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Ebola Outbreak Threatens Food Crisis in West Africa

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A year since Typhoon Haiyan

Civil society across the world declares Nov. 8 International Day for Climate-Affected Communities 

Manila, Nov. 8, 2014 – Exactly a year since Typhoon Haiyan swept through central Philippines, a group of civil society organizations remembers the victims and survivors of one of the strongest and most fatal tropical cyclones ever recorded and declares Nov. 8 as International Day for Climate-Affected Communities.

“In commemoration of the first year of Typhoon Haiyan and to honor all the victims of the global climate crisis, we declare this day, Nov. 8, as International Day for Climate-Affected Communities as we call on all climate-impacted communities and their organizations to unite in demanding justice and system change,” the group said in a unity statement endorsed by over a hundred civil society organizations from more than 30 countries.

Government neglect

A year since Typhoon Haiyan struck the Philippines, the government still has not sufficiently reached hundreds of thousands of affected families, according to People Surge, an alliance of Typhoon Haiyan survivors.

“The government not only failed to respond to the pressing call for immediate relief of Typhoon Haiyan survivors and the rehabilitation of their communities and livelihood. It also failed to address the underlying roots of people’s vulnerability to calamities, including the grotesque inequities, poverty, lack of access to social services and protection, and maldevelopment,” said Dr. Efleda Kempis-Bautista of People Surge.

Bautista railed against the “No Build Zone” policy of the government that prohibits fishermen and other residents in the Visayas areas from returning to their fishing villages purportedly to prevent the same disasters in case of storm surges.

“It is infuriating that President Aquino feeds on the miseries of the victims and survivors to generate profits and government favor. Through the “No Build Zone” policy, he divided Haiyan-hit areas like a pie among big investors and foreign and local corporations,” Bautista said.

Haiyan not an isolated case

The statement emphasized that Typhoon Haiyan is a snapshot of the global climate injustice brought about by the lopsided use of the world’s shared resources by a powerful global elite.

It revealed that annually, disasters result in over 60,000 deaths, mainly in underdeveloped countries, while direct economic losses were more than double in low-income countries compared to high-income countries.

“Almost everyone recognizes the reality of climate change and the challenges it poses to the wellbeing of the planet. But there is little acknowledgement of the fact that catastrophes like Typhoon Haiyan is first and foremost the consequence of a global economic system rooted in the lopsided use by a powerful global elite of the world’s common resources and the disempowerment and dispossession of the majority of the world’s people.

“From the indigenous peoples of the sinking Carteret Islands, to the debt-burdened farmers of flooded villages of South Asian regions, to the starving rural peoples of drought-stricken countries of Africa, the people of the global South are disproportionately bearing the hardest impacts of climate change despite having no responsibility for it,” said Jiten Yumnam of the Center for Research and Advocacy Manipur (CRAM).

A Global Surge for Climate Justice

The statement challenged governments and leaders to come up with a new framework and ambitious goals by 2015 to stop the climate crisis, protect the poor and vulnerable, make the polluters pay, and bring reparation to all victims of the climate crisis. It particularly called on governments of developed countries to take the lead, given their historical responsibility, in reducing carbon emissions and fulfilling their commitments on strengthening the capacity of developing countries and financing their transition to sustainable and clean technologies.

“In 2015, governments will be convening anew to conclude a climate agreement and a new development agenda. Securing a socially just and progressive climate outcome is uncertain given the deep influence of corporations in the climate talks. This is where civil society and social movements’ vigilance and active participation, both inside and outside negotiating halls, become very important,” said Tetet Nera-Lauron of People’s Movement on Climate Change.

Campaign for People’s Goals for Sustainable Development (People’s Goals), meanwhile, reiterated that nothing short of a profound and far-reaching systemic change should be the response to climate change.

“Disasters similar to the scale of Haiyan are bound to be repeated as long as the system geared toward profit maximization and accumulation of wealth is in place. We need to build an alternative sustainable system that ensures the basic material and non-material needs of all peoples, while protecting the wellbeing and balance of the biosphere,” said Paul Quintos of People’s Goals. ###

For reference contact:

CPGSD Secretariat

Telephone:  +632 927.70.60-61 loc. 208/


A copy of the civil society unity statement for Typhoon Haiyan survivors and climate impacted communities is available at:


Ecuador¹s FM Patiño on Global Corporatio​ns: Transnatio​nal Misconduct Must End

Ecuador’s FM Patiño on Global Corporations: Transnational Misconduct Must End

Human   Wrongs Watch

By  Ricardo Patiño, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ecuador     (RT)*

25   October 2014 — Transnational corporations have abused  their privileges leading to “an unprecedented level of    social and environmental injustice,” said Ecuador’s FM   Ricardo Patino in his article calling on all nations   to hold such companies accountable for their actions:

Ecuador   has undergone a profound social, economic and political  transformation over the past seven years, prioritizing  the needs and rights of its citizens.

A   great moral challenge of the 21st century is to    establish people’s control over the forces that reign  supreme in trade and commerce.



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I’m writing today because I am inspired.
I am fueled by your energy, your commitment, and your on-going effort to help build a better food system. Hundreds of people write me every day to share the great work they are doing on the ground—from beekeepers in Ohio who are establishing hives in order to repopulate bee populations to family farmers in Tanzania who are reintroducing indigenous breeds of vegetables. I am incredibly fortunate to hear from so many of you—the real food system leaders and innovators.
If you’re already supporting Food Tank as a reader and as an information-sharer, please also consider supporting our work financially.

Learn more HERE.
This was my dream when I started Food Tank: to collect, analyze, distill, and share agricultural success stories and help these ideas obtain broader attention, more funding, and to ultimately inspire others in fields, laboratories, kitchens, boardrooms, and classrooms around the world. Our community has grown so large, so diverse, and so quickly that I never dreamed we would be able to have the kind of impact we are having in less than two years.
But here’s the deal: nearly HALF of our small organizational budget comes from individual members with donations that start at only $20 per year. These memberships allow us to keep Food Tank independent and fully dedicated to its mission, thanks to thousands of committed, inspired individuals instead of just answering to a handful of corporate funders.

For this funding model to work, we need youyour friendsyour neighborsyour co-workers, and your family members to help our lean, impactful organization continue to GROW.

Please JOIN US in helping grow Food Tank.
Thank you for your readership, for your commitment to our mission, and for inspiring me to keep going. 
All the best,
President, Food Tank

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Join Food Tank Today! Learn more…
Food Tank is a 501(c)(3) registered non-profit organization focused on building a global community for safe, healthy, nourished eaters. We spotlight environmentally, socially, and economically sustainable ways of alleviating hunger, obesity, and poverty and create networks of people, organizations, and content to push for food system change. Learn more about membership HERE


GCE-NL Nieuws 13 oktober 2014

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GCE-NL Nieuws 13 oktober 2014


September 2014 E-Newsletter



 Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar headed a list of 250 people who received awards and medals conferred on them in conjunction with the birthday of Yang di-Pertuan Agong Tuanku Abdul Halim Mu’adzam Shah. Tuanku Abdul Halim presented the Darjah Panglima Setia Mahkota (PSM), which also carries the title ‘Tan Sri’, to nine people including Chairman of World Youth Foundation, Hon. Senator Tan Sri (Dr.) Mohd Ali Mohd Rustam.

For more information, please visit here.

