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Promote establishment of a collaborative base for environmental cooperation in Asia

Project Name Environmental Leadership Initiatives for Asian Sustainability (ELIAS) (477KB)
Location Asian region
Project Background The United Nations Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (UNDESD) was proposed by Japan, at the World Summit on Sustainable Development, Johannesburg 2002. In the same year, a resolution designating the years 2005 to 2014 as the UNDESD was unanimously adopted by the United Nations General Assembly. Japan developed the Action Plan for the UNDESD in 2006. The Action Plan addresses the importance of implementing sustainable development programs at higher education institutions as a first step. In June 2007, "Strategy for an Environmental Nation in the 21st Century" and "Innovation 25" were approved by the Japanese Cabinet. Both initiatives address the need for training future environmental leaders with the ability to meet environmental challenges both in Japan and overseas. In the same year, the leaders from countries across Asia agreed to work together toward developing environmental leaders in Asia at the East Asia Summit (EAS), high level meetings between China and Japan, and other meetings.
The Ministry of the Environment set up a panel of experts from universities, companies, and nonprofit organizations, which established the Vision for Environmental Leadership Initiatives for Asian Sustainability in Higher Education (Environmental Leadership Vision) in March 2008.
To embody the Vision, three projects are in progress under the Environmental Leadership Initiatives for Asian Sustainability (ELIAS).
Objectives The Ministry of the Environment has been working on the following three projects to embody the efforts to develop environmental leaders through partnership among industry, academia, government and civil society under the ELIAS:
(1) Developing and disseminating model higher education programs
(2) Establishing a "multi stakeholder consortium for developing environmental leaders," a framework of cooperation among all stakeholders from industry, academia, government and civil society for the purpose of developing environmental leaders
(3) Developing a network of higher education institutions in the Asia-Pacific region committed to developing environmental leaders (Promotion of Sustainability in Postgraduate Education and Research Network (ProSPER.Net)
Member Countries 21 higher education institutions from Japan, Australia, China, India, Indonesia, Republic of Korea, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand, and other countries are participating in the ProSPER.Net.
Project Achievements [1] Developing and disseminating model higher education programs
The Ministry of the Environment established the "Project on Model Higher Education Programs for Developing Environmental Leaders in Asia" so that Japanese higher education institutions would develop environmental leaders specified in the Environmental Leadership Vision in cooperation with Japanese companies, government and nonprofit organizations, as well as higher education institutions in Asia. After public solicitation for universities considering such programs, the Ministry selected six universities (Ibaraki University, University of Tokyo, Keio University, Chubu University, Shinshu University and Kochi University) in FY 2008, and five universities (Iwate University, Tohoku University, Sophia (Jochi) University, University of Shiga Prefecture and Osaka Prefecture University) in FY 2009. This is a three-year project for each university.

[2] Establishing a "multi stakeholder consortium for developing environmental leaders,"

The "multi stakeholder consortium preparatory congress" was launched in March 2009, for the purpose of considering the organizational structure and the project component of the consortium while carrying out some projects.
The Ministry of the Environment is working together with the preparatory congress to develop projects such as consideration of guidelines for developing environmental leaders used in higher education institutions.

[3] Developing a network of universities in the Asia-Pacific region committed to developing environmental leaders

In June 2008, the Ministry of the Environment, in cooperation with the United Nations University Institute of Advanced Studies (UNU-IAS), started a network of higher education institutions that are committed to integrating sustainability in their postgraduate education and research programs, which is called "ProSPER.Net (Promotion of Sustainability in Postgraduate Education and Research Network)." As of August 2010, the network boasts a roster of 21 participating higher education institutions from Japan, China, Republic of Korea, ASEAN countries, India, Australia, etc.
Participants at the launch of ProSPER.Net
at Hokkaido University in June 2008
Participants at the launch of ProSPER.Net at Hokkaido University in June 2008
Planned Activities Based on the Environmental Leadership Vision, the efforts under the ELIAS will be further advanced.
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