Okayama University


Okayama University Vice President and UNESCO Chairholder YOKOI Atsufumi receives

December 24, 2020

Okayama University Vice President for Global Engagement Strategy and UNESCO Chairholder in Research and Education for Sustainable Development YOKOI Atsufumi received a Certificate of Recognition from Earth Charter International (ECI) for his dedicated and exhaustive work. The Earth Charter is a form that the ethical foundation of a global movement to build a more just, sustainable, and peaceful global society in the 21st century. The certificate was awarded by the Earth Charter International Secretariat (based at the United Nations-mandated University for Peace: UPEACE in San Jose, the capital of Central America) in celebration of the 20th anniversary since the launch of the Earth Charter.

In December 2019, President MAKINO Hirofumi and Vice President Yokoi visited UPEACE and ECI in last December and have reached a basic agreement to promote ESD for 2030 by integrating ESD and the Earth Charter. The 40th General Conference of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), held in November last year, adopted a resolution that reaffirmed the importance of the Earth Charter as an ethical framework for Education for Sustainable Development (ESD): Towards achieving the SDGs (ESD for 2030).
Additionally, in June 2020, Okayama University signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to nurture young scientific talents in developing countries under the framework of “science, technology, and innovation for sustainable development goals” (STI for SDGs). Furthermore, in the same month, Vice President Yokoi was elected as an ECI Council member. Vice President Yokoi has been working tirelessly towards the realization of a sustainable society through meaningful partnerships with UN agencies and international organizations around the world.

Upon receiving the award, Vice President Yokoi commented, “Humanity has entered a new epoch called “Anthropocene”. The name indicates the significant impact that human beings have become powerful enough to disrupt the functioning of the Earth system as a whole, implying the need to align human and planetary health targets. The importance of the Earth Charter is greater than ever in an uncertain world where there is growing debate on climate change and the impact of the COVID-19. I hope that the university will discover new meaning and value while integrating the SDGs framework. Okayama University will continue to promote global engagement both locally and globally.”

As a research university that actively promotes the SDGs, Okayama University seeks to provide positive and concrete solutions to global issues that are in line with the Earth Charter’s 2020 slogan “Turning Conscience to Action” while also practically considering what it will mean to live in a post-coronavirus world.