Editor's Note

In IRES Vol.4 No.2
Chapter: Vol.4 No.2
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The Institute for Global Environmental Strategies, IGES, completed its second research project phase in March 2004. This three-year period has been a time of growth for IGES; relocation to a new, larger research facility, expanding research staff, and strengthened research activities.

In accordance with this growth, the International Review for Environmental Strategies (IRES), IGES’s academic journal, has broadened its horizon. During the second phase, IRES featured special issues, focusing on a selection of critical topics: issues at the Earth Summit (vol. 2, no. 2), globalization and sustainable development (vol. 3, no. 1), sustainable freshwater resource management (vol. 3, no. 2), and environmental education and sustainable development (vol. 4, no. 1).

This new issue of IRES does not have any special theme, but consists of papers submitted on a diverse range of environmental topics. Readers will find enlightening articles by expert contributors on: environmental education, global climate policy, urban growth management, financing renewable energy, balancing trade and environmental concerns in free trade agreements, and many other issues.

Ko Nomura of IGES, Latipah Hendarti of RMI—the Indonesian Institute for Forest and Environment, and Osamu Abe of Rikkyo University present a case study of PPLH-Seloliman, an NGO-run environmental education center in Indonesia, analyzing the keys to its success—particularly its financial self-sufficiency—and looking for policy implications for the support of such centers in developing countries. Their analysis also breaks new academic ground by applying the theoretical concept of “change agency” to the center.

Suraje Dessai of the University of East Anglia, Nuno S. Lacasta of the Portuguese Ministry of Urban Affairs, and Katharine Vincent of the University of East Anglia review the troubled political history of the Kyoto Protocol up to the New Delhi meeting, examining the complex interplay of interests and bargaining power. They also assess the Protocol and its place in the context of the international climate regime and other environmental negotiations.

Byungseol Byun of the Korean Environmental Institute and Hee-Yun Hwang of Chungbuk National University look to international experiences in search of solutions to the rapid but uncoordinated growth of cities in the Republic of Korea. They argue that conservation and urban development can still co-exist in Korea and propose a new comprehensive land management program for the country based on strict, coordinated zoning that takes into account timing, infrastructure development among other factors.

Miao Chang, Mushtaq Memon, and Hidefumi Imura of IGES argue the case for public-private partnerships to urban environmental infrastructure development to keep pace with the rapid growth of China’s cities. They also examine the policy and institutional changes that will be necessary to make such partnerships work.

In a research paper, Akanksha Chauery and Yuvaraj Dinesh Babu of TERI and Gueye Kamal of IGES present interim findings of a study on innovative financing options for renewable energy. They examine the role of different financing sources in the development of renewable energy technologies. They focus on two technologies that are relatively mature in India—grid-connected wind power and domestic solar photovoltaic systems—and trace how their financing has changed as they have moved from the initial research and development phase towards commercialization

Kenichi Imai and Gueye Kamal of IGES examine how, and how far, trade and environmental concerns are harmonized in free-trade agreements concluded in the Asia-Pacific region. They compare the different approaches with that adopted by the World Trade Organization (WTO), and identify what implications this has for agreements in the region as well as the WTO’s future direction.

Nachin Dashunyam looks at current trends in livestock herding in Mongolia and how they are linked to the country’s critical environmental problems, particularly desertification. His paper concludes with recommendations for ways that herding practices can be changed in order to conserve Mongolia’s disappearing pastureland and provide a sustainable livelihood for the many people who still rely on herding.

Finally, this issue includes reviews of two recent books: Making Microchips by Jan Mazurek, on the challenges facing the semiconductor industry and its regulators, is reviewed by Jone Lane of IGES; while Axel Michaelowa of the Hamburg Institute of International Economics critiques Global Warming and the Asian Pacific (Ching-Cheng Chang, Robert Mendelsohn, and Daigee Shaw eds.), a collection of papers from a conference that took place in December 2000 that deal with emissions forecasts for countries in the region, application of carbon taxes, and global wamring policy.

I would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge and thank our IRES editorial board members throughout the IGES second phase. Dr. Edith Brown Weiss, Francis Cambell Brown Professor of International Law at Georgetown University, was a founding member and has been the driving force behind IRES. Without her compelling yet kind input, IRES would not exist today. She has also been a vital member of the Board of Directors for IGES. Dr. Osamu Abe, Professor of Rikkyo University, provided insightful views in the area of environmental education, which is relatively new and rapidly changing. Dr. Katsuhiko Kokubu, Professor of Kobe University, has contributed useful tools—environmental reporting for corporate and environmental accounting—to bring environment and business closer together. Dr. Shuzo Nishioka, Director of the National Institute for Environmental Studies, supported IRES not only by contributing his excellent scholastic knowledge and standing but also by his fairness and trustworthiness, admired by everyone.

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