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Staff

Staff Profileスタッフプロフィール

Tsunao Watanabe

Director, Operating Unit Ishikawa/Kanazawa,
United Nations University Institute for the Advanced Study of Sustainability

Mr.Tsunao Watanabe graduated from the Faculty of Agriculture of the University of Tokyo with a major in landscape architecture in 1978. After serving as Director of the Biodiversity Policy Division and Councilor for Nature Conservation in the Ministry of the Environment of Japan, he was appointed as Director-General of the Nature Conservation Bureau in January 2011. He played a pivotal role in the success of the 10th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD COP10) in 2010 in Nagoya City, Aichi Prefecture. He has also been engaged in research as a Senior Research Fellow of the Japan Wildlife Research Center since October 2012. He has been Director of the Operating Unit Ishikawa/Kanazawa (OUIK) since January 2014.

Tsunao Watanabe
 

Mikiko Nagai

Office manager, Operating Unit Ishikawa/kanazawa,
United Nations University Institute for the Advanced Study of Sustainability

BA in French Studies from Sophia University (Tokyo), MA in International Development from the National Graduate Institute of Policy Studies (Tokyo). She has been consistently working within the field of international environmental cooperation, including as the officer in charge of environmental management at the JICA Mongolia office, programme associate at the Global Environment Information Center (GEIC) of the United Nations University, and coordinator of a JICA-JST (Japan Science and Technology Agency) funded IMPAC-T Project (Integrated Study on Hydro-Meteorological Prediction and Adaptation to Climate Change in Thailand). Since 2014, she has been working as the office manager of the UNU-IAS Operating Unit Ishikawa/Kanazawa, where she is responsible for overall operations, including research and policy integration.

Mikiko Nagai
 

Evonne Yiu

Research Associate, Operating Unit Ishikawa/kanazawa,
United Nations University Institute for the Advanced Study of Sustainability

Ms. Evonne Yiu is a researcher from Singapore. She received her PhD from the Graduate School of Agricultural and Life Sciences, The University of Tokyo, specializing in global fisheries studies.  She first came to Japan as an Okinawa Prefectural Scholar 13 years ago. After working as a Public Officer in Singapore, she came back to Japan and her experience with UNU began from her internship at OUIK in 2011, where she now works as a research associate after graduating from the University of Tokyo Graduate School of Public Policy in 2012. Her work in OUIK focuses on research and conservation of Noto’s Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems (GIAHS) and the effective and sustainable use of Noto’s Satoyama and Satoumi resources, she is also involved in UNU0IAS International Satoyama Initiative.

Evonne Yiu
 

Juan Pastor Ivars

Research Associate, Operating Unit Ishikawa/kanazawa,
United Nations University Institute for the Advanced Study of Sustainability

From Denia, Spain, a city bathed in the light of the Mediterranean. He moved to the ancient capital of Kyoto in 2009 where he deepened his understanding of traditional Japanese culture.
His main areas of interests are “space” and “nature”. He holds an MA in architecture with a focus on building from Polytechnic University of Valencia, and an MA in architecture with a focus on landscape architecture from the University of Technology of Kyoto through a Monbukagakusho scholarship. He was a JSPS fellow at Kyoto University and received a doctorate in architecture from the Polytechnic University of Valencia with a focus on Japanese gardens. His doctoral thesis was on “Ma and Oku, Ogawa Jihei and Japanese Garden of the 19th Century”. Professionally, he has worked for six years in a public government organization in Spain as an architect, urban planner and legislator; has undertaken diverse internships in architecture studios, including the Kengo Kuma firm; and provided part-time assistance for three years at Kyoto Gakuen University in Kameoka, focusing on the topic of “Nature and City”. At OUIK, he will draw on his knowledge from the fields of architecture, urbanism and landscape ecology, as well as his experience as a researcher, designer and academic, to work towards his vision of “nature reclaiming the city”

Evonne Yiu
 

Yoko Tomita

Programme Associate, Operating Unit Ishikawa/kanazawa,
United Nations University Institute for the Advanced Study of Sustainability

Prior to joining UNU-IAS, she worked at Hakusan Tedorigawa National Geopark as a Coordinator of International Relations, which also involved working closely with UNESCO and the Japanse Geoparks Network (JGN) on global geopark projects. She holds a BA in International Relations from Ferris Women’s University in Yokohama. Originally from Kaga, Ishikawa Prefecture, Yoko brings a truly international perspective to OUIK, having worked in England, Switzerland, and India previously.

Yoko Tomita
 

Akiko Urakawa

Administrative Assistant, Operating Unit Ishikawa/kanazawa,
United Nations University Institute for the Advanced Study of Sustainability

Born in Aichi Prefecture. After working at a travel agency desk, as an English teacher for children and as an office staff in a graduate school laboratory, I have been involved in OUIK activities as an office assistant since 2018. I have lived in many different regions mainly due to my husband’s relocation and have gained my professional experience mostly in back office work. I work daily supporting the operations of the OUIK amid the splendor of nature in Ishikawa and the refined culture of Kanazawa.

