Welcoming Address from the President
The 21st century has long been labeled the century of food, agriculture, and the environment. However, extreme weather events such as large-scale droughts and flooding throughout the world thought to have been triggered by global warming are pushing up the prices of grain crops worldwide, and at the same time the world′s human population continues to grow rapidly and is expected to reach 9 billion by the middle of the century. Given that food production will have to be boosted considerably to address the needs of this growing population combined with rising dietary improvement in emerging nations accompanying economic growth, climate change and the degradation of natural resources such as soil and water are matters for serious concern. We also face the urgent challenges of restoring farmland damaged by the Great East Japan Earthquake and dealing with contamination of the environment by radioactive fallout from the Fukushima nuclear power plant accident. These circumstances call into question the sustainability of our society as never before.
The National Institute for Agro-Environmental Sciences (NIAES) traces its roots back to the National Agricultural Experiment Station founded as Japan′s first agricultural research organization by the Ministry of Agriculture and Commerce in 1893. NIAES was established through a restructuring of this body in 1983 to create an organization dedicated to basic research on agriculture and the environment, and became an independent administrative institution in 2001. NIAES has grappled with and contributed to the elucidation and resolution of a wide range of issues, including problems of food safety caused by pollutants in the environment, global environmental issues, the preservation of biodiversity, and environmentally hazardous substances derived from agriculture. Building on our achievements to date, we are now conducting research in the four areas listed below under our 3rd Medium Term Plan that started in 2011.
Conscious of the importance of our mission, we are pursuing high-level research aimed at helping to overcome the world's food and environmental problems and promote sustainable relationships between humanity, society, and the natural environment.
Conserve the Environment by Listening to Wind, Observing Soil, and Thinking of Our Future.
National Institute for Agro-Environmental Sciences
Tsukuba, 305-8604, Japan