MY WORLD GLOBAL WEEK OF ACTION World Youth Foundation (WYF) has joined force with the UN and became a committed partner for MY WORLD. It is an options survey which MY WORLD asks individuals which six of sixteen possible issues you think would make the most difference to your lives.  We seek your support to disseminate this campaign widely to get millions of people to VOTE. Together we can make it happen! The more we can engage, the more votes we drive, the more people around the world will participate in shaping the future of development. DON’T MISS THIS OPPORTUNITY.

To vote, click here

WYF SURVEY: TRANSITION FROM UNIVERSITY TO WORK  World Youth Foundation is currently undertaking a survey that aims to explore the transition of individuals from University to work. The survey looks at graduates’ expectations of what they expect in a professional working life and touches on the issues such as challenges face by fresh graduates and the quality of skills etc. with the objective of understanding the University to Work transition. The survey contains 10 questions that require detailed answers and respondents have the option to return to previous questions during the survey should they need to. This survey is open till 15th October 2014 and we seek your kind assistance to share the survey with your friends.

The quick survey can be found here.

WE ARE EXPANDING – VACANCIES ARE NOW OPEN FOR CAMPAIGN COORDINATORS AND VOLUNTEERS FOR A GLOBAL CAMPAIGN World Youth Foundation (WYF) is looking for campaign coordinators and volunteers for a global campaign. This is a non-incentive based position open to all Malaysians or those residing in Malaysia. Rich and fulfilling rewards await you. Must be IT savvy, extrovert, hardworking and have a strong passion for outreach work among others. Those interested please email us your name and contact number to

WYF JOINED AS A SUPPORTING PARTNERS FOR THE SEAMEO CONGRESS ON EDUCATION, SCIENCE AND CULTURE 2014.  World Youth Foundation is proud to be chosen as one of its partners for SEAMEO Congress on Education, Science and Culture 2014. Other partners include UNESCO, UNICEF and the British Council. The SEAMEO Congress on Education, Science and Culture 2014 will be held from 21st – 22nd October 2014 in Bangkok, Thailand. The event will be hosted by the Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organisation (SEAMEO) with the theme Southeast Asia in Transition: Re-Thinking Education, Science and Culture for Regional Integration. For more information on registration etc., please visit .   FOLLOW UP FOR THE MULTI-STAKEHOLDER MEETING: VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN “ENGAGING YOUTH AS AGENTS OF CHANGE”

Rose Virginie Good Shepherd, Malaysia has successfully conducted an outreach program, Abusive Relationship: “Engaging Youth as Agents of Change”, as a follow up process for the Multi-stakeholder Meeting: Violence Against Women “Engaging Youth as Agents of Change”. Among of the objectives was to create gender awareness among the participants and increasing the knowledge regarding healthy and unhealthy relationships among youth between 18 – 24 years old.  Outcome for the event showed that ¾ form the participants agreed to be and “agent” and they are interested in other similar programmes in the future.

NATIONAL UNITY FORUM: STRENGTHENING THE VOICES OF MODERATES, MOVING FORWARD TOGETHER   On 4th September 2014 World Youth Foundation participated at the the National Unity Forum,at the Palace of the Golden Horses. The forum was organised by the Asian Strategy and Leadership Institute (Asli) and the Centre for Public Policy Studies with The Star as media partner. The National Unity Forum, under the theme “Strengthening the Voice of Moderation, Moving Forward Together”, served as a platform for discussion on building a shared future and common destiny for Malaysians.  For more information, please go to   .

AS CLIMATE CHANGE DEBATE HEATS UP, UN EXPERTS WARN ‘WE ARE RUNNING OUT OF TIME’ The United Nations weather agency today voiced concerns over the surge of carbon dioxide concentration in the atmosphere, which has reached a new record high in 2013, amid worrying sings that oceans and biosphere seem unable to soak up emissions as quickly as they used to. According to the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) latest annual Greenhouse Gas Bulletin, the greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide (CO2), methane and nitrous oxide caused a 34 per cent increase in the global warming in the last 10 years.

More information, visit here


In July, thousands of people attended the 20th International AIDS Conference and the 2014 Girls Summit to work towards an AIDS-free generation and ending child and forced marriage. But such attention is rare; by and large, these girls are invisible to development efforts.  Some 70 million girls under 18 are married in the developing world; 16 million of those girls will have given birth by the end of the year.

Ice Ride is the biggest demonstration for Save the Arctic protection the world has ever seen. On the 4th of October 2014, tens of thousands of people will gather in cities and towns across the world for celebratory family-friendly bike rides that will challenge political leaders to step up to the global public demand for Arctic protection. Ice Ride will draw on the history that people-powered movements can and do change the world, and that changing the world can be fun.You, your family and friends, are invited to be part of a growing movement to protect the Arctic and shift the course of history.


For more information, please visit here. 2014 INTERACTIVE WORLD MAP NOW ONLINE PRB’s 2014 interactive world map is online here.  View data on global, regional, or country maps or tables using PRB’s interactive map. This map gives you 15 indicators organized in six tabs: population, births and deaths, life expectancy, family planning, income, and environment. For three of the indicators-infant mortality, total fertility rate, and life expectancy-included data from 1970 and 2013 to show trends over time. The environment indicator-carbon emissions-shows data from 1990 and 2012. You can easily share and embed the map on your blog, website, Facebook page, or Twitter feed. Bookmark this, and share the wealth of information from PRB’s 2014 World Population Data Sheet.

CELEBRATING YOUTH WORK WEEK   Now in its 21st year, Youth Work Week provides  An international day of action on climate change brought hundreds of thousands of people onto the streets of New York City, easily exceeding organizers’ hopes for the largest protest on the issue in history.Organizers estimated that some 310,000 people, including United Nations Secretary- General Ban Ki-moon, former U.S. Vice President Al Gore, actor Leonardo DiCaprio and elected officials from the United States and abroad joined the People’s Climate March, ahead of Tuesday’s United Nations hosted summit in the city to discuss reducing carbon emissions that threaten the environment.

More information, visit here.

opportunity for youth organisations, youth workers and young people to celebrate their achievements and the impact of their work. Last year saw 48 events take place across the Commonwealth including youth forums, employment workshops, conferences, awards ceremonies and community events.  Please visit for more information. WHY A YOUTH GOAL IN THE POST 2015 AGENDA?

The High Level Youth Policy Dialogue was an African youth event, open to international youth, with the aim of gathering and strengthening political commitment for governments and supporting prioritising investment in youth development in the Post-2015 Agenda. This is a very important issue for Commonwealth countries as 60 percent of the population of The Commonwealth is under 30 years of age. This policy dialogue allowed young people to lobby their government at the highest decision-making level and to ask them to recognise the Post-2015 Agenda and target inclusive and sustainable growth devoted to higher standards and to outcomes that improve the quality of young people’s lives.

See more here.

COMMONWEALTH SCHOLARSHIPS FOR DEVELOPING COMMONWEALTH COUNTRIES  The Commonwealth Scholarships are intended for students from developing Commonwealth countries who wants to pursue Master’s and PhD study in the UK. These scholarships are funded by the UK Department for International Development (DFID).


A programme to seek out and support youth leaders across the Commonwealth is now underway, and the call is out for additional inspiring young people to apply for this award across the Commonwealth. The award, in recognition of Her Majesty’s 60 years on the throne, will be available to 60 young people each year for the next four years, plus runners up across the 53 Commonwealth nations. Winners will be brought to the UK for one week, during which they will be involved in a programme and culminating in an award ceremony at Buckingham Palace with Her Majesty The Queen.


In 1994, UNESCO proclaimed 5 October as the World Teachers’ Day to recognize the efforts and contributions of teachers. This year, you can send a thank you note to your teacher(s) by clicking on this link to fill in the form.

