Value-Added Component

In addition to its biological importance to the world scientific community and its contributions to education and human resources, this proposal includes a unique value-added component, a human dimension that goes beyond the typical survey or inventory request. The southern Kuril Islands have been the focus of intense dispute between the governments of Russia and Japan since the close of World War II. These differences have severely impaired communication and trust between the two nations, not only among their politicians but among scientists and educators as well. Active collaboration on "disputed territory" will foster greater understanding among Russians, Japanese, and Americans, and the enthusiastic media attention that we are sure to receive will send an international message of mutual cooperation.

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