The world is now gearing toward the realization of sustainable societies. Over the past few years, the international community has adopted several historic agreements such as the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by the UN General Assembly and the Paris Agreement at UNFCCC COP21 in Paris. In this regard, it is important to drive the major steps taken by national and regional stakeholders including governments, the private sector, citizens, and NGOs in meeting the global commitments, especially those related to climate change, waste management, biodiversity, environmental risks, and the well-being of society in general. Based on this situation, the National Institute for Environmental Studies (NIES) is undertaking a broad range of environmental research toward the realization of sustainable societies in an interdisciplinary and comprehensive manner. In FY 2016, NIES established five issue-oriented research programs—the Low-Carbon Research Program, Sustainable Material Cycles Research Program, Harmonization with Nature Research Program, Research Program on Health and Environmental Safety, and Environment-Economy-Society Integration Research Program—and will pursue these programs in an integrated manner that transcends individual fields. NIES has also established Fukushima Branch, where it is conducting the Environmental Emergency Research Program.

In order to disseminate the outcomes of these research activities at NIES as well as to bridge the gaps between science and policy, NIES initiated the Forum on Sustainable Future in Asia in collaboration with The University of Tokyo and the Asian Institute of Technology in 2016. The Second International Forum on Sustainable Future in Asia will be held from January 26-28, 2017, at Kampus Sudirman, Universitas Udayana, Denpasar, Indonesia. The forum will focus on five key areas for the realization of sustainable societies in Asia: Environmental Monitoring, Environmental Risks and Health, Biodiversity, Waste Management and Recycling, and Synergizing Adaptation and Mitigation Actions. The participants will include specialists from academia, business circles, and central/local governments in the Asia region.