Your name, your teacher’s name and your message will be shared on this webpage: And what a better way to commemorate the 20th anniversary of World Teachers’ Day than to participate in the 17th UNESCO-APEID International Conference,The Powerhouses of Education: Teachers for the Future We Want, to be held on 29-31 October 2014 in Bangkok, Thailand.

Register online here, or contact UNESCO Bangkok at for further information.


For the first time in Puerto Rico marks the 3rd Zero Waste International Youth Congress, this conference seeks entrepreneurs between the ages of 16-35 years who have a desire to plan strategies and initiatives to convert Puerto Rico on the first island in Zero Waste the Caribbean. Learn about the Zero Waste movement, discover projects that occur in Puerto Rico and around the world, and create your own plan to implement in your community.  Additional information click here.


Are you passionate about improving humanitarian action? Submit your recommendations on how to better meet humanitarian needs in Eastern & Southern Africa and you could win a spot at the regional summit in Pretoria on 27th – 29th October 2014! To enter, go to here, login, submit your recommendations and share ideas in the discussion forum.

The moderators will nominate one outstanding participant from the region to represent the online consultation at the regional summit.




























Website: http://pe



South News: Cuba’s Impressive Role on Ebola


No. 75, 20 October 2014
SOUTHNEWS is a service of the South Centre to provide information and news on topical issues from a South perspective.
Visit the South Centre’s website:

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JFS WEEKLY >>> 14 – 20 Oct. 2014
** Civil Society **
What We Must Do before the Tokyo Olympics
Through the Yui-Yui Project, an initiative to support victims of the
2011 Great East Japan Earthquake, JKSK Empowering Women Empowering
Society, a certified non-profit organization, submits weekly reports on
the reconstruction of the quake-hit areas in the Tokyo Shimbun, a
regional newspaper covering eastern Japan. Titled Tohoku Fukko Nikki
(Tohoku Reconstruction Diary), the article series started in August
2012. The Yui-Yui Project was launched by JKSK, a certified non-profit
organization. With consent from JKSK and the Tokyo Shimbun, Japan for
Sustainability (JFS) will publish the articles on a monthly basis and
introduce stories and updates on the recovery in Tohoku.This article is
written by Mitsu Kimata, Director-CEO, JKSK, published on October 4,
2013 on Tokyo Shimbun.
Following the March 11 earthquake in 2011, ten women in the Tokyo metropolitan area gathered with the thought that all people have to make
the most of their abilities to overcome the hardships of the disaster,
and took action by forming the Yui-Yui project. A connotation of the
kanji character for yui is ‘connecting people,’ and the group has
regularly held sit-in-a-circle-style meetings in the affected areas to
exchange opinions and discuss action plans, then commercialized ideas
that came up in discussions, and thought every day about what could be
done for the rebuilding of Tohoku.
On September 28, 2013, I had a chance to visit the town of Hirono in
Fukushima Prefecture on a JKSK volunteer bus tour. JKSK had begun
operating volunteer bus services in May. After working up a sweat by
weeding and harvesting on an organic cotton farm, on which people have
placed high hopes to start a new industry in Fukushima in the future, we
visited two towns: Naraha and Tomioka. The Fukushima Daini Nuclear Power
Plant of Tokyo Electric Power Co. is located in these towns, while the
Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant is just seven kilometers away. The
scene stretching out in front of me was completely different from that
in the rest of the nation, where many people were excited about the
hosting of the 2020 Summer Olympics. I was speechless.
There, clocks are stopped at 14:46, the time of the quake. Houses and
schools had been destroyed. There was not a soul in sight. Accumulated
black plastic bags packed with soil and plants from decontamination work
were piled on farmland. What if I were one of the residents here? Just
the thought of it was unbearable, and tearing my heart apart. There must
be something that needs to be done here, now, before getting excited
about the Olympics.
I sincerely hope that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, as well as members of
the Youth Division of the Liberal Democratic Party who visit the
affected areas on the 11th of every month, will put themselves in Naraha
and Tomioka, imagine they grew up there, and put measures in place to
help rebuild these devastated areas.
What’s New This Week from Japan for Sustainability
16 – 29 Sep. 2014
=- This month’s cartoon:
“Administration’s Role” on the Eco Cartoons Page
What’s New This Week from Miracle Miracle
— A Place for Global Kids to Create the Future
( 14 – 20 Oct. 2014 )
Miracle Report: Rent-A-Cycle Programs Gaining Popularity in Cities Worldwide
Bicycles might just be the trendiest vehicles around right now. More and
more people are regularly using bicycles in cities worldwide. What are
the reasons for this?
Japan for Sustainability (JFS) is a non-profit communication platform to
disseminate environmental information from Japan to the world. We are
grateful that people in 191 countries have found an interest in our free
e-mail publications, and will continue to do our best to deliver useful
information to our readers all around the globe.
Please feel free to forward this message to your colleagues and friends
wherever the Internet can reach. If you know colleagues or friends there
with an interest in sustainability, please do forward them one of our
newsletters and invite them to try our service. To subscribe for JFS
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 No. 74, 7 October 2014

SOUTHNEWS is a service of the South Centre to provide information and news on topical issues from a South perspective.

Visit the South Centre’s website:

SouthNews: Climate Change Loss and Damage Mechanism Work Plan Adopted

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Five days left to register for Africa Works! 2014 (participa​nts list included)

THEMA: Five days left to register for Africa Works! 2014 (participa​nts list included)


Dear Helene H. Oord,

Only 1 week left before Africa Works! kicks off. The largest international conference (500+ participants) in the Benelux with an exclusive focus on Africa. It will take place on the 16th & 17th October, at the Holiday Inn in Leiden. 

In the attachment you can find the preliminary participants list.

The aim of Africa Works! is to strengthen the dialogue between the private and public sector, NGOs and knowledge institutions to form partnerships on the African continent. By participating in Africa Works! you can attend interactive workshops, enlarge your professional network and most importantly you will have the possibility to create new partnerships.There will be:

* More than 500+ participants! * Over 100 business participants from Africa! * Opportunity to meet Dutch and African Ambassadors at their Country Stands * Network App to have all the participants on your mobile during and after the conference * More than 35 workshops to attend * Possibility to transfer your ticket to a colleague for the second day! * High Level Speakers such as Minister Ploumen, Board member of Rabobank, CEO of Vlisco Group & Vice president of Unilever

For more information about the programme, workshops and registration, please visit africaworks or contact us via Register on time to select the workshop of your choice.

We are looking forward to welcome you at Africa Works!

Met vriendelijke groet, With kind regards,

Heleen Keijer  | Project Coordinator 

 T: +31 (0)70 304 3618 |  M:+31 (0)6 10278647

 16 + 17 oktober: Africa Works!

Netherlands-African Business Council

Prinses Margrietplantsoen 37 (WTC) | 2595 AM The Hague |  The Netherlands


AFRICA WORKS Update Participation List Africa Works 071014


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Uitnodiging Oikos-conferentie Refresh your Strategy


 relieve web

Help the humanitarian community by taking the ReliefWeb user survey

New article on the ReliefWeb blog:

Help the humanitarian community by taking the ReliefWeb user survey

Read the article on ReliefWeb:

At ReliefWeb, your feedback, ideas and suggestions are very important to us. They are what have helped ReliefWeb become such an important tool for the humanitarian community. We’re always exploring new ways to deliver humanitarian information, but we can’t do it without your input.

To ensure that ReliefWeb best meets the information needs of humanitarians, we’ve decided to undertake some research on you, our humanitarian users. The 2014 ReliefWeb user survey is now open.

