On 23 March, IGES and START International Inc., USA, signed an amendment to their memorandum of understanding. IGES was represented by its President, Kazuhiko Takeuchi, and START was represented by its Executive Director, Dr. Jon Padgham. The signing ceremony was held virtually, and was facilitated by Mr. Yasuo Takahashi, Executive Director of IGES.
The purpose of the agreement is to enhance collaboration between IGES and START by bringing their resources together to advance initiation of the South Asia and Southeast Asia CES platform. This joint effort aims to engage both researchers and local government partners in developing the platform. It will also enable science-policy interactions in co-developing priority actions that 1) incorporate and adapt key elements of the CES framework, and 2) are shaped by priorities within specific local contexts.
Dr. Barbara Ryan, START’s Board Chair also attended the signing ceremony and expressed her expectation that the IGES-START collaboration will significantly contribute to sustainable development in the region, while also providing a good example of US-Japan collaboration. In his final remarks, Professor Takeuchi stressed the importance of applying a CES concept that is based on major policy approaches including (a) concepts of low-carbon society, (b) resource circulation, and (c) living in harmony with nature, and he expects the IGES-START collaboration will serve as a foundation for advancing the CES concept in Asia.