We conduct research and technological development on the measures for conservation of biodiversity and the sustainable use of ecosystem services, which are essential for establishing a society in harmony with nature.
NIES will promote the formation of a research core for the observation and assessment of biodiversity, and enhance cooperative research network with other organizations within and outside of NIES to accumulate and analyze information related to biodiversity, including biological distribution. This will contribute to the formulation of goals for the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity and to the understanding of the degree of achievement of these goals.
Also, the Lake Biwa Branch Office in Shiga Prefecture, which is a joint laboratory under the Regional Environment Conservation Division and the Biodiversity Division, will work with the Ministry of the Environment and Shiga Prefecture to conserve the water quality and ecosystem of Lake Biwa and its watershed.
We will promote whole-genome analysis of organisms related to environmental problems and analyze the genetic diversity obtained from environmental DNA or wildlife. We have also obtained and released DNA barcode sequences for identification of species.
Since 2002, we have cryopreserved tissues and viable cells of domestic endangered animal species in liquid nitrogen for the purpose of scientific research for biodiversity conservation and for providing the access to the materials by current and future generations. We also collect, maintain, and distribute microalgal strains and endangered algal strains.
We have been monitoring water quality and freshwater organisms, such as phytoplankton, zooplankton, and benthic macroinvertebrates, of Lake Kasumigaura over 40 years. We also develop new monitoring methods, analyze long-term changes in water quality and aquatic communities, and identify the factors related to these changes. In addition, in the area of genetically modified crop monitoring, we are conducting research related to the monitoring of oilseed rape to prevent it from going wild and expanding its distribution.
Biodiversity information accumulated through research has been compiled into databases and made available on our websites.
While research on the conservation of biodiversity and ecosystems tends to be centered on organisms and their surrounding environments, it is also important to estimate the value of biodiversity and ecosystems and establish a society to conserve them. Thus, we need a research approach from a social scientific viewpoint as well as collaboration with various stakeholders and citizens, including building a social mechanism to enhance the conservation of biodiversity and ecosystems. Based on this point of view, the Biodiversity Division conducts the following activities: