国際教養学部国際教養学科 伊藤 毅 教授
KASA Sustainability (KASA) was formed in 2015 with the mission of (re)connecting people to nature. The organization’s action is led by the core belief that “humans are not in control of nature.” Informed by ecology, our principles encompass diversity (rather than standardization), collaboration (rather than competition) and reciprocity (rather than getting ahead). For KASA, sustainability can be realized when humans recognize the complexity of human-nature interactions and honor the interdependence of multispecies life-making.
Because KASA is based in Sophia University, sustainability encompasses three pillars central to the missions of higher education: 1) Research and Education; 2) Practice and Infrastructure; Global and 3) Community Engagement. Our initiatives were created at the intersection of those pillars: Campus Farming and Composting, Sustainable Campus Forum and the Environmental Change Workshop.
Campus Farming and Composting began in 2015 to enjoy harvesting organic vegetables, fruits, and flowers and appreciate the importance and difficulty of growing food. It seeks to establish a cycle of recycling resources within the Yotsuya Campus by reusing food waste from dining halls and fallen leaves as compost fertilizer in the garden. We have been collaborating with the Office of Property Management and the dining services providers on campus.
The Sustainable Campus Forum seeks to engage faculty, staff, and students in open discussions about co-creating a more sustainable campus. The first forum was held in 2020 with the theme of “Why Uninterested in the Environment,” and the past few forums have been organized together with the Office of Sophia Sustainability Promotion.
The Environmental Change Workshop is a series of workshops on climate mitigation, agrarian and environmental change, agriculture and food, and sustainability topics. It invites leading scholars to discuss these salient issues. The inaugural talk was given by Prof. Saturnino Borras at the International Institute of Social Studies (ISS) in The Hague. It is supported by the Graduate Program in Global Studies and is part of the Political Ecology Network.
KASA members also engage in empirical and theoretical research by field-based learning and research, work with communities, actively participate in local and international conferences, publish scholarly papers, and organize workshops. The goal of KASA is to inspire social change and continue conversations on making the campus more sustainable, integrating research and action while gaining a like-minded community and a deeper understanding of the interdependence of human-nature relations.