If you are a long-term ReliefWeb user, you will recall that we conducted similar comprehensive user survey back in 2010. You feedback helped us to roll out useful features and services, such as Headlines, Topics and Tweeter aggregations.

We’re asking you for a moment of your time. We want to know more about you, why you use ReliefWeb, what type of humanitarian content you’re looking for, what you think of the existing ReliefWeb features, and what kind of online humanitarian information services you would like in the future.

The survey is comprehensive but simple and should only take approximately 10-12 minutes. No personal information will be requested.

The responses you provide will help us to develop new humanitarian information services that meet the needs of the wider humanitarian community.

We’re also looking for humanitarians who would like to participate in an in-depth interview where we will ask a few additional questions. If you are interested, please leave your email in the last question of the survey.

Take the ReliefWeb user survey


 Europe Lecture – Europe in de World: Peace and Security

lecture logo

Deze nieuwsbrief is gemaakt en verzonden met de nieuwsbriefmanager van PDC Informatie Architectuur.

Europe Lecture – Europe in de World: Peace and Security

Tuesday, October 28th, 17.00 – 19.00 hrs

The recent events in Ukraine, the political turmoil in the Middle-East, and the rise of economic powers like China and India create a sense of fear and uncertainty. The power shifts in the international realm and the current instability in Europe’s neighbourhood have made European security issues an important topic of debate. How should the EU address the upcoming security challenges?

The theme of the 13th Europe Lecture is ‘Europe in the World: Peace and Security’. Former President of Latvia Vaira Vike-Freiberga and professor Jonathan Holslag will discuss the role of the European Union on the international stage. In expressing their view on Europe’s role in peace and security, the two speakers will draw on their own background and expertise.

Dr. Vaira Vīķe-Freiberga is the former President of Latvia (1999-2007) and, to this day, involved in global political affairs through various organisations. During her presidency Latvia became member of both the EU and NATO. Many attributed that success to her leadership.

Vīķe-Freiberga will express her view on Europe’s role in peace and security in the world from an Eastern European perspective. This is of particular relevance against the background of the events in Ukraine, which provide great uncertainty in Latvia’s neighbourhood.

Prof. Jonathan Holslag is co-founder of the Brussels Institute of Contemporary China Studies and lecturer on international relations at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel. He is one of the most prominent European specialists in Asian affairs and a rising star in the field of geopolitics.

Holslag will share his insight into the consequences of Asia’s rise for Europe’s position in global affairs. According to Holslag, European citizens should become more afraid of the changing world order. In the coming weeks, Holslag will elaborate on this topic in Dutch newspaper ‘De Volkskrant’. 

The lecture will be moderated by Tom de Bruijn, alderman of The Hague and former permanent representative at the EU.

Practical information

Date: Tuesday, October 28th, 2014 – 17h15

Venue: Kloosterkerk, The Hague (Lange Voorhout 4)

Tickets: € 12,50 (students € 7,50)




Japan for Sustainability Newsletter <<< JFS WEEKLY >>> 16 – 29 Sep. 2014

** Energy / Climate Change **
Community and Locally-led Renewable Energy Projects Highlighted in
Renewables Japan Status Report 2014

Based on the Renewables Japan Status Report 2014 published by the Institute of Sustainable Energy Policies (ISEP) in March 2014, this
article will introduce you the present status of national and local
government renewable energy policies and progress in examining possible
regional projects.
Since the Great East Japan earthquake and the nuclear power plant
accident in Fukushima three years ago, renewable energy generation
systems have quickly spread across Japan, thanks to the Basic Energy
Plan revision and power system reform, as well as the Feed-in-Tariff
scheme. A number of local governments and industries are also involved
in renewable energy generation projects, over 90 percent of which are
solar power generation projects. The report attributes this high
percentage to its relatively short lead time to actual operation and
less stringent regulations when compared with other renewable energy
While larger businesses with abundant human resources and capital are
said to have advantages in getting large, regional-level renewable
energy projects off the ground, the report points out a small, but
steady increase in smaller scale solar power projects led by local
businesses and citizen groups and supported by local governments.
Communities have been initiating renewable energy-related projects and activities in areas throughout Japan, particularly since 2013, which may
be called the starting year of community power. The whitepaper includes
the current status and challenges covering various fields and ideas for
solutions, as well as the introduction of projects involving consensus
building, human resource development, building up organizers, project
schemes led by communities and fundraising in cooperation with local
The 2014 Global Status Report edited by REN 21 was published in June,
and summarizes the trends for renewable energies in the world. According
to that report, regions where the natural energy market has been growing
have shifted from Europe to emerging economies such as China.
Accordingly, Japan ranked second in the solar power generation market
and third in the renewable energy market with regard to revenue. The
international community will now be paying attention to the future of
Japan’s rapid renewable energy growth, despite the many challenges that
needed to be overcome.
Hironao Matsubara
Institute for Sustainable Energy Policies
** Corporate / CSR **
Kikusui Sake Wins Recognition Award for Carbon-Offsetting Activities
Kikusui Sake Co., a manufacturer and seller of Japanese sake, announced
on March 4, 2014, that it became one of the winners of the Third Carbon
Offset Awards. For its efforts through “KIKUSUI Style Bottle,” it
received the recognition award, which honors outstanding activities
aiming to realize a low-carbon society.
“KIKUSUI Style Bottle” is a sake product that comes in stylish bottles
with individual colors and shapes. By reusing wine bottles, it
contributes to energy conservation and CO2 emissions reduction. The
amount of CO2 it offsets is 500 grams per bottle, which is the amount
emitted by the lights used during a leisurely meal where sake is
By utilizing the carbon offset scheme, Kikusui is promoting measures to
tackle global warming by ensuring optimum CO2 absorption levels in the
forests of Sado Island, and is also supporting the “Toki-no-Mori Project
(Forests for Japanese Crested Ibises).” This project contributes to
improving the habitat of released ibises and preserving the forestry
ecosystem. By purchasing the credits, Kikusui aims to play its part in
saving and growing the forests of Niigata Prefecture, its home, which
provides water that is essential for flavorful sake. The scheme allows
CO2 emitters to offset their emissions by purchasing the equivalent
amount of CO2 absorption, with “credits” being the units for such
Kikusui says that, by purchasing this product, consumers can take part
in eco-activities, and contribute to forest preservation and growth,
while enjoying sake.
Newly Arrived Articles from Japan for Sustainability
16 – 29 Sep. 2014
From Energy-Saving Architecture to Energy Self-Sufficient Architecture:
History of Energy-Saving Architecture in Japan
JFS Newsletter No.144 (August 2014)
To address the challenge of reducing energy consumption and carbon
dioxide (CO2) emissions of architectural structures, various efforts are
being made both in Japan and elsewhere. We will introduce efforts being
made in Japan, using excerpts from a book written by Hideharu Niwa, the
title of which translates as “Energy Self-Sufficient Architecture
Supporting Sustainable Low-Carbon Cities (published by Kousakusha in
What’s New This Week from Japan for Sustainability
16 – 29 Sep. 2014
– A new recipe is posted on “Eco-Cooking” page (2014/9/27)
Grilled Salmon with Shichimi
“Eco-Cooking” page introduces you recipes with some tips on
eco-cooking and includes alternative ingredients.
– We updated CSR/Sustainability Reports’ Page (2014/9/19)
Takenaka Corporation
Coca-Cola (Japan) Company, Limited
Nippon Paper Group, Inc.
Kao Corporation
LIXIL Group Corporation
Sompo Japan Nipponkoa Insurance Inc.
This page introduces links to CSR/sustainability reports of JFS
supporting organizations. The reports disclose their policies,
strategies and performance in environmental, social and/or
sustainability management.
– This month’s cartoon:
“Pieces keep dropping out and getting lost” on the Eco Cartoons Page
Miracle Report: A Happy Connection Between Homeless Youth and Animals
Develop work skills while taking care of dogs and cats who have no home!
A unique program in the United States is helping young adults do just

