In many developing countries, environmental problems such as waste disposal, water pollution, and air pollution are becoming more serious than ever with the progress of economic development, population growth and urbanization. Climate change is also a threat to the stability and prosperity of all the countries of the world and to human security. However, many environmental problems are caused by a combination of complex factors, and it is difficult to find short-term solutions. In addition, the issues often need to be examined, taking account of various aspects such as the scientific analysis of environmental problems and climate change, the design of legal systems, and the implementation of policies. Therefore, it is important to consider how to address environmental problems and climate change in developing countries, and to conduct research based on experience and data obtained from the field of development cooperation while incorporating the latest knowledge and methods accumulated in the field of natural science.
Under these circumstances, this research cluster is studying economic methods for adaptation to climate change and methods for environmental impact assessment in project development. Furthermore, to achieve the SDGs, we have begun research in preparation for policy recommendations on the environment and climate change for ASEAN countries.
Research Project (Ongoing)
Study on quantitative evaluation of climate change adaptation benefits of urban flood management
In recent years, the effects of climate change are becoming more obvious, and many developing countries, out of a sense of urgency about their impact, have high expectations for development cooperation in supporting adaptation measures.
Research on Sustainable Development of Developing Countries: an Assessment of the Sustainability of Developing Countries Using the Inclusive Wealth Index and Investigating the Success Factors for Sustainable Infrastructure Development
The question of whether developing countries have achieved sustainable development in the past and how to achieve it in the future is considered one of the most important agenda items for development institutions. The purpose of this study is to examine what measures developing countries should take to achieve sustainable development and what kind of cooperative approach JICA should take as a development institution. Specifically, the project aims to: (1) analyze the sustainability of developing countries (especially in the Asian region) using the "Inclusive Wealth Index", which is an indicator used to measure the wealth of nations; and (2) investigate the success factors for sustainable infrastructure development, which plays a critical role in sustainable development.
Past Research Projects
The Challenging Issues of Environment/Climate Change Institution and Policy Under the SDGs Regime
Based on the concept of a "Sustainable Development" confirmed at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (Rio Summit) in 1992, institutions and policies related to environment / climate change have been evolved significantly. A lot of global environmental treaties have been developed, and the global environmental regime has been also evolved. The development of environment / climate change institutions and policies, especially environmentally law, have been progressed in both developed and developing countries.
Improving the Planning Stage of JICA Environmental and Social Considerations
JICA introduced the guidelines of environmental and social considerations (ESCs) in 2004 and have operated related works for more than 10 years. Quality growth and quality infrastructure are main international agendas and a quality of ESCs is also one part of them. The study aims to propose countermeasures to improve the quality of JICA ESCs, and it reviews and analyzes the quality of JICA ESCs reports, identifies key components to influence the quality, and clarifies a causal relationship between several factors and the quality of reports. The study verifies the causal relationship based on case studies. Eventually the study prepares technical guidelines to improve the quality of reports. The outcomes are expected to improve not only the quality of JICA reports but also the quality of reports prepared in developing countries.
Economic Evaluation of Adaptation Measures to Climate Change under Uncertainty
This study is intended to analyze climate change adaptation measures by applying the techniques that are proposed in the decision-making theory and economic theory with considering the uncertainty of climate change. Climate change is related deeply with uncertainties of various kinds of issues, such as in weather and ecosystem and economic system. The exact interpretation and evaluation of those uncertainties in policy analysis is very important.
Regarding climate change, there is a need for measures from both sides of the adaptation measures and mitigation measures.For long years, the main discussion point of climate change policy was on mitigation measures, but, it is becoming attention gathered in recent years adaptation measures. Although there is growing need for evaluation methods of the international climate change adaptation measures, and the discussion in OECD have been made, still definitive evaluation method does not exist. In this study, we take advantage of the latest knowledge of the methodology related to decision analysis under uncertainty, and make a study of the evaluation methods which can be applied to climate change adaptation measures in the evaluation of future JICA projects. The study, firstly discusses evaluation methods related to climate change adaptation measures in consideration of the uncertainty. And apply to case study "Kenya Mwea Irrigation Development Project (ODA loan projects)". Further draw also general and academic knowledge on climate change policy by combining the information obtained through case studies and a number of economic modeling techniques.
Estimation of the Economic Value of Forests in Ethiopia
Forests offer people various ecosystem services, which include the supply of resources such as lumber, firewood, and fruits and nuts from trees, as well as the protection of water resources and the absorption of carbon dioxide. However, markets for many of the ecosystem services offered by forests do not function properly (either due to market failure or the absence of a market), and market price cannot be used to assess their value. With regard to assessing the (virtual) value of these sorts of services, there are ways to do so using indirect information—including stated preference methods such as contingent valuation methods, as well as revealed preference methods such as hedonic methods—and such methodological research is still thriving in environmental economics.
