Kumamoto, Japan – The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and Kyoto University signed a comprehensive agreement on October 11 that will see experts and graduate students cooperate on key environmental issues, particularly freshwater management.
This is the first such agreement with a Japanese university, and is one of only a few such arrangements with universities worldwide.
Kyoto University and UNEP have already collaborated for over ten years, with students being placed on the GEMS/Water Programme – which supports global, regional, and national environmental assessment and reporting processes on the state and trends of water resources.
“Environmental education is crucial to empower a new generation of leaders fully informed with regard to the challenges and opportunities of the 21st century,” said UN Under-Secretary-General and UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner. “This agreement will provide further impetus to UNEP’s already long and strong association with Kyoto University and, through the students who will emerge with sharpened environmental intelligence, open up potential transformations for Japan and other nations along an inclusive green economy pathway.”
“The conclusion of this comprehensive agreement with UNEP was achieved through long-term international collaboration by Kyoto University in the environmental field, which has now been formally recognized by UNEP,” said President of Kyoto University Hiroshi Matsumoto. “We would like to make the best use of this agreement in educating our students to develop their consciousness, knowledge, and practical experience of the environmental field, and to become world leaders capable of contributing strategic plans to overcome many global environmental issues.”
The formalized agreement will focus on the following areas:
- Assessments of freshwater resources and related environmental issues at global, regional and national scales;
- Global environmental evaluation programmes, such as the Millennium Development Goals, Sustainable Development Goals, and Future Earth;
- The exchange of expert personnel between UNEP and the appropriate programmes at Kyoto University – such as the Graduate School of Advanced Integrated Studies in Human Survivability and the Global Survivability Studies (GSS) Program – to provide lectures and training on environmental protection.