Miracle Report: Refrigerator That Cools Things without Electricity and Ice
Modern life, with all its air conditioners, washing machines, and TV
sets, is certainly convenient. But where are we headed with such a
lifestyle? One man has questioned our dependence on electricity and
invented many non-electric appliances.
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Japan for Sustainability Newsletter #145

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Japan for Sustainability Newsletter                 #145
September 30, 2014
Copyright (c) 2014, Japan for Sustainability
Japan for Sustainability (JFS) is a non-profit communication platform to
disseminate environmental information from Japan to the world, with the
aim of helping both move onto a sustainable path.
See what’s new on our web site:
In the September 2014 issue of the JFS Newsletter:
– Planning for an Ethical Focus for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo
– An Experiment from Green Valley in Kamiyama Town, Tokushima, Japan:
How to Make Depopulated Areas Attractive
– Kochi’s Challenge — A Prefecture Tackling Depopulation (Part 2)
Planning for an Ethical Focus for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo
Ryoichi Yamamoto (professor emeritus at the University of Tokyo and also
a director of Japan for Sustainability) was among a group that tendered
a proposal on August 12, 2014, to Yoshiro Mori (former Prime Minister of
Japan and now president of the Tokyo Organising Committee of the Olympic
and Paralympic Games) to make the 2020 Tokyo Olympics an “ethical Games”
by employing the Japanese approach of “sampo-yoshi” (meaning beneficial
in three ways).* We think that the concepts and initiatives are very
noteworthy, so we would like to introduce the main components of the
* See below for detailed explanation of sampo-yoshi.
1.  Proposals
We, the Japan Ethical Initiative, propose that the Olympic and
Paralympic Games to be held in 2020, hereafter called the 2020 Tokyo
Olympics, be “The Ethical Olympics and Paralympics.”
One of the basic ideas regarding this proposal corresponds to the first
in the Fundamental Principles of Olympism in the Olympic Charter, which
“Olympism seeks to create a way of life based on the joy of
effort, the educational value of good example, social
responsibility and respect for universal fundamental ethical
As seen, the Olympics pursues an ethical way of life as its basic
Olympic Charter (since September 2013)
In addition, the concept of environmental protection and sustainable
development was added to the Olympic Charter as the Mission and Role of
the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in 1994, which states it is
“to encourage and support a responsible concern for environmental issues,
to promote sustainable development in sport, and to require that the
Olympic Games are held accordingly.”
In this world today, we believe that promotion of comprehensive ethics
is required, which cares about not only environmental issues but also
human dignity and social impacts.
Japan has ethical wisdom passed down over generations, such as the
spirit of “mottainai” (waste not, want not), “omotenashi” (hospitality),
and business ethics, commonly referred to as the “sampo-yoshi”
(beneficial in three ways), which take others and social interests into
consideration. Following the basic philosophy of Olympism at the time of
the modern Olympic Games, developed by Baron de Coubertin, we would like
to integrate Japanese traditional ethics to evolve into the Ethical
Olympics at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games. By doing so, we sincerely hope
this evolved legacy will go down in a new Olympic history.
2. Basic Concepts of an Ethical Olympic Games
(a)  People- and Environment-Friendly Ethical Olympics
In addition to making the 2020 Tokyo Olympics environmentally conscious,
as the organizing committee advocates, the event should observe basic
human rights and take into account any social impacts of the event,
making it both a “people- and environment-friendly ethical Olympics.”
(b) Ethical Procurement and Management
All Olympic-related procurement and management by all stakeholder groups
and the Games themselves should be ethical, and the know-how acquired
should be passed on and applied to post-Olympic procurement and
management practices in Tokyo and throughout Japan.
Specific practices may include, for instance, Olympic medals made from
recycled gold, silver, and copper extracted from waste generated in
Tokyo, offering fair-trade, organic and ASC-certified food in the
Olympic village, and ethically produced uniforms for athletes.
(c) Establishing Ethical Standards
In addition to ethical procurement and management, ethical standards
should be established through multi-stakeholder discussions to encourage
all businesses and other Olympic-related organizations to carry out the
social responsibility prescribed in ISO 26000 and similar schemes.
(d) Applying Japanese Ethical Traditions
While firmly grounded in the basic philosophy of the Olympics, the
traditional Japanese ethical and altruistic value of sampo-yoshi
(beneficial all three ways) should be fully integrated and fostered in
the Ethical Tokyo Olympics, and made into a legacy in Olympic history.
(e) Strengthening and Establishing a Tradition of Social Bond
The Ethical Olympics would embrace and further grow both compassion for
the weak and the social bond, again reaffirmed after the Great East
Japan Earthquake. The Tokyo Olympics should establish and hand down to
future generations the legacy of a Japanese society friendly to both
people and the environment.
(f) Making Tokyo an Ethical City and Spreading Ethical Culture Nationwide
In the process of designing the Ethical Olympics, Tokyo should become a
more ethical city (ethical model city). At the same time, the ideas of
an ethical lifestyle, city, and culture should be spread across Japan so
as to avoid an excessive concentration on just Tokyo.
* Definition of “ethical” and “sampo-yoshi” (beneficial all three ways):
Although there is no exact definition of “ethical,” this proposal
adopts the widely accepted perception of the word as meaning goodness
towards or consideration for people (society) and the environment.
The words “mottainai” and “omotenashi” generally mean environmental
consciousness or harmony with the environment and consideration for
guests, respectively. The word “sampo-yoshi,” on the other hand,
characterizes the traditional business ethics long followed by
merchants in Omi (present-day Shiga Prefecture) since the Edo period,
which deems a business to be ethical only if it benefits all three
parties, namely, the seller, the buyer, and society.
In this proposal, “sampo-yoshi” is defined as “beneficial for the
economy, society, and the environment,” which goes beyond the
traditional definition, taking social and environmental impacts into
sufficient consideration, instead of just pursuing economic
rationality and efficiency. It is synonymous with “ethical” and
includes the spirit of the ideas of “mottainai” and “omotenashi,” or
consideration for the environment and for guests.
3. Reasons for Suggesting an Ethical Olympic Games
(a) Ensuring Sustainability as Standard Practice
The Olympic Charter was amended to require that the Olympic Games be
environmentally friendly and in a way to promote sustainable development,
thus ensuring sustainability becomes a standard for Olympic host cities.
Since then, the 2012 London Olympics followed sustainable procurement
practices based on the guidelines, and the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics
decided to provide seafood certified by the Marine Stewardship Council
(MSC) and the Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC).
(b) Developing the Concept, from Environmental to Ethical Efforts
Tokyo advocates holding an environment-conscious 2020 Olympics in line
with the standard mentioned above. On the other hand, the true meaning
of sustainability, which is a comprehensive concept embracing
consideration for not only the environment but also for society, is
neither fully stated in the Olympic Charter nor recognized in Japan.
Under these circumstances, developing an environment-friendly Tokyo
Olympics into a comprehensive Ethical Olympics in consideration of
social impacts would contribute to setting a higher standard for all
Olympic Games.
(c) Responding to the Social Needs of the Time
Since the Lehman Brothers bankruptcy and economic shock in 2008, there
has been growing concern worldwide about growing economic disparities
and other negative aspects of the tireless pursuit of economic
efficiency. People have been seeking an ethical way in the economy,
society and lifestyles, to restore humanity and sustainability.
Establishing ethical practices is, thus, exactly the need of the times.
(d) Social Vision for Japan as a Mature Society
Japan has entered an era of mature society, along with rapid aging and a
declining birth rate, as well as a huge financial deficit. Therefore,
establishing a social vision is needed for the younger and future
generations to be able to live feeling reassured. A people- and
