Autumn School 2019: "Environmental and Disaster Management in Kyoto, Wakayama, and Nara" (17‒30 November 2019)

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From 17 to 30 November 2019, the Graduate School of Global Environmental Studies (GSGES) hosted an "International Autumn School for Environmental Studies and Disaster Management", as one of the Wild & Wise Collaborative Learning Programs supported by Kyoto University.

The 14-day program was part of the environmental studies education collaborations that GSGES is implementing with Southeast Asian universities in the framework of the "Japan Gateway: Kyoto University Top Global Program (JGP)". Participating in the Autumn School were 12 undergraduate students selected from these universities, all of which are engaged in advanced environmental research: Hue University of Agriculture and Forestry, Hue University of Sciences, Da Nang University of Science and Technology, and Hanoi University of Science and Technology, Vietnam; Mahidol University, Thailand; and Bogor Agricultural University, Indonesia. These students were joined by 15 from KyotoU, ten from undergraduate and five from graduate schools.

The Autumn School began in Kyoto with lectures on forest, water, and soil management, and natural disasters, each addressing relevant current issues in Japan and several other countries, and topics of particular interest to the participants. Having gained basic understanding of these subjects, the students traveled to Wakayama and Nara Prefectures for tours of environmental facilities and disaster-affected areas. There was also an opportunity to learn the techniques of micromapping and the steps for applying them to make environmental information maps highlighting disaster damage. In addition, the students attended the "Kyoto University International Symposium on Education and Research in Global Environmental Studies in Asia", organized by GSGES and held from 26 to 28 November, where they expanded their knowledge of the environmental research being conducted in various parts of Asia.

The final day featured a presentation session, where participants discussed advanced environmental management, suggesting possible approaches to tackling environmental issues and managing disasters in their home countries. Their presentations incorporated the perspectives and concepts learned over the past two weeks, and generated multifaceted discussion spanning engineering, agriculture, geography, and sociology.

The Autumn School was held in conjunction with the ILAS seminar, "Livelihood, Environment and Peace: Studying in Vietnam", and included opportunities for cross-cultural student interaction between the two programs.

GSGES hopes that its Autumn School and other collaborative international research and education projects will contribute to the advancement of environmental studies, thus facilitating the development of environmentally friendly and sustainable communities throughout Asia.

Experiencing Japanese culture in kimono

Lecture by GSGES faculty

Field excursion to Wakayama focused on forest management

Autumn School participants

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