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269. A Better World – Partnership for Sustainable Development

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In today's chaotic world confronting infectious diseases, climate change and environmental destruction, partnerships are indispensable for the international community to solve global issues. Partnerships bring together the diverse resources of participants to achieve results that cannot be achieved by a single partner operating alone.

The Human Development Forum, a British media organization, has published a series of publications entitled A Better World featuring the SDGs since 2015. The series dedicated to SDG17 (Volume 7) was published in March 2021 and introduced the international joint research partnership of JIRCAS.

JIRCAS, which celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2020 last year, has changed its agenda for international joint research as global issues over the past half century. For example, when the the predecessor of JIRCAS, the Tropical Agriculture Research Center (TARC) was established in 1970, the interests of the international community such as the eradication of famine in developing countries, were reflected in the research agenda. In the 1990s, there was an increasing awareness of the importance of dealing with environmental issues and sustainable development, and the activities of JIRCAS shifted from a uni-disciplinary approach focusing on productivity to an  interdisciplinary one incorporating system perspectives. By the 21st century, with the increasing trend of globalization, the food and environmental issues have become more complex prompting JIRCAS and partners to search for more effective modes of collaboration to deal with the evolving global agendas.

On the other hand, JIRCAS has consistently taken the on-site collaborative research approach with partners in developing countries to develop agriculture, forestry and fisheries technologies in order to solve global food security and environmental problems for 50 years. Through many years of international joint research in the field of developing countries, partnerships have played an important role in continuing activities that produce and connect research results to social impact even in the case of coronavirus.

As of November 2020, JIRCAS has conducted joint research with 66 research institutes in 29 developing countries. Human resource development for young researchers in developing countries and partnerships through international networks to address climate change issues also characterize our activities. Over the past half century, JIRCAS has also invited 2,422 researchers from 83 countries to develop human resources. In addition, JIRCAS has played a role in coordinating partnerships with research institutes and researchers around the world in international research networks such as the Global Research Alliance on Agricultural Greenhouse Gases (GRA) and Biological Nitrification Inhibition (BNI).

With 50 years experience of international joint research, we have developed invaluable networks connecting national and international research and development partners. We will continue to contribute to the achievement of the SDGs and build a sustainable food system through science and technology, and contribute to solving global issues.

Reference

The Human Development Forum. A Better World Volume 7 https://www.humandevelopmentforum.org/digital/A-Better-World-Vol-7/4/in…

Contributors: KANAMORI Norihito (Information and Public Relations Office), OMORI Keisuke (Information and Public Relations Office), IKEURA Hiroshi (Research Planning and Management Office), IIYAMA Miyuki (Information Program Director)