2018 Activity Report vol.26:the University of Tokyo

Activity Report of Open Application Course vol.26

Education and training for seven young people from Asian countries“Introductory Course on Bioresources and Environmental Science - Diversity and Research in the Field in Asian Countries” -- the third year

Report from the University of Tokyo

In Asia, where population growth and economic growth continue, there is a constant high risk of environmental destruction, and there is a need to establish technologies such as environmental remediation technology, as well as environment-friendly biological production technology, that are based on environmental diversity such as is found in forests, farmlands and coastal areas. From the 9th to the 18th of September, 2018, the SAKURA Exchange Program in Science - The Science and Technology Experience Course A, was carried out, mainly hosted by the Asian Natural Environmental Science Center (ANESC) of the University of Tokyo. The purpose of this program was to introduce the cutting edge of Bioresources and Environmental Science, to deepen the understanding of sustainable development in Asia, to motivate engagement in professional research, and to create opportunities for interaction among participants as well, for talented young people in Asia who are interested in such issues.

Ten young academic staff members -- research scientists, graduate school students and college students (six males and four females) -- from nine institutions from six countries in Asia (Tamil Nadu Agricultural University: India, Cambodian Agricultural Research and Development Institute: Cambodia, Chulalongkorn University: Thailand, Nanjing Agricultural University: China, Fujian Agriculture and Forestry University: China, International Rice Research Institute: The phillippines, Mindanao State University: The phillippines, University of Malaya: Malaysia, and Universiti Malaysia Sabah: Malaysia) participated in the program.

In the program, they first visited the ANSEC laboratory and were introduced to four research programs (environmental remediation program, global environmental problem countermeasures program, sustainable regional resource utilization program, and useful genetic resource development program).

Listening to an explanation of the flood tolerance mechanism of trees in Asia in the environmentally controlled indoor growth chamber

The participants took a tour of a lettuce hydroponic culture in an energy-saving greenhouse, organic farming paddy fields and biota, and large agricultural machines for educational research used at the Institute for Sustainable Agro-ecosystem Services, the University of Tokyo. In the Tanashi Forest, they received lectures on changes and characteristics of forest resources in Japan, and the role of the training forest while visiting areas of various trees and seedlings.

Listening to an explanation of the rice planting machine used for testing

While listening to explanations about the multi-faceted functions including the landscape of the Mt. Fuji forest ecosystem, the participants did some wood chopping at Fuji Iyashinomori Woodland Study Center. In addition, they observed restoration of vegetation and mycorrhizal ecology at the Mt. Fuji volcanic plateau ecological succession test site.

Comparison of the preferred forests by managing undergrowth vegetation
Looks easy, but wood chopping is not their forte.

They participated in exercises at graduate school. While discussing the various aspects of sustainable agriculture, forestry, fisheries, and livestock industries, and the role of the facilities of the university with foreign students in the doctoral courses and the Japanese teaching assistants, etc. the participants introduced their field of study and research to build strong relationships.

Group discussion with the graduate school students and teaching assistants from the University of Tokyo
“Sustainable agriculture, forestry, fisheries, and livestock industries”

In addition, details of international exchanges at the University of Tokyo were explanied, and the participants received guidance from the Office for International Cooperation and Exchange about studies at the Graduate School of Agricultural and Life Sciences, the University of Tokyo. The participants were more motivated for future study abroad and for re-visiting the university. Through the fulfilling schedule in which the participants ate and slept together, they built a strong bond with each other. We hope that communication between the ANSES members and the participants, as well as between the participants, will continue through our Facebook pages, etc.