Global Environment

National Action Plan for Agenda 21 -Chap. 36

[Agenda 21] National Action Plan for Agenda 21


A) Reorienting Education Towards Sustainable Development

In order to solve present environmental problems, including those of the global environment, with the independent and positive involvement of the general public and businesses, it is essential to spur changes in the socio-economic system.

In order to promote such voluntary involvement by the general public and businesses, it is necessary to promote life-long environmental education and environment-related learning in regions, at home, school, the workplace, and amidst abundant nature, so that people can obtain a basic knowledge of relations between human beings and the environment. With this deepened understanding of the environment, people will be encouraged to take voluntary action for environmental conservation.Taking the above into account, Japan attaches importance to the implementation of the following activities:

Japan will develop an information base that is conductive to the environmental education of the general public, and will promote the provision of information through various kinds of media. It will also foster human resources for the promotion of environmental conservation activities and will develop facilities for environmental learning, etc. Also, in order to improve efforts for environmental education by local authorities, for which regional environmental protection funds are used, Japan will improve the network between local authorities, and promote model environmental education businesses in cities, towns and villages.
As regards environmental and nature education through direct contact with the blessings of nature, Japan will improve facilities for nature-related education in easily accessible natural settings, and improve facilities allowing people to visit and experience beautiful nature in national parks and quasi national parks. Japan will improve the fostering of specialists and volunteers for the interpretation of nature, as well as systems for managing and operating interpretation activities.
As regards environmental education at schools, the school curriculum has been prepared for each stage of development of children. Japan has made improvements in the contents of such curriculum by revising the Course of Study in March 1989, and it will further promote such activities as drafting and distributing teaching materials and holding environmental education symposiums and research conferences for improving the skills of teachers.
In addition to improving the surveys and research activities which are necessary for the development of effective methods of environmental education, Japan will make efforts to improve the various kinds of information which contribute to environmental education and environment-related learning, including the white paper on the environment.
Furthermore, as regards environmental education activities by non-governmental organizations (NGOs), Japan will continue to provide assistance in order to assure the general public of opportunities to learn a variety of things about the environment.

36-B) Increasing Public Awareness

In order to deepen understanding of the environment among the general public and businesses, in addition to promoting environmental education and environment-related learning, it is also essential to increase awareness among the various sectors through a variety of means, including public relations activities.

Taking the above into account, Japan attaches importance to the implementation of the following activities:

Japan is actively developing the provision of information, and working to increase public awareness utilizing various kinds of media, from television, video and pamphlets to posters and commemorative stamps. Japan is also encouraging the general public to to take part in various kinds of events, including environment month, campaigns to contact with nature, and the commendation of people who have performed meritorious deeds concerning environmental conservation. Japan will also study measures for the promotion, both in Japan and abroad, of eco-tourism, the purpose of which is to get people in contact with nature while keeping the resulting effect on the environment at a minimum.Japan will improve the network among local authorities and further improve the training of local authorities, in order to enhance the work conducted in regions.
With June 5 (World Environment Day) having been designated as the "Environment Day" in accordance with the Basic Environment Law, the national government and local authorities will deepen the concern and understanding for environmental conservation among a wide range of the general public and businesses. It will also make efforts to conduct work that is suitable to the purpose of the Environment Day, thereby increasing the desire of people to positively conduct activities for environmental conservation.
In order to encourage a lifestyle by which resource and energy conservation can be realized, Japan will further promote national conservation campaigns in regions throughout the country, mostly during Energy Conservation Month and Recycling Month. The campaigns will include the holding of essay, poster and slogan contests, lectures, symposiums, training sessions, and courses to encourage environmental awareness among consumers, as well as the production and distribution of various kinds of pamphlets for enlightening public awareness regarding the conservation of resources and energy.

36-C) Promoting Training

In order to effectively promote measures for environmental conservation, it is necessary to improve and strengthen systems to carry out these measures by continuously fostering human resources to fulfill the role of such promotion in a well-planned manner.

Taking the above into account, Japan attaches importance to the implementation of the following activities:

In addition to promoting the enhancement of the quality of these people by conducting training in the areas of administration and technology for authorities on national and local levels, Japan will promote the improvement and strengthening of systems for international cooperation. These efforts will include such activities as fostering people to be trainers from developing countries, as well as people to be dispatched to developing countries to conduct cooperation activities, in order to cope with the recently increasing need for international cooperation in the field of environmental conservation.
In order to stimulate voluntary activities among the general public for environmental conservation, the national government, local authorities and relevant NGOs will cooperate with one another to conduct the training of instructors to lead such activities among the general public. Also, in order to promote activities for the interpretation of nature, Japan will establish a system for fostering volunteers for such activities, and a system to foster instructors who have specialized knowledge and technological ability regarding activities for interpreting nature.

Ministry of the Environment Government of Japan