September 22, 2004
The cabinet council is to adopt a Fundamental Policy for Enhancing Motivation on Environmental Conservation and Promoting Environmental Education based on the Law for Enhancing Motivation on Environmental Conservation and Promoting Environmental Education on September 24, 2004.
The Law for Enhancing Motivation on Environmental Conservation and Promoting Environmental Education (hereinafter referred to as the "Law") came into effect in July 2003. The Article 7-1 of the Law stipulates formulation of a "Fundamental Policy for Enhancing Motivation on Environmental Conservation and Promoting Environmental Education" (hereinafter referred to as the "Fundamental Policy"). The ultimate goal of this Fundamental Policy is to realize a sustainable society by increasing awareness of various stakeholders, such as the general public, NPOs, business entities, so that they would voluntarily promote the environmental conservation. To achieve this, various measures are formulated to create circumstances supporting stakeholders and to promote environmental education. It is highly expected to see more effective actions taken by every stakeholder for environmental conservation and environmental education, by foundation building for promotion of environmental education by the government based on the Fundamental Policy.
With the enforcement of the registration system of human resources certification on October 1, 2004, this Law will be implemented in full. For the enforcement, ordinances will be promulgated from the competent ministries, i.e., Ministry of the Environment (MoE), Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT), Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF), Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI), and Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport (MLIT), by the end of September 30, 2004.
According to the Law, MoE together with MEXT drafted a Fundamental Policy for the cabinet approval. MAFF, METI, and MLIT jointly prepared any parts under the jurisdiction of those ministries.
In drafting the Fundamental Policy, the law stipulates that "public opinion must be heard." To comply with this stipulation, a committee was established on April 14, 2004 to discuss the matter concerned and to hear the wide range of opinions. The committee held hearings from teachers, NPOs, enterprises, etc. in addition to the opinion collection from the general public between May 14 and May 28, 2004. Public comments on a draft Fundamental Policy Outline were sought from August 4 to August 23 during which 40 individuals and organizations in total submitted their comments. The MoE held meetings including those held at the Global Environmental Partnership Plaza after the establishment of the Law to help better understanding of the law and exchange views on basic policy for the general public.
<Outline of the Fundamental Policy>
|1.||Basics for enhancing motivation on environmental conservation and promoting environmental education|
|-||Concept of a sustainable society realized by voluntary actions and environmental education.|
|-||Direction for the measures related to supporting voluntary action by parties involved.|
|-||Ideal image of people who are fostered by environmental education.|
2. Basics of measures
|-||Basic concept for measures, such as cooperation with citizens and private organizations, and respecting initiatives of private sector.|
|-||Methodology for promoting environmental education including emphasizing on consecutive and practical learning.|
Concrete policy measures to be taken by the Government are stipulated for the following items.
|a.||Environmental education within a wide range of opportunities including at school, community, and society.|
|b.||Enhancing motivation for environmental conservation and education at workplaces.|
|c.||Human resources development, human resources ability certification and registration, and provision of information.|
|d.||Establishing organs/bases to function as a center.|
|e.||Supporting system for the general public, private organizations, and business entities, etc. by offering estates and other things.|
|f.||Informing how stakeholders should be linked and collaborate.|
|g.||Positive disclosure of information.|
3. Other important factors
Points to be taken into account when the Government implements measures are:
|(i)||Connection and cooperation between parties involved|
|(ii)||Examining how the law is actually enforced, and to prepare for revision|