A Canadian researcher in NIES - Tsukuba
Maureen Hill

I am very pleased to have the opportunity to be living in Japan and working with Dr. Yamagata on climate change issues. I am a Canadian citizen, and live in Calgary, Alberta in western Canada. For those who haven't heard of it, Calgary was the location of the 1988 Winter Olympics. It is also one hour from Banff National Park, which is a popular destination for both Canadian and Japanese tourists. Canada is a geographically and culturally diverse country, with a population just over 30 million. It is also the world's second-largest country, including ten provinces, three territories, and six time zones.

I graduated from the University of Calgary in 1994 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Ecology. After much deliberation, I decided that I did not wish to pursue a traditional M.Sc. in Ecology. Instead, I graduated with a Masters of Environmental Design (Environmental Science) in 1999. My thesis was entitled "Greenhouse Gas Offsets: a Case Study in the Sierra Gorda Biosphere Reserve, Mexico". My research explored the challenges and incentives of participation in Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) land use, land use change and forestry projects that sequester carbon from the atmosphere. The Sierra Gorda Biosphere Reserve in East Central Mexico was used to identify the incentives and barriers to development and successful implementation of CDM projects from the host country perspective, and to examine the co-benefits in addition to carbon sequestration.

My research at the CGER focuses on using my previous knowledge of Latin American CDM projects and compares the challenges and benefits of these projects with CDM in Asia. I will be conducting a comparison of the institutional capacity in the regions, potential criteria for CDM forestry projects, regional concerns, and preferred project types. Examples will be drawn from previous research in Mexico, as well as from information on CDM in Costa Rica, Indonesia, and Thailand.

In Canada, I have a Professional Biologist designation, and work as an environmental consultant with Komex International Ltd., an environmental and engineering consulting firm, primarily on domestic and international environmental assessments (http://www.komex.com).

Since arriving in Japan, I have visited Nikko with my colleagues, and Tokyo. They were both very enjoyable, although the crowds in Tokyo were a little overwhelming. I look forward to touring more of Japan when I can, and would welcome any suggestions on interesting places to visit. In Tsukuba, I have experienced karaoke with my gracious coworkers, sampled many new culinary delights, and taken language lessons in hopes of learning Japanese. The bike paths and green space make Tsukuba a beautiful city.

Maureen Hill