environment-friendly society, where everyone can live with dignity and
live in harmony, with a rich natural environment, is an ethical society
that Japan should aim to create. This is also a social vision based on
the good old Japanese traditions of dealing with the environment, people,
and society in a considerate way, as symbolized by the words “mottainai,”
“omotenashi” and “sampo-yoshi.” This vision is in accordance with the
direction that the international community has been taking since the
Rio+20 Summit in 2012.
(e) Contributing to the Creation of a Consumer Citizen Society
Japan’s Act on Promotion of Consumer Education, which took effect at the
end of 2012, aims at establishing a consumer citizen society, in which
consumers actively commit themselves to the creation of a just and
sustainable society, with an awareness of how their own consumption
behavior could influence social and economic trends both at home and
abroad, and the present global environment, as well as future
generations. That is, the act was designed to create a fair and
sustainable — or ethical — society, and an ethically run Olympics
could make a great contribution to realize such a society.
4. Guidelines for Realizing an Ethical Olympics
Guidelines for an Ethical Olympics include the following:
(a) Beneficial for the Economy
– Projects and procurement should be conducted in a way that secures
sustainable economic growth and avoids creating a one-time economic
boom brought about by the “Olympic effect.”
– Public construction projects that pass the final costs on to future
generations should be avoided, and high-quality facilities should be
planned to be usable for many years to come.
– Environmental businesses or green businesses that contribute to both
economic growth and environmental protection should be established.
– Social businesses that contribute to both economic growth and
solutions to social problems should be developed and promoted.
(b) Beneficial for Society
– Olympic-related procurement should be society-friendly. This includes
procurement that contributes to restore earthquake-hit East Japan,
provides care to the socially vulnerable through procurement, gives
priority to the physically challenged or fair trade, gives
consideration to small producers in developing countries, excludes
products obtained through child labor and conflict minerals, and gives
consideration to small- and medium-sized businesses.
– Supply-chain management should be established in which goods and
services would not negatively affect the environment and society,
including end-workers and end-producers, in their entire lifecycle,
and bring positive effects.
– Procurement and management should be implemented to take gender issues
into consideration, to improve the status of women.
– The event should be tolerant and inclusive, focusing on diversity in
every aspect.
– For all people to enjoy the Olympics, not only event sites and
surrounding areas but the entire Tokyo area should be made free of
barriers, featuring universal design. This is also an effective
solution to create a city that addresses the declining birth rate and
aging population.
– To give warm hospitality to visitors from home and abroad, a wide
range of volunteers, regardless of age, sex, abilities, and
nationalities, are expected to participate in the event to provide
heart-warming services.
– Sincere consideration should be given to the elderly and the
physically challenged in every situation, including event sites,
transportation, accommodations, and tourist facilities. And services
should be provided in multiple languages to make information free of
(c) Beneficial for the Environment
– Environmental impact should be minimized in all aspects to make the
event harmonized with nature, which includes conservation and
strengthening of biodiversity.
– Public transportation systems and bicycle paths should be improved. At
the same time, dependency on passenger vehicles should be lowered by
encouraging car-sharing and park-and-ride systems.
– Renewable energy such as solar, wind, and biomass power should be
fully used, to curb global warming (i.e., be carbon neutral) and
reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions to zero or below, as much as
possible (i.e., become carbon negative).
– The concept of the 3Rs (reuse, recycle, and reduce) should be promoted,
and certified goods should be obtained through environment-friendly
sustainability procurement, which includes those with eco-labels
approved by a third party, such as the Eco Mark and Ecoleaf systems,
MSC and ASC certifications, Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)
certification, Fair Trade certification, Rainforest Alliance
certification, and organic certification.
– Goods and services should be procured from businesses fulfilling
social responsibility by calculating the volume of environmental load
(SCOPE3 carbon emissions, i.e., corporate value chain) from business
activities and disclosing them in accordance with the life cycle
assessment method.
(d) Ethical Management and Operations
– To make the management and operations themselves ethical, operations
systems should be open and meaningful to participate in for all people,
including women, the physically challenged, the elderly, children, and
foreign residents living in Japan. The operations policy should be
released on the Internet, and any comments and opinions from home and
abroad should be reflected in operations.
– To make the event open to everyone, admission tickets should be set at
reasonable prices in consideration of the low-income population.
– Ethical operations, which care not only about the city of Tokyo but
also the people and organizations in local regions to be involved in
the event indirectly, should be carried out. Seminars and education
programs to teach ethical mindfulness should be organized.
5. Conclusion
Achieving an Ethical 2020 Tokyo Olympics will function as a milestone in
the process of transitioning to a more ethical Japanese society while
embedding in it an ethical way of life and ethical culture. This
milestone will bring an opportunity to renovate Tokyo as an ethical
model city, spread this model nationwide, and make the nation an ethical
island country. Japan has been working on initiatives to create
eco-towns and future eco-cities, aiming at being a recycling-oriented
economy and society as well as a low-carbon society. Integrating these
into further efforts, Tokyo should aim at becoming an ethical model city
(environmental and welfare city) to add other social values to Tokyo,
such as to be a human welfare model city, fair trade town, and so on.
The timeframe is as follows:
By 2020: Realization of Ethical Tokyo Olympics 2020 and make Tokyo an
ethical model city
By 2025: Transition of Japan into an ethical island country
We believe that realizing this proposal will present the world a model
of transition to a more ethical economy and society, with significance
beyond just holding an ethical Olympics. By working to reestablish a
sustainable, symbiotic, and inclusive civilization in which the global
environment and society can coexist harmoniously, Japan can become a
world pioneer.
Written by the Japan Ethical Initiative
An Experiment from Green Valley in Kamiyama Town, Tokushima, Japan:
How to Make Depopulated Areas Attractive
“In 49.8 percent of municipalities in Japan, the number of women aged 20
to 39 will be reduced by more than half by 2040. In 523 of approximately
1,800 municipalities surveyed throughout Japan, the population will
decrease to less than 10,000 and such municipalities will be in danger
of vanishing.” This prediction released by the Japan Policy Council (JPC),
a private think tank, in May 2014, brought a sense of crisis to many
In Japan, administrative power has been centralized since the Meiji
Period (1868 – 1912) and one result was the concentration of the nation’s
population in large cities and where industries had gathered in specific
development areas. Since the 1960s, the national government has taken
various measures to deal with depopulation, but none of these have been
sufficiently effective. Since 2011, Japanese society has been aging and
depopulating at the same time.
Through its predictions, the JPC aims to curb serious depopulation in
Japan and to vitalize rural areas. To this end, it emphasizes that (1)
the whole nation needs to share in the seriousness of these conditions,
(2) obstacles that prevent married couples from having and fostering
children need to be removed, and (3) the outflow of young people from
rural areas to large cities needs to be reversed.
One town that is functioning as a model in putting these suggestions
into practice is Kamiyama Town in Tokushima Prefecture, located in a
typical farming area on the island of Shikoku. The number of young
people and people doing creative work coming to live in Kamiyama from
large cities, as well as the number of satellite offices of IT venture
companies locating there, have increased at an accelerated pace. As a
result, in 2011, the year when the overall population of Japan began to
decrease, Kamiyama achieved an increase in population, although only by
