Environmental Policy

Meeting Summary :The 2nd Junior Eco-Club Asia Conference

17-18 January 1998, Shizuoko, Japan

MEETING SUMMARY

  1. The Meeting of the Governmental Officials/NGOs for the 2nd Junior Eco-Club Asia Conference was held on 17 and 18 January 1998 in Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan. The meeting was attended by the national and local government officials as well as NGO representatives who are in charge of promoting children's environmental conservation activities from China, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, and Thailand. The meeting was chaired by Mr. Kazuhiko Takemoto, Senior Advisor to Director-General, Global Environment Department, Environment Agency of Japan.

  2. The objectives of the meeting are to:
    1. exchange information on children's environmental activities,
    2. discuss issues and areas for future cooperation for the promotion of children's environmental activities.

  3. Participants reported environmental education and children's environmental conservation activities in their respective countries.
    • (1)The activities in Japan were introduced. A participant from the Environment Agency reported a variety of policies and measures to encourage all sectors of the society including children to take voluntary and positive actions towards environmental conservation. Its report included the initiatives in establishing the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES), the program on environmental education under the Japan-US Common Agenda, as well as the APEC Symposium on Environmental Education. A participants from the Shizuoka Prefectural Government also introduced their activities regarding the Junior Eco-Club program and their initiatives for children's environmental activities.
    • (2)The participant from China introduced two programs: (a) GLOBE program in China, where twenty schools are monitoring the environmental quality throughout the country, and (b) Trees for Life, a tree planting by school children and correspondence with foreign children by mail. It was also reported that it was often difficult for children to have enough time for the environmental activities due to the heavy study load.
    • (3)A participant from Korean presented the status of environmental education in schools. In the elementary schools, 34 hours in 8 subjects such as "Ethics", "Society" or "Science" are allocated each year for environmental education. In middle and high school, an independent subject such as " Environment" or "Environmental Science" is provided. Korean Greenscouts introduced its activities, such as education for youth, youth leaders and campaigns through mass media. In Korea Youth Journalism School, about 100 middle and high school students reported environmental pollution of rivers and forests, and produced environmental newspaper and slides.
    • (4)A participants from Malaysia introduced their programs to promote children's environmental education. These include environmental awareness camps, scrap book competitions, the "River Watch" program, development of educational materials, talks and seminars. They also carry out the "Wira Alam" project and "Environmental Cadets", which encourage children by giving them titles according to their activities and also by providing uniforms. WWF Malaysia (WWFM) introduced the activities of WWFM/BATA Mobile Education Unit. A van with audio-visual equipment visits both primary and secondary schools throughout Malaysia for an hour-long environmental education program. It also gives mutual support for other on-going WWFM's projects around the country.
    • (5)A participant from Nepal reported the progress of their environmental education program after the First Junior Eco-Club Conference held in 199‚U. He informed the meeting of the enactment of Environmental Law in Nepal in 1997. The public awareness has risen since the first conference, and some activities have been initiated in cities other than Kathmandu, particularly in the western region. It was also announced that the Junior Eco Himal Conference will be held in October 1998 in Kathmandu by some NGOs. It attempts to develop mutual understanding among Nepali and other Asian youths. All the participants were invited to the Conference. A representative of a Nepali NGO, Friend of Trees, introduced its recent activities to encourage children to preserve trees.
    • (6)The participant from Pakistan presented activities undertaken by the youth and students. They included tree planting campaigns, environmental camps, seminars, and workshops. Progress since the first conference as well as future perspective of their activities were reported. The participant informed the meeting about a new act on environment enforced in August 1997 and financial difficulties they experienced in fully implementing environment related programs.
    • (7)The participant from the Philippines explained the Environmental Education Curriculum Framework designed for children from kindergarten to high school as well as for teacher training. Also presented was a guidebook for youth environmental clubs in the Philippines entitled "Awareness to Environmental Action", prepared by the Environmental Management Bureau of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources of the Philippines in cooperation with Japan. These are the two major initiatives that provide the framework for children/youth environmental activities in the Philippines. Other youth environmental programs, particularly those undertaken for Earth Day on April 22, World Environment Day on June 5, Philippines Environment Month in June, and clean-up month in September, among them, were also introduced.
    • (8)The participant from Singapore introduced how environmental education is promoted in schools. The Ministry of the Environment works closely with the Ministry of Education in encouraging schools to set up environmental clubs. Resource materials are produced to guide schools in the set up and maintenance of these clubs. Other clubs like science, art and community clubs also organized environmental activities. At the school level, examples of environmental activities include; newspaper and drink can recycling; talks; exhibitions; essay, art, skit and song competitions; and visits to nature reserves. At the community level, schools participate in beach and coastal clean-ups; seashore life program; 'our waterways' program'; reforestation and recycling projects. At the national level, schools participate in activities organized by the government, NGOs and private sector. These activities include: fashion parade competition, treasure hunts, youth conferences and environmental camps. At the regional and international levels, schools participate in camps organized by neighboring countries and an exchange program with developed countries respectively.
    • (9)The participant from Sri Lanka introduced their program‚" on environment to create awareness among school children. It includes Environmental Pioneer Brigade and Environmental Societies. In the field of environmental education, teacher's guidebooks on environment have been introduced for pre-school, primary and secondary levels in schools. Besides this a number of supplementary readers, leaflets and posters have been published for children. The teacher's guidebook for Pioneer Brigade is being prepared from the fund received from Japan.
    • (10)The participant from Thailand presented about progress made after the 1st Junior Eco-Club Asia Conference in 1996. The Program to build up a network of youth environmental clubs in schools was launched in 1997. Specific activities had been done to exchange experiences, ideas and information among children of the clubs such as seminars, newsletter producing, translation of the Japanese Junior Eco-Club Guidebook into Thai. It is hoped that the program encourages children to take positive action on protecting the environment.

