SATO YAMA UMI Project: Environmental Education and Public Awareness on Biodiversity Conservation in Asia Pacific Region
Lead organization: Japan Environmental Education Forum (JEEF)
Participating organizations (IPSI members): Birdlife International (BL), Conservation International (CI), Royal Society for Protection of Nature (Bhutan)
Other participating organizations (non-IPSI members): Viet Nature (Vietnam), Mlup Baitong (Cambodia)
Biodiversity is being lost at rate that far exceeds the “planetary boundary” (Rockstrom, et al. 2009). Human capacity of current and future generations to address this issue must be enhanced. Conservation organizations have a potential to achieve much more in collaboration, instead of competition.
About 40% of world’s Biodiversity Hotspots are located within Asia-Pacific region. Five of the top ten countries in terms of the number of threatened bird species and seven of the worst ten countries in terms of the extinction rate of birds are found in Asia. The extinction rate of birds in the past 700 years is higher in the Pacific region than any other regions in the world. On the hand, more than three in every five people in the world are living in Asia-Pacific region, with rapidly expanding economy. This is some of the facts that demonstrate that the conserving the biodiversity and transforming the society for sustainable development in Asia-Pacific region is key to the achievement of the Aichi Biodiversity Targets and United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
To realize the needed changes, people in the region need to recognize the importance of their nature and culture, and use their understanding to change their attitudes and behaviors, which will eventually lead to the change in the society. To achieve such a societal change, actions in sectors other than the traditional conservation community is critical. Mainstreaming is the key, as has been discussed in past two COPs to the CBD.
The quest of sustainable development—society underpinned by natural capital; the society that recognizes that it is underpinned by biodiversity—squarely fit with the Satoyama Initiative, which works towards the society in harmony with nature. Three IPSI member organizations collaborated to develop a capacity building program for mainstreaming of biodiversity and generation of human resources for sustainable development.
Under the slogan “Sending Our Great Nature and Culture to the Future” and in line with the Satoyama Initiative, we will develop and widely disseminate environmental education and public awareness tools, as well as human resources, coupled with capacity building in site-based activities in six countries, for advancing current and future conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity in the Asia and Pacific region.
There are three groups of activities that are inter-related.
Component 1: Development of materials for environmental education and capacity building at the field projects in six countries in Asia-Pacific
- Environmental education curriculum, instruction materials, student workbook;
- Awareness-raising materials covering the local nature and culture.
- Educational and promotional videos
- Facilitating actions on the ground
Component 2: Improving the knowledge and skills of youth leaders on biodiversity conservation
- Intensive training program for urban youth in Tokyo and Singapore on concepts and tools
- Internship at field projects from Component 1 for practical application
Component 3: Communication to broader audience
- A website dedicated to this project
- Collaboration with relevant biodiversity and sustainable development processes, including the IPSI
- International symposium to showcase findings and products from the project
- Conservation and educational benefits to 10,000 people on sites
- Deepened understanding on sustainable development in urban youth who will lead the next generation
- Outreach throughout Asia-Pacific and beyond through initiating and facilitating interaction among the communities of the project sites, urban-rural exchange.
Japan Environmental Education Forum (JEEF), Birdlife International (BL) and Conservation International (CI), based in Tokyo, Japan, will jointly implement this project. They will work with local offices or partners in the six countries under Component 1. Universities will be involved in the development of Component 2.
Relevance to the IPSI Strategy and IPSI Plan of Action
This project will address priority actions under Objective 1 of IPSI Plan of Action:
- Promote mechanisms for effective knowledge sharing, utilizing the full range of communication materials from organizations working with SEPLS -> Information collected in the field will be used to generate knowledge products, such as educational guidebook and videos.
- Exchange knowledge and lessons learned, and feed synthesis into relevant policy discussions -> Exchange of knowledge and lessons learned will take place in Component 2 and 3.
- Share information and material on IPSI and the Satoyama Initiative at relevant meetings and other events -> The international workshop under Component 3 can be used as a platform to discuss the issues relevant to the Satoyama Initiative. We will also seek to make sure of the IPSI events to disseminate the findings from this project.
The project is funded by Keidanren Nature Conservation Fund (KNCF).
Grant amount: JPY150,000,000 (approximately USD1.3 million)
Project Period: July 2017 – March 2020
Monitoring and Reporting
The progress will be reported bi-annually to the donor, Keidanren Nature Conservation Fund, and summary update will be provided to the Steering Committee using Annex 1 annually.