12 persons (139 people moved out and 151 moved in).
Kamiyama Town has advocated “creative depopulation,” a concept of
positively manipulating population characteristics that will be
sustainable for the region while accepting the realities of decreasing
population. The town has hosted many study tours from other regions and
its efforts have attracted a great deal of media attention. This article
introduces Kamiyama Town, focusing on the activities of an incorporated
nonprofit organization named Green Valley Inc.
The Beginning was a Small International Exchange
Kamiyama Town, located approximately a 50-minute drive from Tokushima
Airport, is a typical depopulated town. Forests account for 83 percent
of its land area and elderly people comprise 46 percent of its total
population of approximately 6,000 people. Since the town’s only high
school is a small branch of a prefectural high school, almost all
children graduating from junior high school leave the town and go to
live in Tokushima City, the prefectural capital, in order to go to high
school. Shinya Ominami, Director of Green Valley, was no exception.
Ominami graduated from Stanford University Graduate School in the United
States in 1979 and returned to Kamiyama Town to take over the family
construction business. In March 1992, he established the predecessor of
Green Valley, the Kamiyama International Exchange Association (KIEA),
and assumed the chairmanship.
He decided to establish this Association as a result of his experience
finding a blue-eyed doll stored in an old wooden box in the school
corridor while he was acting as a member of the Parent-Teacher
Association (PTA) of his old elementary school. This doll was among the
12,739 dolls sent as gifts to Japanese elementary schools and
kindergartens in response to a call by a pro-Japanese missionary in the
late 1920s, when negative feelings towards Japan were growing and
movements to oust Japanese immigrants were active in the U.S. It was
one of only 300 dolls that survived World War II.
The person who sent the doll was named Alice Johnston. Ominami, together
with his fellows in Kamiyama Town, found out who had sent the doll about
60 years ago and visited Wilkinsburg, Pennsylvania to bring this doll
back to her home town. They were very much welcomed by people in
Wilkinsburg. This action led Ominami to establish the KIEA to actively
promote international exchange in Kamiyama Town.
Changing Kamiyama’s Image
Things started to change after the Tokushima Prefectural Government
formulated the “Tokushima International Cultural Village Concept” to
establish an international cultural community in Kamiyama Town as part
of the Prefecture’s “1997 New Long-term Plan.”
At that time it was foreseen that, in the near future, many town
residents would be managing and operating facilities established by the
national or prefectural governments. The KIEA started its activities in
two major areas — environment (its present Adopt-a-highway Kamiyama)
and art (its present Kamiyama Artists in Residence program) — so as to
involve as many local residents as possible. In order to change the
town’s former image, the KIEA adopted this approach in which a vision
for the community in ten or 20 years would be created and activities
implemented to realize the vision.
The Adopt-a-highway Kamiyama refers to an initiative in which residents
living in roadside areas clean a section of a road they have chosen to
be responsible for. This type of program originated in Texas in the
United States in 1985, and spread throughout the country as
“Adopt-a-Road” or “Adopt-a-Highway” programs. Kamiyama Town was the
first community in Japan to implement this program in 1998 before it
began to spread nationwide. Ominami learned about the original
adopt-a-road program in 1989 when he was driving on a freeway in the
suburbs of San Francisco and put his memory about the program to use in
his home town.
Kamiyama Artists in Residence (KAIR) is a program that invites artists
from Japan and abroad to live in the town for a certain period,
encouraging them to create artistic works by obtaining new inspiration
and ideas through interactions with local residents.
One of the unique features of KAIR, which was launched in 1999, is
adherence to its policy of involving the community in the process of
recruiting and screening artists. Instead of leaving this process to
external experts, the community people themselves decide which artists
to invite. What are the determining factors? The artists’ works alone
won’t cut it; it’s more about whether or not new values will be created
through interactions between candidate artists and the people in the
The people take care of the invited artists through a support system in
which two to three locals help one artist by playing a father’s role in
assisting them in the production of their works and a mother’s role in
looking after their daily life needs. This program is not a model for
utilizing artwork produced by already-established artists as a tourism
draw; it values the growth of relationships fostered between the artists
and the people of the community through the process of completing
artworks together.
KAIR celebrates its 16th anniversary in 2014, and the artists invited
this year are staying in Kamiyama from August 21 to November 6. Fifty
artists from 17 countries have been invited to take part in this program
so far. They have displayed their artwork all over town, creating an
atmosphere of integrating traditions and artworks that have been
developed together with the community people.
Every year, more than 100 artist applicants fail to win residentship but
their opinions led to another program to provide free accommodations and
art studios; this program is called “Art in Kamiyama.” Later on, this
program evolved into a relocation support program called simply “In
Kamiyama,” that targets creative human resources from a variety of
Developing a Sustainable Community through “Creative Depopulation”
In 2004, the Kamiyama International Exchange Association was reorganized
into Green Valley, a non-profit corporation. Its mission is to
“transform rural Japan into a wonderful place to be” by realizing the
three visions noted below:
1) Develop creative rural areas in which people constitute the main
2) Develop “The World’s Kamiyama” by integrating the wisdom of diverse
3) Develop a sustainable community through “creative depopulation”
Green Valley was named after Silicon Valley in the United States, where
Ominami felt an air of freedom when he was there in his 20s. The reason
he chose this name was that Kamiyama doesn’t have silicon, but it does
have a rich natural environment (green) and both communities have
something in common: an atmosphere of creating change.
Green Valley is engaged in diverse operations. For instance, it has
played a role in the town’s “Settlement and Interchange Support Center”
since 2008, in recognition of the knowledge it has accumulated through
activities such as negotiating the settlement of artists who wish to
live in old Japanese houses, called cominka, in Kamiyama.
Through its work for this Center, Green Valley identified the need for
and established a new program, called “Work in Residence.” This program
aims to increase the residential population by helping young people
settle in vacant cominka houses and work in the town. One of the
features of the program a system in which target persons for settlement
are limited to those who have a job or intend to start a business there.
Local citizens select applicants who wish to reside in each vacant
cominka house.
The first applicant selected as a cominka resident was a family of three
from Osaka. Attracted by rural life, they moved to Kamiyama Town and
opened a bakery which sells bread baked in their homemade stone oven.
Since the start of the program through November 2012, a total of 70
households, or 128 people with diverse careers, such as a dye
craftsperson, dentist, bistro chef, and shared restaurant owner, have
settled in the town through the Center.
What encouraged them to pursue their careers in Kamiyama was its optical
fiber network. Tokushima Prefecture launched a program to install an
optical fiber network throughout the entire prefecture by the mid-2000s,
and in 2005 the network became available to all households in Kamiyama,
improving their broadband environment dramatically.
In October 2010, Sansan Inc., a Tokyo-based information technology
venture company that offers a cloud business card management service,
opened a satellite office — named the Laboratory Kamiyama Sansan, Inc.
— using a rented cominka house. Chikahiro Terada, founder of Sansan Inc.,
was transferred to Silicon Valley in 2001, and after coming back to
Japan, had been looking for a place where he could carry out this new
way of working within Japan. He visited Kamiyama, with its advanced
information and technology environment, and made a prompt decision to
open a satellite office there.
Another company also opened a satellite office in Kamiyama following the
Great East Japan Earthquake in 2011. Plat-Ease Corporation, engaged in
