Tottori University landscape photography

Courtesy call on the President of Tottori University by the D.G. of ICARDA

Updating the Memorandum of Understanding

 Dr. Aly Abousabaa, the Director General of International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA) whose headquarters is currently located in Beirut, Lebanon paid a courtesy call to the President of Tottori University on 9 February 2017.

Tottori University organized the Tokyo International Symposium on Combating Desertification in the UNU, Tokyo on 7 February 2017, and we invited Dr. Aly Abousabaa, the D.G. of ICARDA as a panelist. We also invited him to our University in order to extend the Memorandum of Understanding between our University and the ICARDA.

 President Teshima delivered an address of welcome and said that, “It has been such a valuable experience for us to collaborate with ICARDA, one of the world’s leading research institutions, which has research bases all across the Middle Eastern and African countries. I would like to express my sincerest gratitude for your institution’s continued support and cooperation. We are confident that such collaboration projects will further deepen the cordial relationship between our institutions, and with your continued support, our collaboration will rise into new frontiers.”

 D.G. Dr. Abousabaa in his response, said that, “It was very impressive symposium for me to discuss on very important issues in dry areas such as land degradation in the Tokyo International Symposium. I visited the Arid Land Dome and other research facilities in your university, and it is my great pleasure to discuss about future collaborations with your excellent academic staff. I believe that updating the Memorandum of Understanding between ICARDA and Tottori University will strengthen our relationship and develop research areas in dry lands. I would like to ask you for continued collaboration and support by Japanese government through Tottori University.”

 After this, the Commemorative Special Seminar for the Tokyo International Symposium was held at the Faculty of Agriculture in English.

Commemorative Photo

Tottori University held the Tokyo International Symposium "Combating Desertification".

U Thant Int'l Conference Hall at UNU

 Tottori University held the Tokyo International Symposium "Combating Desertification" at the U Thant International Conference Hall of the United Nations University (Shibuya-ku, Tokyo) in collaboration with Ministry of the Environment and the Secretariat of United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) on 7 February 2017.

 The aim of this symposium was to review the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification, one of the three Rio Conventions which marks its 20 year anniversary this year, and discuss the future course of action for combating desertification and achievement of a "land degradation neutral (LDN) world" from various perspectives such as policies, research and international cooperation.

 Mr. Yoshihiro Seki, the State Minister of the Environment, and Ms. Monique Barbut, the Executive Secretary of the UNCCD spared their precious time to make opening remarks explaining the significance of this symposium and their own efforts and initiatives in combating desertification.

 Following the opening remarks, keynote lectures were delivered by Dr. Kazuhiko Takeuchi, the Director of IR3S Platform at the University of Tokyo, Dr. Uriel Safriel of Hebrew University of Jerusalem, former Chair of the Committee of Science and Technology, UNCCD, and Dr. Majig Tungalag, Director of Department of Forest Policy and Coordination, Ministry of Environment, Green Development and Tourism, Mongolia.

 Panel discussions were held to further explore the current situations and issues presented by three keynote lecturers. The first panel discussion "International Cooperation for Combating Desertification" was moderated by an anchor Ms. Hiroko Kuniya. Mr. Kenichi Shishido, Senior Deputy Director General for Forest and Nature Conservation, Global Environment Department, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and other panelists who have extensive experiences in international cooperation discussed challenges in improving the international awareness of combating desertification and effectiveness of international cooperation.

 The second panel discussion titled "The Frontier of Dryland Science", organized by Tottori University, was moderated by Dr. Theib Oweis, Distinguished Guest Professor. Dr. Atsushi Tsunekawa, Professor of Arid Land Research Center, Tottori University, Dr. Masa Iwanaga, President of Japan International Research Center for Agricultural Sciences (JIRCAS), Dr. Tao Wang, Director General of Northwest Institute of Eco-Environment and Resources, Chinese Academy of Sciences, and Dr. Aly Abousabaa, Director General of International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA) presented research and initiatives of their institutions. After that they had active discussion involving the floor on roles of science and technology in combating desertification and achievement of the "land degradation neutral (LDN) world."

 Finally, on behalf of the symposium organizers, President of Tottori University Ryota Teshima, also Director of International Platform of Dryland Research and Education (IPDRE), Tottori University, made the closing remarks to extend his gratitude to more than 220 participants who led this event to a resounding success with passionate discussion.