New Director Dr. Kazuhiko Takemoto Appointed

  • 2014•01•09     Tokyo

    UNU-ISP is merging with the UNU Institute of Advanced Studies (based in Yokohama) to form the new UNU Institute for the Advanced Study of Sustainability. The consolidation is underway and will be completed in 2014, with the new institute to be located in the UNU headquarters building in Tokyo.

    The UNU Institute for the Advanced Study of Sustainability will focus on high-level policymaking based on aspects of environmental research, including the science of sustainability, biodiversity and environmental governance.

    The institute will be led by Dr. Kazuhiko Takemoto, who was appointed as its Director, effective 1 January 2014. Dr. Takemoto brings to the position some four decades of comprehensive experience in environmental policy development and research management, and as an international environmental diplomat.

    I am delighted that Dr. Takemoto, so well known to us and to many others in the world of international environmental research and action, will be joining us. His arrival greatly strengthens our team”, said Dr. David Malone, UNU Rector.

    Since 2010, Dr. Takemoto has worked with the UNU Institute of Advanced Studies as a Senior Fellow and Programme Director, overseeing the Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) and International Satoyama Initiative (ISI) and the Institute’s Operating Unit Ishikawa Kanazawa. He also has acted as Programme Leader of the UNU-ISP Fukushima Global Communication programme.

    Prior to joining UNU, Dr. Takemoto held a variety of environment-related positions in the Japanese Government, most recently serving (2008–2010) as Vice-Minister for Global Environmental Affairs in the Ministry of the Environment (MOE). In that role, he was responsible for developing national strategies for international negotiations on global environmental issues such as climate change, biodiversity and trans-boundary air pollution. Dr. Takemoto previously had served in MOE as Director-General of the Environment Management Bureau (2005–2008), Deputy Director-General of the Global Environment Bureau (2003–2005), and Director of the Waste Management Division (2002–2003). Before that, he worked in MOE’s predecessor, the Environment Agency, in various posts, as well as with the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA, Austria; 1995–1996), The World Bank (1989–1992), and the Shizuoka Prefectural Government (1980–1982).

    Dr. Takemoto has also served as Vice-Chair of the OECD Environmental Policy Committee, as Co-Chair of the Ministerial Round Table of the UN Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD), and as Director of the Secretariat of the Asia-Pacific Network for Global Change Research (APN). He holds a Bachelor of Engineering degree from The University of Tokyo and a Master of International Public Policy degree from the School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), Johns Hopkins University. He recently received a PhD degree from The University of Tokyo.

    I am very pleased and honoured to contribute to the new institute, and to work with our team towards a sustainable future, said Dr. Takemoto.

    New Institute will Streamline Operations, Increase Impact

    The consolidation of UNU-ISP and the UNU Institute of Advanced Studies aims to combine resources and leverage the distinctive strengths of the two units, yielding an entity whose sum is greater than its parts. While there has always been a degree of collaboration between UNU’s two Japan-based institutes, the geographic distance and separate administrative and statutory requirements have been hurdles to smooth teamwork.

    “This consolidation will streamline operations and enable UNU-IAS and UNU-ISP researchers and faculty to work together in an enriched and unified way. It will also enrich our teaching programmes”, said Dr. Malone.

    The set of integrated research, teaching and capacity development activities that will be undertaken by the more dynamic, better funded consolidated institute will be more credible, have a greater impact, and better serve UNU’s stakeholders in Japan and worldwide. The consolidation is expected to achieve considerable savings, both in facility maintenance costs and in terms of academic support structures, and the expanded size of the institute will provide a wider range of opportunities for UNU postgraduate students in Japan.

    Contact: Nicholas Turner, UNU-ISP