CSEAS and GSA strengthens collaboration with Forest Research Institute Malaysia (FRIM)

Kyoto University’s Center for Southeast Asian Studies (CSEAS) and Graduate School of Agriculture (GSA) have signed a memorandum of understanding with the Malaysian Forestry Research and Development Board (MFRDB), which governs the Forest Research Institute Malaysia (FRIM), to further improve their decades-long collaborative studies on forestry and forest products.

With this official partnership in place, the institutions will seek to do the following: assess the water and nutrient cycles in tropical forests and forest management-caused impacts on local communities;expand the frontiers of forest ecology and hydrology; and foster academic exchanges and interaction between both institutes.

The MoU, effective as of July 3, 2014, was signed at a ceremony held at FRIM and marks a significant milestone in their long-lasting collaboration. Its starting point can be traced back to 1970, when the International Biological Program (IBP) was underway. FRIM, Osaka City University and Kyoto University worked together to clarify tropical rainforest productivity in Southeast Asia through a series of field work projects at the Pasoh Forest Reserve in Malaysia, as part of the IBP efforts. Dr. Isamu Yamada, a professor emeritus in CSEAS, started the collaboration with FRIM in 1969, and now, Dr. Masayuki Itoh is conducting research on greenhouse gas dynamics in Pasoh.

Professor Tani (GSA) said that “I will never forget the substantial contributions from FRIM,” in his address speech and expressed his profound gratitude for every single collaborator and colleague in all joint efforts to date. He also mentioned that “Besides these eco- hydrological studies, we should take a more multi-disciplinary approach, including social sciences on environmental issues because they are certainly derived from ever increasing human activity.” In his closing remarks he stressed the need to assemble knowledge and assets from each of FRIM, GSA and CSEAS. “That is exactly why this agreement is finally
concluded among these particular institutions, and I am henceexhilarated and hopeful.”

The MoU was signed by FRIM Director General Dato’ Dr Abd Latif Mohmod,GSA Dean Hisashi Miyagawa, and CSEAS Director Yasuyuki Kono, in the presence of FRIM Ecohydrology Programme Head Dr Siti Aisah Shamsuddin, Professor Tani, and CSEAS Deputy Director Kozo Matsubayashi.


From left: FRIM Technical Services Division Director Dr Khali Aziz Hamzah, Ecohydrology Programme Head Dr Siti Aisah Shamsuddin, Forestry and Environment Division Director Dr Ismail Harun, Director General Abd Latif Mohmod, GSA Professor Tani, Professor Kaoru Kitajima; (foreground) Assistant Professor Yoshiko Kosugi, JSPS Postdoctoral Fellow Mai Kamakura, FRIM Eco-hydrology Programme Research Officer Marryanna Lion; (background) CSEAS Assistant Professor Masayuki Itoh, GSA Postdoctoral Fellow Motonori Okumura, FFPRI Principal Investigator Satoru Takanashi and Team Leader Shoji Noguchi

ITOH, Masayuki


MOU: Memoranda of Understanding »