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Collaborative research:アーカイブ

【開催報告】SDGsカフェ#12「〜with コロナ時代だから考えたい〜 ESG投資が金沢に根付くには!?」

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Kanazawa City, Japan selected as an “SDGs Future City 2020” and a “Municipal SDGs Model Project”

UNU-IAS collaboration with Kanazawa City, Japan on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) contributed to the selection of the city as an “SDGs Future City 2020” and a “Municipal SDGs Model Project” in July 2020, under a scheme of the Government of Japan. The goal is to create a sustainable city where citizens and visitors can share in the beauty of the city based on biological and cultural diversity such as nature, history, and culture, while the number of tourists increases.

The UNU-IAS Operating Unit Ishikawa / Kanazawa (OUIK), located in Kanazawa City, has been working with the city to achieve the SDGs, starting with the SDGs Ishikawa–Kanazawa Dialogue Series in 2018. A joint declaration was signed in March 2019 between Kanazawa City, the Junior Chamber of Commerce of Kanazawa, and UNU-IAS OUIK, launching the Kanazawa SDGs project “IMAGINE KANAZAWA 2030”. In order to deepen understanding of the SDGs and regional issues, the “SDGs Café Series” was initiated as a forum for communication where local people can easily talk about the future of Kanazawa and regional issues, and “SDGs Meetings” held to discuss regional issues. UNU-IAS OUIK worked with various local stakeholders to create the “Kanazawa Future Scenario” by exchanging ideas.

“Environmental Model Cities” and “Environmental Future Cities” of Japan

In 2008, the Japanese Government adopted a system to select “Environmental Model Cities” and “Environmental Future Cities” with the aim of achieving a sustainable economy and society. Kanazawa City was selected as an “SDGs Future City” in addition to the “Model Cities for the Environment” and “Future City for the Environment” to propose initiatives to achieve the SDGs with the aim of further promoting regional development. Up to 30 cities each year have been selected since 2018, and in Ishikawa Prefecture, Suzu City (FY2018), Hakusan City (FY2018), Komatsu City (FY2019), and this year Kaga City, Nomi City, and Kanazawa City were newly selected. Kanazawa City is the first municipality in the prefecture to be selected as a “Municipal SDGs Model Project”. These cities were selected based on an evaluation in terms of SDG 17, and are expected to proactively develop their projects to achieve the goals.

Future Plans

OUIK will continue to collaborate with Kanazawa City and the Junior Chamber of Commerce of Kanazawa on a variety of activities such as raising awareness and publicising the SDGs and building a community of co-creation based on the cooperative framework. In particular, in developing attractive SDGs tours, which is an important element of the model project, UNU-IAS OUIK will make use of its practical experience in workshops and other activities to consider “Japanese Gardens and the Sustainability of Kanazawa” and the results of its research on the Noto’s Satoyama Satoumi GIAHS (Globaly Important Agricultural Heritage System) and Mount Hakusan Biosphere Reserve, which have been cultivated through OUIK’s research over the years. UNU-IAS OUIK will provide advice on how to make use of green infrastructure for tourism and SDGs tourism in the wider region.

Original article 

OUIK Biocultural Diversity Series #5 Restoring Kinship with Nature through Japanese Gardens -The Challenge to Achieve a Sustainable Commons in Kanazawa

The book introduces unique roles and teachings of Japanese Gardens in Kanazawa City in a relation with human society and it is breaking new ground for Kanazawa’s sustainable future. 

「第1回IMAGINE KANAZAWA 2030推進会議」開催

Sorry, this entry is only available in Japanese.

Contribution to the understanding of biocultural diversity and ecosystem service

OUIK is mapping information for understanding the relationship between regional nature and culture. We have published the booklets “Noto’s Satoyama and Satoumi Maps” and “Kanazawa Nature and Culture Maps”.
We are collecting map information at different levels of prefectures and municipalities in the Hokuriku Region. With a focus on the keywords of biological diversity, cultural diversity and ecosystem service, we are creating tools for learning and information dissemination that meet regional needs.

Official report of International Forum Series to Commemorate One-Year Anniversary of the 1st Asian Conference on Biocultural Diversity[Electronic Version]

After one year since the 1st Asian Conference on Biocultural Diversity, a series of 2 inernational forums were held to explore the measurements to further promote the Ishikawa Declaration with international initiatives and East Asian partner. 


International Forum Series 1 (4/10/2017)

Biocultural diversity & satoyama: Effort towards societies in harmony with nature around the world.


International Forum Series 2 (15/10/2017)

Preserving Biocultural Diversity for Future Generations:Partnarship of East Aisan Countries. 

SDGs Mii Gottzo Project #8

In the 8th and final event, students participated in an ancient festival in Okunoto (northern part of Noto Peninsula) called Aenokoto. Every year on December 5, farmers give thanks to the year’s rice harvest by inviting the deities of the rice field into their house, where they draw a bath and offer food to give the deities a break until spring. The same ritual is performed in February 9 of the following year to send the deities out and pray for an abundant harvest. Because they had helped gather ingredients at previous events over the last year, 12 students from 4th, 5th, and 6th grades participated in the ritual of offering food.

When the festival ceremony began, the host drew the deities in from the fields, saying, “The rice field kami has come back! Let’s welcome them!” calling to members of the house and directing the deities to the hearth. After offering some warm amazake (sweet mild sake), they then guided the deities to the bath for some relaxation. The feast followed. At the table, two meals were prepared, one each for the husband and wife deities. Forked daikon, a masu box heaped with red rice, and a stew (nishime) of bracken and osmund fiddleheads, daikon, carrots, konjac, and deep-fried tofu. There was even a side dish called aimaze, with sautéed daikon, carrots and crushed soybeans (uchimame). Many generations ago when there were no refrigerators and meat and fish were harder to come by, uchimame were a valuable protein source. And a majestic sea bream—complete from head to tail—and large balls of ohagi mochi. Soup and pickles. Such an elaborate meal signifies that “rice farming is laborious and tiresome, so please eat your fill!”

Five 6th graders spoke on behalf of the group. “Kami of the rice fields, these are the salted fiddleheads we foraged in May in Maruyama. This is the agodashi we made in July in Suzu. These are the chestnuts we gathered and then dried and pounded in October in Maruyama.” After a hearty “Thank you!” from everyone, the event closed with a taiko performance. The deities of the rice field must certainly have enjoyed this year’s feast prepared by Mii Elementary School students.

Satoyama in places like Mii offers a buffet of choices for delighting in nature’s gifts and making things by hand. It’s important that adults create an environment for elementary school students and other children in the height of their receptivity to come in full-sensory contact with local nature and wisdom derived from the land.

Establishment of the Noto Biodiversity Society

Five years have passed since “Noto’s Satoyama and Satoumi” was designated as a Globally Important Agricultural Heritage System (GIAHS) by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). OUIK has supported the revision of action plans and monitoring activities after the GIAHS designation.

Biodiversity monitoring activities in Noto, which are carried out in an area that encompasses four cities and five towns, focus on surveys of living creatures conducted independently by municipal governments and private organizations; a unified monitoring system to disseminate information related to biodiversity has not yet been developed.

In response to this situation, “Noto Biodiversity Society” was established by OUIK and Kanazawa University Satoyama-satoumi Project to contribute to Noto GIAHS through monitoring of biodiversity and related activities. The members of this society include people who belong to private organizations that promote the preservation of biodiversity and environmental education in the region, as well as researchers working in laboratories related to biodiversity in Noto.

On January 23, we announced the establishment at a meeting of Noto GIAHS Utilization Executive Committee and Noto GIAHS Promotion Council, in which OUIK participates as an observer. Through surveys of living creatures and related activities, the society will contribute to the preservation and monitoring of biodiversity and dissemination of information, in cooperation with the Council.

SDGs Mii Gottzo Project #7 

The SDGs Mii’s Gottzo Project, launched in May 2019, has been conducting field learning programmes around Mii town, Wajima City. On the 26th of November, the 7th event in the series was a roundup of learning about international food issues, tasting food from various countries, and desalinating “Warabi no Shiozuke” (salted warabi) which were made in the spring.  

First, Ms. Tomita from UNU OUIK talked about the food issues that the world is facing from the perspective of the SDGs. In response to the question “In the 17 SDGs, which one is related to food?”, students answered “There is a food mark (Zero Hunger), but what is hunger?” “Goal 14 (Life Below Water) or 15 (Life on Land)” “We eat fish so Goal 6 (Clean Water and Sanitation)” “We drink water, and use it for agriculture too” “Goal 16 (Climate Action) is also related“.  Students seemed to deepen their understanding of the SDGs by linking goals and problems. 

Next, we focused on the “hunger issue”, one that we don’t often hear living in Japan. We checked the UN WFP hunger map and had a discussion. Currently, there are 812 million people on the planet, and about 1 in 9 people are “undernourished”. “Eliminating Hunger,” which is Goal 2 of the SDGs, is often seen as a problem specific to developing countries. However, climate change and the economic activities of developed countries contribute to the hunger issues. We who live in developed countries should take this matter seriously. We also looked at food loss issues and future agriculture as related topics.  

Next, we looked into “Hungry Planet: What the World Eats – In Pictures” by Peter Menzel and discussed what students noticed. There seem to be many foods that they had never seen before, with different types and amounts of food, as well as diverse family atmospheres depending on the country and region. Ingredients on our table may seem strange to the people living in other parts of the world. 


Ms. Hagino taught us how to desalinate “Warabi no Shiozuke” in a traditional way using a bronze  pot so that the vegetable’s colour stays as it is. It is interesting to find the chemistry hidden in everyday life. 

At the end of the class, it was time to taste some international food. Mr. Suzuki cooked a dish called “Toh” which he often ate in Burkina Faso, OUIK’s intern Felix cooked “Rosti” from Switzerland, and Ms. Tomita prepared toast with Vegemite, which is very popular and often eaten as breakfast in the UK or Australia. They seemed to enjoy most of the food they had, except for the Vegemite toast. It was probably a bit too salty and bitter for elementary school students.  

Ms. Hagino commented “The food is very diverse. In modern days, you can eat dishes from various regions wherever you are.  But please don’t forget the taste of the local treats you grew up with.”  

Satoumi Seminar “Reducing Marine Pollution Prioritised in UN World Oceans Day”





【イヴォーン・ユー(国連大学 OUIK研究員)】


















































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