|TANAKA Katsuya||Faculty of Economics, Shiga University|
|Researchers at RIHN|
|Win Thiri Kyaw||Researcher|
|Myo Han Htun||Research Associate|
|TAKEHARA Mari||Research Associate|
|MATSUDA Hiroyuki||Yokohama National University|
|KASAMATSU Hiroki||Ehime University|
|SHIMAGAMI Motoko||Ehime University|
|MIYAKITA Takashi||Kumamoto Gakuen University|
|MATSUMOTO Yuichi||Kwansei Gakuin University|
|Mohamad Jahja||State University of Gorontalo|
|Bustanul Arifin||Lampung University|
|Idham A. Kurniawan||Institut Teknologi Bandung|
|Basri||College of Health Sciences Makassar|
|Bobby||Network Activities Groups|
Mercury (Hg) is a toxic metal that seriously threatens the embryonic and early-childhood development of humans, and is extremely toxic to the human body. Mercury pollution is one of the most serious environmental issues and requires global action for its resolution. Recent investigation by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) has highlighted the enormity of Hg pollution in developing countries and the associated harmful effects on human health and ecosystems. One of the main causes of Hg pollution is ASGM, in which Hg is used as the traditional method of amalgamation to extract gold from the ore rock. This activity is responsible for 37% of global anthropogenic Hg environmental emissions. This method of amalgamation is quicker, simpler, and more cost effective than alternative methods, and is widely used in many ASGM communities. According to data from the UNEP, ASGM produces 15-20 % of the global gold market. Almost 15 million people, including about 3 million women and children, participate in ASGM activities in more than 70 countries. The Hg pollution generated during ASGM indirectly affects more than 100 million people worldwide. ASGM activities are also sources of social problems, such as land tenure issues, social instability such as migration, and conflict between residents. The vicious cycle related to poverty and environmental degradation in developing countries has long been discussed. However, the behavioral patterns that make it difficult for those living under chronically impoverished conditions to escape from those conditions are still not well understood (Sen, 1999; Banerjee and Duflo, 2011). The Minamata Convention on Hg is a global treaty established to protect human health and the environment from the adverse effects of Hg. The Convention addresses ASGM and the development of national plans to manage ASGM.
The objectives of our research project are: 1) to understand the link between poverty reduction and environmental management in ASGM areas; 2) to establish a process for constructing sustainable societies through regional innovations in ASGM areas; and 3) to strengthen environmental governance in ASEAN countries.
Our project will conduct the following research in ASEAN countries:
Project members will (1) undertake environmental impact assessments; (2) study living conditions, cultures, history, and regional sociology; (3) cultivate or organize transdisciplinary communities of practice (TDCOPs) used by transdisciplinary boundary object (TBO); (4) co-create future scenarios; (5) co-design and co-produce with TDCOP members and other stakeholders; and (6) evaluate the progress of regional innovation through social and economic studies.
Study of interregional networks will be conducted in three steps: (1) construction of an exchange platform for information and collaboration on the management of Hg; (2) improvement of organizational and communication capacities; and (3) strengthening the communication policy with local and central governments.
Project members will study the principles and processes used for multilayer and cooperative environmental governance. They will also investigate to strengthen environmental governance of the ASEAN countries.
Project members will design TBOs and then use and evaluate them in order to cultivate the development processes of TDCOPs with the collaboration of key stakeholders at the study areas.
Regional innovation will arise as a consequence of environmental and industrial innovations introduced with a transdisciplinary approach, including the development of a future scenario for an Hg-free society, the co-creation and practical application of TBOs, and the mobilization of TDCOPs. By strengthening environmental governance, which consists of multiple layers of co-operative organizations, we will also develop a route via which the problem of global environmental Hg pollution can be resolved.