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Okayama University Hosts World’s First International Conference on Attainment of SDGs

December 26, 2017

From December 5-7, Okayama University, the United Nations University Institute for the Advanced Study of Sustainability (UNU-IAS) and RCE Okayama held the first world RCE conference on the theme of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at the Okayama Convention Center in Okayama City.
Roughly 200 representatives attended from local governments, research institutes, NPOs and citizens’ groups from 26 countries around the world. The participants discussed ways and means of working toward solutions of global-scale issues such as climate change, biodiversity, and sustainable production and consumption (of food).
At the opening ceremony on the first day, greetings were given by Chairperson Hirofumi Abe of the Okayama ESD Promotion Commission (professor of Okayama University); President Hirofumi Makino of Okayama University; UNU-IAS Director Kazuhiko Takemoto; Mayor Masao Omori of Okayama City and Masaaki Kobayashi, Ministry of the Environment Senior Advisor (former Administrative Vice Minister for the Environment). UNU-IAS Project Director Naoya Tsukamoto also gave a talk on the current activities of the RCE Network.
In addition, on December 5, a plenary session titled “Further Development of ESD based on SDGs” was held, at which topics such as climate change and biodiversity were discussed.
At the second plenary session, titled “Considering SDGs from Okayama – Toward the Development of Further Industry-Academia Cooperation –,” President Makino took the podium, saying, “Resonating with the SDGs, we will create new value with the whole university progressing forward with education, research and social contributions.” As an example of Okayama University’s industry-academia cooperation, Dean of the Faculty of Engineering, Eiji Tomita, introduced the light environmental load engine being pursued as an industrial cooperation project. Additionally, Dean Yasutomo Nasu of the Graduate School of Medicine, Dentistry and Pharmaceutical Science gave an introduction to the development of medications for use in gene therapy and Associate Professor Yuta Nishina of the Research Core for Interdisciplinary Science gave an explanation of research into materials development such as “graphene oxide.”
Further plenary sessions and sessions meetings were held on December 6. On December 7, visits were made, among others, to companies in Okayama City and Maniwa City. Okayama University students also participated in the conference and field trips as support staff.

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