Research Institute for Humanity and Nature

The Research Institute for Humanity and Nature (RIHN) was established in April 2001 to conduct integrated research in the field of global environmental studies. In 2004,RIHN became one of the original members of the National Institutes for the Humanities (NIHU), as an Inter-University Research Institute Corporation.

Environmental degradation can be understood as an imbalance in interactions between human beings and natural systems. Our mission is therefore to conduct solutionoriented research aimed at exploring how interactions between humanity and nature ought to be. RIHN conducts interdisciplinary research spanning the natural sciences, humanities, and social sciences, and transdisciplinary research that involves collaboration with various stakeholders in society.

Since its establishment, RIHN researchers have formulated creative projects to address social needs in diverse fields of environmental interaction. For instance, under RIHN’s Phase II Medium-Term Plan and targets, the Futurability Initiatives were formulated in 2011 in order to advance from “science for science” to design-science. The RIHN Encyclopedia of Global Environmental Studies was published in the same year, providing a single point of access to the diverse research outcomes of RIHN’s first decade. The institute also promoted a network-based Global Environmental Repository in support of its role as an Inter-University Research Institute Corporation. Following an external review of research activities and organizational structures, in fiscal year 2014 we reformed the ways in which we conduct and promote research projects. At this time we also began collaborating in the international research platform Future Earth, which aims to realize a sustainable global society through integration of interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary environmental studies. In fiscal year 2015 RIHN was appointed as the Regional Center for Future Earth in Asia.

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