge that advances the frontline of international cooperation. In turn, this will promote partnership between developed and developing nations in addressing issues that demand a truly global response. We will be relying on the guidance and support of all those involved in this endeavor.