What is TIGER?

It is an international comparative research project targeting policy decision-making and public participation on energy, chemicals and water issues

1. Research Objective and Background

 Nuclear power and energy matters are typically the source of numerous frictions between science/technology and society. That sort of problem is the reason why decision-making instruments in the field of science and technology policies are an urgent agenda. Despite the fact that cutting-edge mechanisms and good practices such as consensus building conferences are already in place, they are either on a trial stage or limited to a region or to a certain area of science. Furthermore, it is difficult to state that such issue has an international-wide common ground of understanding.

 The Aarhus Convention, adopted in 1998, aims at securing the environmental rights and the promotion of environmental democracy by guaranteeing the “Green Access” basic rights: access to information, public participation in decision-making and access to justice in environmental matters. Despite the fact there is a relatively standardized legal framework on e.g. environmental assessment for issuing a permit, on the other hand, as for energy strategy and environmental planning issues, for example, the public participation instruments vary considerably according to the country. We could also identify abundant non-governmental institutions and non-official initiatives, as well as that issues such as ensuring democratic legitimacy and effectiveness are also a major concern. Those issues prove the necessity of a systematic international collaborative research on such public participation issues.

 This research will focus on the environmental policies related to science and technology, from the perspective of Law, Sustainability Science and Technological Society Theory, being conducted in coordination with universities from Asia, Europe, South America and the United States. By proposing a fundamental rationale on social decision-making, we aim at contributing to the promotion of the science and technology democratization and to the construction of a sustainable society.

2. Our Logo: the Tiger

 The logo of our project is the Tiger, one of the endangered species in Asia. It is also an acronym standing for “Technology International Green access Environmental Rights”, which summarizes this research project. According to a traditional Japanese maxim, a tiger goes back and forth 1000Ri (cir. 400km) on the same day. In this sense, it also symbolizes both the dynamism of this research and Asia, where Osaka University is located.