Toward coexistence between nature and humankind: facing a crucial decade
The National Institute for Environmental Studies conducts research on topics closely related to society, social change, and the people of Japan. This focus is also corroborated by the fact that NIES was launched in 1974 as the “National Institute for Pollution Studies” in Japanese, but was renamed “National Institute for Environmental Studies” in 1990 to reflect its involvement in an increasingly broad array of environmental issues. The relationship between climate change and natural disasters, which have become increasingly common in recent years both in Japan and overseas, has become a matter of major public concern, prompting Japanese government declarations that set goals for adaptation to climate change adaptation and achievement of carbon neutrality. The next decade will be a crucial period for achieving these goals and building a new society. Our mission here at NIES is to study the many issues related to this challenge and provide scientific knowledge to inform the decisions of the Japanese government and the public.
This fiscal year is the first in our new 5-year Medium-and-Long-Term Plan. Based on our achievements to date, we have reorganized our research fields to address new demands. With the aim of conducting integrated research that transcends formerly discrete fields of research, eight Strategic Research Programs have been established to tackle priority issues. In addition to our Research Department, we have also overhauled our Administration Department for planning and supporting research. We are planning to scale up our communications, promote collaboration with other research organizations, and drive digital transformation.
As we head into the next crucial ten years, we will be pursuing research with new goals and a new organizational structure. While our personnel and capabilities are undoubtedly limited, we will make the most of our connections and collaborations with other domestic and overseas research organizations, local governments, and other stakeholders as we face this major challenge. We hope to benefit from your continued support and understanding.
Masahide KIMOTO, Ph.D.
National Institute for Environmental Studies