 

Cosmo Takagi

Research Associate, Operating Unit Ishikawa/kanazawa,
United Nations University Institute for the Advanced Study of Sustainability

After graduating from university, I worked at a non-profit organization and in the business sector, and then I assumed a post at the municipal government of Yamato City in Kanagawa Prefecture. I worked as a municipal government staff member for 5.5 years before leaving the position to become a doctoral student in the USA to study “SDGs Localization at Local Governments”. I finished a training course called “Executive Leadership Programme in Evaluation and Sustainable Development Goals (ELPE)” in 2018. I am also working at Keio University as a Project Research Associate (Cross Post). At OUIK, I work on research projects regarding SDG Localization in the local government.

 

Internインターン

Mami Harada

Master’s course first grade, Kyoto University Graduate School of Global Environmental Studies
(Internship: Sep.-Dec. 2015)

During the internship period, I reviewed the action plans of Noto Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems (GIAHS). It was a really rewarding experience to develop the tentative plan I presented as a basis through discussions with the members of the promotion council and Ishikawa Prefecture. In order to present the plan, I studied the promotion system of Noto GIAHS and compared it with other GIAHS regions through documents and field surveys.

Mami Harada
 

Kasumi Kato

Master’s course first grade, Kyoto University Graduate School of Global Environmental Studies
(Internship: Sep.-Dec. 2015)

During my internship research, I focused on Satoyama of Satoyama-Satoumi. I gathered information by actively participating in relevant promotion activities. Based on the information, I proposed plans for the promotion of the future use and management of Ishikawa Forest Park. After the MISIA forest observing event within the park, I created the MISIA Forest Guidebook, which explains in clear terms the relationships between creatures living in the forest, and their relationships with Satoyama, so that elementary school children could easily understand, and outlined the highlights of three routes through the forest.

Kasumi Kato
 

Akane Matsuo

Junior at master course, Kyoto University Graduate School of Global Environmental Studies (Internship: Sep. to Dec. 2018)

Through internship training, I was able to visit many field sites in Ishikawa, mainly Noto, and interact with various entities, thus achieving the three goals I set at the program’s start: 1. Conduct primary research for my master’s thesis, tentatively titled, “Sustainable local tourism development using satoyama and satoumi: Noto’s GIAHS site as subject,” 2. Understand OUIK’s activities, and 3. Gain real-world experience for career building after graduation.
I was especially focused on the Ishikawa International Cooperation Program for GIAHS. The experience of studying in Noto alongside JICA trainees from Ifugao, Philippines, and UNU study abroad students who took part in the study tour through UNU’s academic program will serve me the rest of my life.
I also had the opportunity to take part in a workshop where we made educational materials for Noto’s GIAHS using the picture book Let’s Make a Harvest Feast!, which reaffirmed the importance, and difficulty, of transmitting the value of satoyama and satoumi to the next generation.
In Kanazawa alone, I learned a great deal about gardens and tea ceremonies and other beautiful aspects of Japanese traditional culture with which I was previously unfamiliar, having grown up in Tokyo. There was a memorable moment when, participating in a tea ceremony using charcoal made in Noto, I realized the intimate connection between Kanazawa culture and the nature of Noto, and the concept of biocultural diversity advocated by OUIK hit me on a gut level. I hope to take all of my heartfelt appreciation for the people of Ishikawa who have helped me during the internship and channel it into my research.

Akane Matsuo
 

Yuka Mukai

4th year student, Department of Environmental Science, Faculty of Bioresources and Environmental Sciences, Ishikawa Prefectural University (May to August 2019)

From October 2018 to March 2019, I went to study in Laos about the essence of environmental education as part of the Education for Sustainable Development (ESD). My aim was to give back what I have learned there to the environmental education in Ishikawa Prefecture someday. However, I didn’t fully understand Ishikawa Prefecture’s environmental education and the SDGs, so I decided to study them as much as I can through an internship at OUIK. Through the Feast Project of the Mii SDGs, lectures at the Satoyama Museum in MISIA’s Forest, sea trash surveys at Hegura Island, and participation in SDGs café events and meetings during the internship, I learned about the current state of environmental education and the SDGs, and I also realized the difficulty of developing something through partnerships between the implementers and the governments. Furthermore, through a presentation at the Kanazawa University Satoyama Seminar and by carrying out SDGs education at Iida High School, I was able to impart what I have learned in my studies overseas and made them deliberate on local issues. I was surprised that even high school students have a proper grasp of the local issues and are thinking about them. I also felt that there is a gap between what the adults and the children are thinking, and it made me think about what role I can play in Ishikawa in the future. In the three months of the internship, I learned more than I had imagined I could, and it had allowed me to give shape to a core part of my future career.

 

Satoka Narushima

(June to September 2019)

For the internship, I set four goals for myself, which I was able to fulfill, namely 1) to learn about the biocultural diversity linking the richness of nature and culture, 2) to learn about initiatives for the SDGs in Ishikawa Prefecture, 3) to learn about OUIK activities, and 4) to get involved in managing events and programs. I was also able to take part in various events and activities, and became aware of many new things during these three months. And for someone like me, who come from Chiba Prefecture, it was also an opportunity to appreciate the wonders of Japanese culture by living in Ishikawa Prefecture and experiencing the traditional crafts and culture representing Japan. In the future, I would like to make the most of my internship experience and continue to explore the ways that I can help realize a sustainable society. I would like to express my heartfelt thanks to everyone who have made this possible and to all the local people for their support throughout my internship.

 

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