Japan: Environmental activity for next generation at the Ogasawara Islands - a UNESCO World Heritage Site
The "World Heritage Eco Learning Program" started in Japan this year. Over the course of the year, Panasonic will host World Heritage educational activities in six different countries. This report introduces one such activity at the Ogasawara Islands south of Tokyo!
Between June 26 (Thursday) and 28 (Saturday), Panasonic hosted an "Environmental activity for the next generation at the Ogasawara Islands - a UNESCO World Heritage Site". The particular island chosen for the event was Chichi-jima. In collaboration with "Kids Witness News", a video production support program also provided by Panasonic, the activity included a workshop where the children of Ogasawara could record video to send to people all round the world and help protect their World Heritage Site. A total of 43 pupils from Ogasawara Elementary School were joined at the activity by 12 children from the Ogasawara Lions Club, which is taking part in the Kids Witness News Initiative.
On June 26 (Thursday), a ceremony was held to introduce the staff and 12 children from the Ogasawara Lions Club, who will take part in the "Kids Witness News (KWN)" video production support program, to the elementary school children. Ide, the teacher in charge, gave a welcome address. A discussion was then held as to what kind of video to produce during the workshop on June 28, and what to show to the pupils in Vietnam during the video summit.
June 27 (Friday) was a day for UNESCO World Heritage environmental education. The staff travelled to Ogasawara Elementary School, where they were met by 43 fifth- and sixth-year pupils in the library. The day began with a talk from Takahashi of Panasonic, who spoke about World Heritage and introduced activities being promoted by children in various different countries to protect their heritage sites in the form of a quiz.
This was then followed by a special lecture by Kazuo Horikoshi, Director of the Institute of Boninology (NPO). He gave an easy-to-understand explanation of how the plants and animals that live on the Ogasawara Islands crossed the sea to reach there in the first place.
After the lecture, the participants went outside into the school gardens to conduct fieldwork using Panasonic's HC-BKK1 "Boken-kun" educational digital video cameras. They split into groups to experience filming video on two different themes - "Typical Ogasawara scenery" and "Good things about Ogasawara". Everyone enjoyed themselves greatly.
June 28 (Saturday) featured the Kids Witness News (KWN) workshop during the morning. The children divided themselves up into various roles to record the videos - such as cameramen, directors, voiceover, and audio recording. Finally the filming began. Although they seemed nervous at first, they soon found their smiles again. Were they able to say everything they planned to say in front of the camera?
The afternoon allowed the children to engage with other children in Vietnam via a smart television. They enjoyed getting to know each other better with quizzes, dances, and songs. One quiz question from Ogasawara was "Do you like Japan?" - to which every single Vietnamese child answered "I love Japan!"
Panasonic Corporation signed a strategic partnership contract with the UNESCO World Heritage Center on June 3, 2011 with the aim of helping conserve UNESCO World Heritage and promoting sustainable growth through environmental education for the next generation. As part of our related initiatives, we are promoting environmental education for the next generation at World Heritage Sites around the world, and have already conducted such activities at 13 different countries.