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UNU-IAS Operating Unit Ishikawa/Kanazawa
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The United Nations University Institute of Advanced Studies Operating Unit Ishikawa/Kanazawa (OUIK) was established in April 2008 with strong support by local governments of Ishikawa Prefecture and Kanazawa City in Japan. OUIK has provided local and regional input into UNU’s sustainable development and international cooperation efforts in collaboration with other organizations, including UN agencies, academic institutes and local partners by implementing research on sustainable utilization of biodiversity and ecosystem services.

OUIK also aims at developing communication and networks with local stakeholders through public outreach and capacity building, while sharing information about international trends. For its programme development, OUIK considers that capacity building is important and has provided opportunities postdoctoral fellows from developing countries to be involved in research activities.

OUIK Research Activities

Satoyama and Satoumi (SAS)

Overall goal of this research activity is to provide scientifically credible and policy relevant information about the significance of biodiversity and ecosystem services provided by satoyama-satoumi landscapes in Ishikawa and their contribution to economic and human development for the use of policymakers. A research group on SAS has organized expert meetings that brought together key stakeholders, including scholars, local scientists and governmental officials, to update each other on ongoing initiatives on ecosystem services assessments and natural resource use and management. The discussions have centred on achievements that the Japan Satoyama Satoumi Assessment (JSSA) marked and the knowledge gaps identified by the JSSA, as well as research agenda for a future satoyama-satoumi assessment focused on Noto Region in Ishikawa Prefecture, Japan. The research findings will be shared with both the local and international communities through workshops, conferences, and publications.

Sustainable Primary Industries (SPI)

OUIK has implemented research on SPI with the collaboration of United Nations University Institute for Sustainability and Peace (UNU-ISP). This research aims to identify appropriate policies at the local level for effective rural regeneration strategies involving a wide range of stakeholders in the Noto Region of Japan. Noto was designated as a Globally Important Agricultural Systems (GIAHS) site by FAO in June 2011 and could be examined as a sustainable agricultural system considering new business models and value-added products. Research outcomes will be disseminated at international conferences and seminars, and delivered as research papers.

Cities and Biodiversity (CAB)

This research aims to examine relationship between cities and rural areas from the perspective of “biocultural diversity”, which evaluates both creative activities in cities and traditional culture in rural areas. A research group on CAB has questioned what a new relationship between and rural areas can be with a concept of bio-cultural diversity and bio-cultural interaction systems as an important issue for urban planning. The research group has had meetings to examine case studies of biodiversity and cultural diversity of local communities and has discussed how the concept of biocultural diversity can be applied to environmental policies of local governments. This research will suggest creative solutions to urbanization and its impacts on the environment, and research findings will be disseminated through public events and publications.


Faculty & Staff



Operating Unit Ishikawa / Kanazawa
Tsunao WatanabeDirector, Operating Unit Ishikawa/Kanazawa
Raquel Moreno-Penaranda Research Fellow
Atsuko Hasegawa Office Manager
Kozue Suto Programme Associate
Aida Mammadova Project Assistant
Tomokazu UtsugiProject Assistant


The Ishikiawa International Cooperation Research Centre (IICRC)
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