The world’s population, which is currently 6.5 billion, is forecast to reach 9.5 billion by 2050. In addition to the
population explosion, there is a marked concentration of population in certain regions of the globe. Poverty and hunger
are wreaking misery in developing countries. Meanwhile, even developed countries are beginning to experience
contamination of food and inherited resources, and shortages of clean water and agricultural water, which are essential
for life. Furthermore, the land that produces food and water resources, is itself becoming impoverished and scarce, and
desertification is advancing. Will humanity survive past the 21st century? It is clear to everyone that the biggest
challenge is the securing of sustainable food, water and land resources.
To tackle this crucial issue, Hokkaido University’s Global Institution for Collaborative Research and Education (GI-CoRE) opened a Global Station for Food, Land and Water Resources, where over 20 expert researchers from Japan and over 15 from overseas are engaged in cutting-edge collaborative research. They are researching the latest topics in international collaborative studies in numerous specialist fields including agriculture, fisheries, engineering, health science, anthropology, environmental science, economics and education, to solve problems concerning food, water and land resources.
Moreover, recent climate change is also having a major impact on food, water and land resources around the world.
Not only are there shortages in water and food, but the quality of food is declining and contamination of food is a
growing problem. Distribution needs to be diversified and new food development is required. There are many problems
that cannot be solved by conventional food and ingredient research; collaborative, multidisciplinary research is now
required. The fruit of these studies is also being used in the programs of Hokkaido University’s Graduate School of
Global Food Resources, which was opened in 2017. Our postgraduates work as researchers on our international
collaborative research programs, on a variety of research topics concerning food, water and land resources in both
developed and developing regions of the world.