  4. The Meeting identified major issues for promoting children's environmental activities as follows.
    • (1) Institutional Arrangements
      • (i) Legislation and Framework
      • (ii) Organization
      • (iii) Program Development
    • (2) Human Resource Development
      • (i) Instructors
      • (ii) Family Members
    • (3) Financial Resources
      • (i) Funding from Government
      • (ii) Funding from NGOs and Private Sectors
    • (4) Teaching Materials/Tools

    <Future Perspectives and Issues Clarified through Discussions>

  5. Through the discussion of the above mentioned issues, participants suggested the following activities:
    • a) raising awareness of adults and communities
    • b) image building of institutions,
    • c) recognizing the role of media,
    • d) further utilization of the Internet,
    • e) enhancing coordination among government agencies, and between governments, NGOs, universities and research institutes,
    • f) full use of local resources,
    • g) continuing international exchange of information, reports, experiences, and programs,
    • h) promoting training of trainers, youth leaders and club advisors,
    • i) development of innovative approach of fund raising.
    • j) developing "easy to understand" environmental text books or guidebooks for children,
    • k) use of simple tool kits for demonstration to children,
    • l) development of strategies on evaluation of the effectiveness of the programs,
    • m) demonstration of persistent efforts and successful cases of environmental conservation, and
    • n) extending experience of Junior Eco-Clubs in Japan to Asian counterparts.
  6. Recognizing the importance of promoting children's environmental activities in Asia, participants agreed that each country will further develop its activities and promote the activities under international cooperation, in association with other countries and organizations, while exchanging information. Participants hoped that the discussions in this meeting would be a meaningful input to further enhancement of children's environmental activities in Asia. They expressed that it is valuable to continue the dialogues on the subjects which were raised through discussions in this meeting. They welcomed the supports extended by Japan.

  7. Participants expressed their appreciation to the meeting organizers for their efficient management. Participants also expressed sincere thanks to Fuji City and Shizuoka Prefecture for their warm hospitality.
Page top