Visiting researchers from universities and other research institutions in remote cities have produced diverse knowledge contributing to solutions for local environmental problems. However, they often do not share cultural and traditional contexts in relation to natural environments, local-specific problems, and responsibility for the future of local communities. They usually maintain little connection with local communities once their field studies are over. It is also likely that visiting researchers tend to focus on focused knowledge with little applicability in solving local-specific problems.
On the other hand, researchers at residential research institutions, acting as both scientists and local residents, facilitate the integration of scientific knowledge production into traditional knowledge, skills and value systems inherent to each locality. At the same time, they share responsibility for the future of communities, have pride and attachment for them, and are involved in decision-making processes as local community stakeholders. They are the perfect fit for consistently monitoring the natural environment and ecosystem services from the long-term perspective. However, residential research institutions alone cannot cope with all problems in many different research fields. Therefore, it is of the utmost importance for them to collaborate with visiting researchers from diverse fields in a complementary manner.
Diverse local community stakeholders also conduct community-based scientific research on environmental issues. This type of research effort has become increasingly important as a model of knowledge production closely reflecting the local contexts of environmental problems and also as a research style allowing long-term monitoring. Yet it is difficult for people involved in such community-driven research to obtain required expertise to design and maintain the processes of adaptive management for environment conservation and sustainable development.
We can expect the science community to become truly solution-oriented only when residential research institutions, visiting researchers and local stakeholders learn from and interact with each other, and produce knowledge applicable to community-based solutions of environmental issues.