About Research Center for Sustainability and Environment, Shiga University
Shiga University Ishiyama Campus (Faculty of Education), as indicated in its history, boasts a long history of researches on the environment of Lake Biwa, which has evolved into substantial and various environmental studies and education including relationships with a local living culture. Different angles from Hikone Campus (Faculty of Economics) were added to such accumulation of researches, and the new launch of academic interchange between two faculties had led to interdisciplinary and unique environmental studies and education. Research Center for Sustainability and Environment, Shiga University is the institute established in 2003 as the strategic base for environmental researches and education in the university as a whole, which is situated in the environmentally-advanced prefecture, Shiga, for the purpose of further development of above-mentioned traditions.
Our organization is a small unit consisting of 4 full-time professors, but it joins hands closely with both Faculties of Education and of Economics based upon such traditions, and it also works with over 30 collaborate professors. It owns 5 research divisions such as Lake and Watershed Research, Environmental Economics Research, Environmental Policy Research, Environmental Education Research, and Human and Regional Environmental Research. In those divisions, natural, human, and social science are all linked interactively, and environmental research activities are promoted with such diversified approaches. Besides that, in collaboration with overseas partnership universities, for example, in East Asian nations such as China and South Korea, the international research cooperation under different themes is implemented.
The “Lake Basin Governance” project has been initiated by Masahisa Nakamura, former director of the center with the budget for special research promotion by MEXT for the last two years. Potentiality of Integrated Lake Basin Management, which is a compound methodology of lake basin management, has been pursued by deepening exchange globally with numbers of researchers, policy-makers, and citizens, not only in East Asia but also in the U.S., Russia, Kenya, and Mexico.
Even more research activities are conducted by other staff in the following fields: economic policies to realize biodiversity restoration in paddy fields and the effectiveness of water quality improvement policies adopting a marketing technique, which are part of project researches entrusted by Ministry of Environment with Environment Research & Technology Development Fund. Another staff engages in development of environmental education curriculum for consistently cultivating personnel to build a truly-sustainable society and actively responds to requests of lectures from all parts of Japan. Every single study is regarded as such intriguing subjects to anybody, and so we are pleased if you are interested in our activities and feel free to contact us.
Activities in our center seem to head in the right direction over the last 8 years since its establishment. However, as it is such a small unit, it is indispensable for us to consolidate a strong mutual interaction between our two faculties and to ask for cooperation from International Lake Environment Committee (ILEC) which has extended a full-scale support for the Lake Basin Governance Project, the neighboring research and educational bodies including the University of Shiga Prefecture, local governments, and NGO/NPO. Based upon our respect for those interchanges with various organizations, we truly aspire to pile up steady efforts by keeping our expectations realistic as an environmental research institution. We will appreciate your further assistance and encouragement.

Research Center for Sustainability and Environment, Shiga University
Director, Hiroaki KITAMURA

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