Research Interchange Objective

Please describe the objective you hope to achieve during the interchange period. This will be the basis of your implementation plan.

In recent years, resource development has rapidly progressed in various African countries by advanced and emerging nations. But at the same time, this has led to the creation of environment pollution at an unprecedented pace. Regarding this accelerated output of environmental pollution in African countries, there is very little data, and current conditions are not well understood. The fact that toxicological surveillance of the ecosystem, wildlife, and humans has not been carried out is particularly problematic, and is one reason for the delay in the development of countermeasures. According to our preliminary survey, environment pollution has already deteriorated to the level that threatens the food safety of several nations, and chemical hazard due to environmental pollution is an urgent issue faced by many nations. Over the past six years, an international symposium has been held under the title, “International Toxicology Symposium in Africa,” which has led to the formation of a network for the survey and study of environmental pollution in Africa. Through this symposium, toxicology researchers from various countries have been able to exchange opinions, and at the last symposium, researchers and students from more than 10 nations participated. This symposium has served as a bottom-up engine for toxicology in research institutes in Africa. In addition, data, as the black box of environmental research, has been collected through the joint surveillance by African nations, and foundational data of environmental toxicology has been established. A consortium to continue these activities in 2014 was constructed, but strong opinions regarding the activities of this consortium were voiced, especially for the continuation of the research network and contributions toward further human resource development. There is a strong demand from African countries for capacity building, and support for young researchers and student training has been requested by Japan. Also, development of human resources with international management capability and leadership from the Japan side, which has been pointed out by Europe and the U.S. as a weak point of Japan, is expected to improve by responding to actual conditions regarding chemical hazard in Africa. Consequently, the purpose of this project is to establish the Chemical Hazard Commission for Africa (CHCA) which seeks to resolve chemical hazard issues by focusing on the human resource development of young researchers and graduate students, in addition to the implementation of surveillance research.