From 30 November through 1 December 2020, Kyoto University and Mahidol University, Thailand, held the Kyoto University International ONLINE Symposium on Education and Research in Global Environmental Studies in Asia, with support from the "Kyoto University Environmental Innovator Program — Cultivating Environmental Leaders Across the ASEAN Region". The event drew 277 attendees on the first day and 166 on the second, with at most 73 organizations represented — 60 universities and 13 others, including companies — from 18 countries across Asia, Africa, Europe, and North America, as well as Japan.
Day one started with opening remarks from Mahidol University Rector Banchong Mahaisavariya and KyotoU President Nagahiro Minato. Keynote lectures were then delivered by Professor Prasit Watanapa of Mahidol University and Professor Hajime Kita of Kyoto University, both focusing on COVID-19 responses by higher-education institutions. These were followed by four research poster discussion sessions held concurrently on "Science and Technology", "Agriculture and Biology", "Urban and Rural Planning", and "Policy and Economics". The posters had been on display on the symposium site since a week earlier and had generated a great deal of online comments and discussions.
The next session, entitled "Information Sharing on Post-COVID-19 Countermeasures at Universities", featured reports on pandemic efforts at seven universities across Asia, Europe, and North America. The final segment of the day-one program was a summary session, where KyotoU Professor Shigeo Fujii reflected on the symposium's history, and three other professors — Nguyen Thi Anh Tuyet of the Hanoi University of Science and Technology, Yoshihisa Shimizu of Kyoto University, and Ernan Rustiadi of Bogor Agricultural University (Institut Pertanian Bogor, or IPB) — shared their ideas for international collaboration.
The second day began with "Young Researcher Presentations", where early-career researchers presented their work in environmental research in four parallel sessions, which covered — as did the previous day's poster discussion sessions — "Science and Technology", "Agriculture and Biology", "Urban and Rural Planning", and "Policy and Economics". A plenary session then followed, introducing five international research projects and facilitating discussion on the future of international collaboration.
The closing session included a brief summary of the Young Researcher Presentations, with comments from Professor Tran Van Quang of Da Nang University, Rector Ngo Bunthan of the Royal University of Agriculture, Professor Tran Thanh Duc of the Hue Agricultural and Forestry University, and Assistant Professor Daisuke Naito of Kyoto University. This was followed by a poster award ceremony led by Dean Takeshi Katsumi of the Kyoto University Graduate School of Global Environmental Studies (GSGES). The symposium concluded with remarks from GSGES Professor Shinya Funakawa and Mahidol University Vice-Chancellor Nopraenue Sajjarax Dhirathiti.