RIHN 7th International Symposium
Complexification and Simplification: Ecosystems, human health and lifestyle in Asia

Date: October 24 - 26, 2012
Place: RIHN Lecture Hall (arrow Access)
Organizer: Research Institute for Humanity and Nature (RIHN)
Language: English (simultaneous interpretation provided)
Participation: Contact the address shown in the bottom of this page
Symposium Outline:

Asian social, economic, demographic and ecological systems are in a process of collective complexification. The region is home to two-thirds of the global population and contains a majority of the world's megacities and some of the fastest growing populations and economies, but also notable cases of population decline and economic stasis. Asia is a region of ecological munificence and many traditional livelihood systems of great longevity and productivity. As a whole, the region is increasingly interdependent, as foreign investment, infrastructure development, migrations, and collective reliance on shared biomes and resources bind it ever-more tightly together; change in one place or system inevitably leads to change in others.

Paradoxically, such complexification often leads to simplification. Across Asia, monocultures displace diverse ecologies, simple wages displace diversified livelihoods, and complex ecosystems are subject to single-purpose management regimes. Longstanding social-ecological systems appear increasingly vulnerable to short-sighted decisions and in danger of rapid shifts to new, less resilient states.

Development is a process of environmental transformation, as ever. And yet, transformation of ecological service into economic benefit may not serve the greatest good. What grounds or principles can link culturally relevant description of human well-being to the local, regional and global ecosystems on which human societies ultimately rely?

Drawing from extensive field research conducted in tropical and temperate forests, highlands and steppe grasslands, this symposium approaches the twin problems of complexification and simplification in Asia through three key axes of social-ecological change: resource use, ecological change, and human lifestyle and health.

Session 1: Collapse and restoration of social-ecological networks
Session 2: Physiological adaptation and recent lifestyle change in high-altitude environments
Session 3: Ecohealth: Ecological transformation and human health
Session 4: Synthesis and Summary Discussion

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(For Participation Inquiry)
International Affairs Subsection (For Accommodation and Tours)
tel: +81-75-707-2152
fax: +81-75-707-2106
Email: kokusai[at]chikyu.ac.jp
(For Scientific Contents)
tel: +81-75-707-2443
fax: +81-75-707-2509
Email: nishimoto[at]chikyu.ac.jp

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