The 18th Kyoto University International Symposium

Kyoto University

International Symposium

Partnering Asian Academics toward Human Security Development

Symposium Concept

  • This page includes you with the detailed concepts of each session. Regarding the concept of the symposium, please visit Top Page.

Session A

Session A: Infectious Diseases
  • Most human pathogens are found in the environment outside of a human body. Once the pathogen enters into a human body it attempts to initiate propagation and, if successful, propagated pathogens are then excreted by humans back into the environment, thus extending and expanding the pathogen’s life cycle. The emergence and spread of infectious diseases are due to the proliferation of a particular pathogen after it wins the battle between the pathogen and humans. The emergence of a particular infectious disease is therefore the sign of a pathogen’s victory over human immunity, while the spread of a particular infectious disease, which poses a problem for various human activities, must be prevented. Medical science contributes mainly to prevention of the former and public health to that of the latter. Application of the human security concept to preventing infectious disease necessarily entails a holistic approach. For example, securing food and water resources prevents enteric infections; securing energy sources ensures a comfortable human life in which the environment can be protected against disease-transmitting animals and insects and infectious diseases. This symposium deals with the emergence and spread of food-borne and mosquito-borne infectious diseases that spread across international borders in Asia and addresses the significance of interventions against these infectious diseases, including control of environmental factors and various human activities at the national, regional or international levels. Results of the studies on these subjects obtained through collaboration between Kyoto University and universities in some ASEAN countries and extension of this research network will be presented with a hope to stimulate some discussion on health care systems adequate for these infectious diseases.

Session B

Session B: Disaster Prevention
  • A disaster occurs when the spatial distribution of a natural hazard, such as an earthquake or a flood, overlaps with that of a population and assets. In recent years, human casualties and economic losses caused by natural disasters in Asia have been increasing, an indication that the population and economic assets of the area are becoming concentrated in disaster-prone areas. To create a city that is more resilient against disasters, it is necessary to formulate an integrated disaster risk management policy. The integration of risk management procedures is therefore crucial to addressing disaster prevention for Asian megacities. How to integrate our knowledge and wisdom in a practical and adaptive form, share it with others and bring it to fruition in the context of ongoing urban development is an important research problem. The biggest aims and issues in this field of research are the application to real issues of knowledge accumulated by researchers over the years, the establishment of a methodology to fill the gap between knowledge and practice, and the promotion and development of research that is oriented towards solving problems. This panel will discuss human security engineering as a component of implementation science and provide an integrated and interdisciplinary framework for the strategic management of policies for disaster prevention, recovery, construction and maintenance of urban infrastructures in Asian megacities.

Session C

Session C: Food and Water
  • Food security is significant for human security and as such, human societies have been seeking to create stable food production systems throughout history. Water is also indispensable for our daily life and food production systems. But food production is sometimes realized at the sacrifice of the environment, as typified by recent deforestation trends. Agricultural modernization and intensification further increase the environmental load, thereby threatening our future subsistence, while water resources are endangered due to global warming. This session will discuss the present problems concerning food and water and their possible solutions from the viewpoints of both policy makers and local people.

Session D

Session D: Energy and Environment
  • Although use of modern energy is essential to satisfy many basic human needs, nearly 160 million people live without electricity in Southeast Asia. Recognizing the importance of remedying this situation, many programs for electrification have been implemented. Here, the development of decentralized electricity networks can play a key role. In order to construct such systems, the cost-effective use of renewable energy sources such as hydro, solar, wind, wave, geothermal, biomass power must be considered to prevent extensive environmental degradation in the region. Multidisciplinary research ranging from the social sciences to engineering is vital to laying the groundwork for large-scale electrification. Furthermore, the efficient use of all forms of energy is also an imperative. For example, sharing information on the design of efficient stoves can potentially reduce the wood or charcoal requirement and improve environmental and health conditions. The socio-economic study of these modernization efforts in rural areas must also be taken into account. Collaborative research involving other major fields of human security development such as preventing disasters, securing food and water resources, providing adequate health care and dealing with infectious diseases is necessary from the start to arrive at preemptive solutions. Energy science can contribute not only to achieving a comfortable life, but realizing overall human security. This session discusses how minimum energy distribution can promote a paradigm shift in the concept of human security development while stressing the importance of capacity-building in the region.


International Affairs Division
Kyoto University

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