Sophia University Research Project Selected for SATREPS, Constructing an Oasis Model for Sustainable Water and Land Use

Sophia University is the only private university in Japan whose research project has been selected for this program for FY2023.

Prof. Erina IWASAKI’s proposal for sustainable water and land use to prevent salt accumulation in Western Desert oasis lands in Egypt has been acclaimed for its unique combination of the humanities and the natural sciences.

Sophia University is proud to announce that a research project led by one of its professors was provisionally* selected for implementation by The Science and Technology Research Partnership for Sustainable Development (SATREPS) for FY 2023. SATREPS is an initiative by the Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST). Out of the 61 proposals for FY2023, 10 were selected, and the only private university among these was Sophia University (President: Yoshiaki Terumichi; located in Chiyoda Ward, Tokyo).

The theme of the selected research project is “Securing the Sustainability of Oasis Societies Associated with Water and Land Use in the Western Desert of Egypt”. The principal investigator on this research project is Prof. Erina IWASAKI of Department of French Studies, Faculty of Foreign Studies, Sophia University. She is an expert in the North African socio-economy, with 15 years of experience in the region. Prof. IWASAKI leads a research team comprising social scientists and natural scientists, to apply a unique interdisciplinary humanities + sciences approach to resolving the urgent issue surrounding the use of water resources in Egypt. Conducted in close collaboration with Egyptian researchers and institutions (National Authority for Remote Sensing and Space Sciences, New Valley University) and local residents of Western Desert oases, this research will give rise to a new body of knowledge on preventing the extent of salt damage in irrigated farmlands, and on sustainable land use.

SATREPS is a program under the Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST) and the Japan Agency for Medical Research and Development (AMED). Both agencies work closely with the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) to fund research projects that tackle global issues and facilitate partnerships between researchers in Japan and those in developing countries. SATREPS covers four main research areas: environment/energy; bioresources; disaster prevention and mitigation; and infectious disease control. In these areas, international research teams tackle key issues, thus creating new knowledge and technologies that are based on local needs and can be implemented in existing societies. The shared end-goal of all projects is sustainable development.

*Provisional selection: The stage before the formal selection. In the provisional stage, Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs works with the government in the partner country towards signing a Collaborative Research Agreement (CRA). After the CRA is signed, JICA conducts practical discussions with other related organizations in the partner country. When an agreement is reached on the implementation of technical cooperation, the project will officially begin.

Erina IWASAKI Professor

Sophia University

For Others, With Others