○Research Subject and Objectives
Based on the mission of RIHN and in order to execute the strategies and policies formulated by the Council for Research Strategy, the Core Program undertakes research on an ongoing basis. During Phase III (2016-2021) of RIHN, the Core Program will develop concepts and methodologies to solve global environmental problems in collaboration with society.
The Core Program develops comprehensive and systematic concepts and methodologies for transdisciplinary and interdisciplinary research. Core Projects produce conceptual and methodological frameworks together with RIHN Research Projects based on individual methods, techniques, and tools from the divisions in the RIHN Center. Core Projects collaborate with Research Projects, building on the case studies developed by these projects, and develop comprehensive and systematic methodologies beyond an individual Research Program or Project. Core Projects also deliver completed concepts and methodology to Research Programs and Projects, the RIHN Center, and related stakeholders.
○Progress and Results in 2017
The Core Program affiliates one Core Project, “Environmental traceability project (FR1-PI: Ichiro Tayasu)”, and two Core FSs, “Knowledge binding to overcome gaps in the problem perception in collaborative research on socio-environmental interaction (FS-leader: Yasuhisa Kondo)” and “Co-design and stakeholder engagement according to geographical scales (FS-leader: Yuko Onishi)”. The Core Program develops comprehensive and systematic concepts and methodologies for interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary research to solve global environmental problems in collaboration with society, which will be widely applicable to global environmental issues, and accessible to related stakeholders.
The Core Projects produce conceptual-methodological frameworks together with Research Projects, based on individual methods/techniques/tools from the divisions in the RIHN Center. In the case of the “Traceability Core Project (PI: Tayasu)”, the conceptual framework of “trust” has been developing between scientists and non-scientists (governors and citizens) as well as between consumers and producers, based on stable isotope techniques from the RIHN Center. The Core Projects collaborate with Research Projects, building on case studies of these Projects, and developing comprehensive and systematic methodologies beyond Research Programs-Projects. The “Traceability Core Project (PI: Tayasu)” has been studying this framework of “trust” in the Research Projects “FEAST (program 3, PI: McGreevy)” for consumers and producers, and “NEXUS (program 2, PI: Endo)” and “Nutrient Cycling (program 2, PI: Okuda)” for scientists and non-scientists. Core Projects will deliver completed concepts/methodology to Research Programs- Projects, RIHN Center, and related stakeholders at the end of project. The Traceability Core Project is now in the FR1 stage, therefore the final results of the Core Project are currently in progress.
Other activities of the Core Program are research developments, including Core FSs developments. The Core Program organized six core program seminars for research developments through discussion of comprehensive and systematic concepts and methodologies, including “Open science and knowledge transfer (10th core program seminar)”, “Co-design and transdisciplinary (11th core program seminar)”, and “Development of questionary for stakeholder analyses (12th core program seminar)”.
One of the challenges for the Core Program is how to collaborate with stakeholders (7th seminar) because some stakeholders are related indirectly through Research Projects, and others are directly related to Core Projects. Another challenge is how to extend the Core Program/Projects research activities to an international framework, such as Future Earth, affiliated university/institutions such as the Stockholm Resilience Center, Arizona State University, and IIASA (8th seminar). The Core Program will organize more relevant seminars in the next year.
1) The Core Program will synthesize the Core Projects and Core FSs to create synergy in the program, and to identify gaps within the existing Core Projects and FSs.
2) The Core Program will work more closely with the strategies and policies formulated by the Council for Research Strategy of RIHN.
3) The Core Program will seek opportunities to apply the developing concepts and methodologies to other Research Projects with stakeholders.
4) The Core Program will work more closely with international alliances related to “Humanity and Nature” such as the Future Earth alliance, Resilience alliance, and Sustainability alliance to disseminate the results of Core Projects.