A Study on Urban Air Pollution Improvement in Asia
This study is designed to analyze the cause and the discharge situation of fine particulate matter such as PM2.5 (hereinafter referred to as PM2.5) and to consider air quality improvement policy in the Asian countries where continue the rapid economic growth .
The configuration of PM2.5 are different by the generating process, also, the necessary measures are different. Therefore, generation causes and components of PM2.5 is considered to be different depending on the country or city.
This study analyze the amount of generated and the composition of the Economy, Trade and Industry Structure and PM2.5 in the city and its surrounding area. And with revealing the PM2.5 generation mechanism in the region and other regions, this study proposes a policy to be taken by the government as a countermeasures for PM2.5.
International Cooperation Strategies towards Green Growth
This study is designed to seek possible new way of development cooperation to achieve inclusive and resilient sustainable development through Green Growth/ Green Economy. Green Growth/ Green Economy is expected to shift a paradigm from "economic and social development with paying attention to environmental conservation" to "sustainable economic and social development while enhancing environmental capital and using environmental benefits in effective and sustainable manner". There is concern that environmental burden will exceed planetary boundary and our planet will be unsustainable, if developing countries trace the same development path of advanced countries. Furthermore, poor people may face further difficulties to graduate from poverty due to their vulnerability to change of environment such as Climate Change. Thus, development cooperation should be reconsidered its optimal way along with new development paradigm, and this study is expected to contribute to form a new trend of international development cooperation including Post 2015/Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Research on the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Effect through JICA Projects
This research (1) performs a quantitative assessment of the effect that infrastructure projects in the electricity sector and transportation sector carried out in yen loan programs had in reducing global warming gases, and (2) devises scenarios for Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Action (NAMA) in developing countries, and examines the approach to policy support for climate change measures. The research aims to comprehensively assess the effect that Japan's international cooperation has in reducing global warming gases and to derive policy implications in considering Japan's international cooperation in the environmental sector in the future.
Adaptation and Mitigation of Climate Change in Developing Countries
This study consists of two parts: a study on climate change adaptation measures and a study on climate change mitigation measures. The adaptation part forecasts the impact of climate change on countries in Asia and Africa. It proposes measures for local community adaptation and suggests the direction of assistance offered them by developed countries and international organizations. In this regard, it introduces studies undertaken cooperatively by JICA and the University of Tokyo on impact assessments in the Chao Phraya River Basin in Thailand, and findings from a study of the influence of climate change on large Asian cities currently being conducted by JICA-RI. It also seeks cooperation from European and U.S. institutions that are conducting relevant research on Africa. The mitigation part of the study identifies issues confronting the implementation of low-carbon policies using the results of research on carbon reduction in Asia by Japan's National Institute for Environmental Studies.
Conflicts and Cooperation in Resource Governance: State Control of the Public Domain and the Role of Local People in Cross-National Perspectives
This study assesses the way in which developing countries create different systems for resource and environmental governance in the process of economic development and the changes that take place in the roles of ordinary people during the creation of these systems. In general, an economic expansion is accompanied by an expansion of the public sector. In democratic countries, civil society development also is stimulated and clashes of interests over public spaces are intensified. Resource and environmental governance can be viewed as a meeting place for interests concerned with public spaces. Many conventional studies, however, lack a comparative analytical perspective. They either confine themselves to analysis of forests, water and other individual resources or they focus on only a single country, ignoring more generalized discussion of the impact on society of the resource governance process. Furthermore, many policy-oriented studies are limited to specific projects. Learning from these flaws, this study examines conflicts of interest over the distribution of basic resources that occupy key positions in the public space. In particular, it seeks to investigate how space for participatory development is created from the macro-political and historical-institutional viewpoints. The aim is to provide a blueprint for future aid involvement in environmental cooperation.
Climate Change Impact and Adaptation of Asian Coastal Cities
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) remarks in its fourth assessment report that large cities in Asia's coastal areas are vulnerable to climate change. This study performs quantitative simulation analysis of climate change-related social and economic impacts expected by 2050 by combining climatic, flood engineering and socio-economic analysis. It then makes policy proposals based on consideration of necessary adaptation options. In this joint study with the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank (ADB), JICA's responsibility is to develop an analytical approach and to analyze the situation of Manila. JICA receives the advice of the Integrated Research System for Sustainability Science (IR3S) of the University of Tokyo and the advice of Ibaraki University. For fiscal year 2010, it will focus on compiling a final report and releasing the outcomes of the project.