Philosophy and Objectives of the KYOUSEI Science Center for Life and Nature

This center was established on April 1, 2001, with the purpose of creating a new field of comprehensive environmental science whose goal is the preservation and regeneration of the environment and biodiversity.

Currently, increased land consumption for human habitation, mass-production, massive pollution, et cetera, are causing major disruptions to the Earth's precious environment. Climate change, acid rain, ozone depletion, industrial pollution, dioxins, endocrine-disrupting chemicals, wildlife extinction, and ecosystem destruction, have become enormous global environment issues.

Since its formation 4.6 billion years ago, the Earth has evolved into a composite body of life, giving birth to oceans, continents, and life itself. Everything harboured by this composite earth moves together in complex interrelationships. In light of the dynamic past and present of this system, we require an integrated approach as well as analytical techniques in order to gauge the future. Herein lies the need for a new field of KYOUSEI, or integrated science for co-existence.

Setting the Nara region and the Kii Peninsula as representative models for temperate zones, we aim to use new techniques to reveal a comprehensive picture of the region. As well, we aim to advance widespread discussion about human activity which promotes the regeneration and upkeep of the natural environment.

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Why Nara region and the Kii Peninsula ?
Natural history research carried out at Nara Women's University and in the Kii

The Kii Peninsula contains one of the world's major heavy rainfall zones, and the climate, which alternates from subtropical to subarctic regions, makes for abundant forests, rivers, and coastal life. Ancient records of the interaction between humans and nature exist for the Kii Peninsula, which contained the heart of ancient Japanese civilization. In this region, which contains two World Cultural Heritage sites, the study of history and archaeology is being energetically pursued. Much of this work concerns research and records of natural history, including especially the work of Suizan Kuroda in the late Edo Period, followed by the prominent work of Kumagusu Minakata. Following the lead of these pioneers, many research groups have flourished which focus on Kii Peninsula nature and wildlife.

mosaic of kii-peninsula (summer,1995)
This picture was made from LANDSAT/TM data.(provided by NASDA,original:US govrnment)
1998 Terrestrail

At Nara Women's University, Matsunae Tsuda of Freshwater Biology, and Takuji Koshimizu of Botanical Research have taken up the call for continued progress. As well, satellite research is recently being used to study fields such as natural geography, global environmental biology, and animal behavior research. A base for this research has been established as a branch of the Center (in Higashi Yoshino Village, Nara Prefecture).
We hope the united research into the region's varied history and natural history will help direct our steps into the future.

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