distributing meta data to TV stations and other users, was urged to
formulate a Business Continuity Plan, and traveled around Japan looking
for a new location to diversify its risks in case its Tokyo office is
impacted by a disaster. It eventually found Kamiyama Town.
The company established a satellite office in Kamiyama, its Engawa
Office, by remodeling a 90-year-old cominka house to incorporate modern
design in July 2013. This office is open to the public at any time of
the day or night. At this satellite office, 17 out of its 20 employees
are from Tokushima Prefecture, of which six are from Kamiyama Town. As
of the end of August 2014, 11 companies have opened satellite offices in
Ominami coined the term “creative depopulation,” which indicates a
situation where people accept the inevitable reality of depopulation in
rural areas, while trying to stabilize their demographic composition and
structure so as to lead their hometowns on to a sustainable path.
According to estimates calculated in cooperation with researchers five
years ago, Kamiyama’s population will be 3,065 in 2035. With respect to
its population of young people, in order to keep 20 students per class,
the town will have to accept five families of 2 parents and 2 children
as new residents every year. Based on these estimates, Green Valley
adopted a goal of five new families every year in order to maintain an
ideal demographic pyramid for the town.
Tadashi Shinohara wrote a book, entitled “The Kamiyama Project,” and
concludes that Kamiyama is a place where humans can be revitalized. He
feels that it may have the capacity to embrace young people who have
been hurt in various ways: by feeling the warmth of local people they
may be healed, and regain themselves. Green Valley’s efforts may provide
ideas to municipalities that face the risk of vanishing in the future,
and help them promote population flow from the cities to rural areas.
Written by Kazumi Yagi
Kochi’s Challenge — A Prefecture Tackling Depopulation (Part 2)
A previous issue of the JFS Newsletter (No.144) introduced comprehensive
efforts by Japan’s Kochi Prefecture, quoted from a speech by Governor
Masanao Ozaki promoting industry, entitled “Kochi’s Challenge — A
Prefecture Tackling Depopulation.” Kochi has been experiencing the
problem of depopulation, which is common throughout the nation, but it
is happening earlier here than in other prefectures. This article
introduces a variety of other ideas being considered and efforts being
made by this prefecture.
In the Kochi prefectural government, we are promoting all kinds of
policies to deal with depopulation. The prefecture’s five basic policies
are: economic revitalization through implementation of an industrial
promotion plan; radical enhancement and acceleration of fundamental
measures against the predicted Nankai Trough earthquake; creation of
Japan’s healthiest, most long-lived prefectural population; enhancement
of education and support for child-raising; and improvement and
effective use of infrastructure. We also have two overarching policies,
one that involves enhancement and strengthening of measures to help
semi-mountainous rural regions and another that constitutes a radical
enhancement of measures to counter the falling birthrate while expanding
working opportunities for women.
For example, to tackle the problem of the shrinking economy and outflow
of the young, the government is promoting an industrial development plan
for revitalizing Kochi’s economy. We are putting efforts into “outbound
sales of local products,” and “welcoming resettlement into the
prefecture.” We are also enhancing education, for example, by creating
places for young people to study. We aim to make the prefecture the best
place in the nation for education, with the most opportunities for
learning. Regarding the issue of isolation due to the simultaneous
decline and aging of the population, the government is promoting a plan
for creating Japan’s healthiest, most long-lived prefectural population
in an attempt to realize a “Kochi-style” well-being.
To deal with decline in the semi-mountainous regions of Japan, we are
enhancing and reinforcing measures to help these areas, such as by
establishing local centers to protect people’s livelihoods and create
industries. In response to the accelerating decline in the birthrate, we
aim for radical enhancement of measures to counter the falling birthrate
while expanding working opportunities for women and offering one-stop,
comprehensive support for challenges at each life stage, from
matchmaking and marriage to child-rearing.
The problem of depopulation in rural areas is partly due to social
factors such as differences in numbers of migrants into and out of these
areas, but it is mainly due to attrition —  that is, the number of
deaths surpassing that of births. Therefore it is not an easy problem to
solve, and what matters crucially is how the younger generations, who
play a major role in the birthrate, can remain in their local areas.
We are also trying to promote migration into the prefecture to help
alleviate the decrease in population. We are conducting a wide range of
campaigns to lead people to the prefectural website, where they can get
information on moving to Kochi. We have posted six staff members to
provide advice on resettlement and social interaction, and 22 local
counselors in 18 cities, towns, and villages, for close support in
promoting more migration to the prefecture among people who see the
website and become interested in visiting or living in Kochi.
The number of new arrivals  has more than doubled — from 121 households
with 225 people in 2012 to 468 people in 2013. In a ranking of
prefectures to which people want most to move, released by a non-profit
organization in Tokyo, Kochi Prefecture was not listed among the top 20
until three years ago. It has gradually risen, however, reaching 12th
place in 2012 and sixth in 2013.
We also put a strong emphasis on attracting human resources. Attracting
people is more important than attracting businesses. This is because
even if a local government tries to start a new business as part of a
municipal action plan, it will be of no use if there are too few people
who can participate. Even in the context of sightseeing, if a community
lacks the capacity to accommodate tourists, it puts across the
impression that it does not want more visitors. Therefore, by promoting
resettlement of people into the community, we hope to provide manpower
for such efforts.
We endeavor to promote forestry, too. I think Kochi’s strongest
advantage is its forest resources, which cover 84 percent of the
prefecture’s area. If good use could be made of these resources, Kochi
could become a resource-rich land, but one of the biggest hurdles is
costs. In particular, Kochi’s hills are steep, making it expensive to
cut trees. The big challenge will be how to compensate for such costs to
make it profitable.
The important thing will be to use all parts of the trees, from the
roots to the crowns. For example, we can try to make money from wood
resources by not limiting them high quality timber for construction wood,
but also using middle quality timber for laminated wood and low quality,
which used to be discarded in the past, for paper and biomass fuels.
Horticultural agriculture in Kochi Prefecture relies on heavy oil, which
means we wind up paying 6.6 billion yen (about U.S.$6.53 million) to the
Middle East. If that amount of money went into the forests of Kochi
instead, it would make a great difference.
Two wood biomass power plants are scheduled to start operation in April
2015, converting low quality wood into profitable products. At the same
time, Kochi wants to use middle quality wood for making cross laminated
timber (CLT) panels. CLT panels are made of layers of woods with the
grain oriented at right angles to each other. Woods fibers withstand
force from an orthogonal direction, but when force is applied in a
parallel direction, wood tends to buckle in a direction orthogonal to
the grain. Thus combining the wood panels orthogonally creates wood
strong in both directions. In Austria, Italy and other European
countries, more and more mid- to high-rise buildings are being made with
CLT panels.
Once established in Japan, this technology could bring tremendous
environmental and economic benefits. For example, if 10 percent of the
total floor space of Japan’s mid- to high-rise buildings were replaced
with CLT wood, it would fix 1.456 million metric tons of CO2, which
corresponds to 5,600 hectares of forest area. Moreover, if the amount of
CO2 emissions avoided at the time of construction is included in the
calculation, it works out to the equivalent of 5,805 hectares of forest
being created in an urban area. If timber from forest thinning is used,
it means 95,000 hectares of forest can be thinned for this purpose,
creating about 4,000 jobs in the wood industry and about 12,000 jobs in
forestry. We urge support for using wood in the construction of
facilities for the Tokyo Olympic Games in 2020.
Another important challenge will be building mutually-supportive
networks in semi-mountainous areas for the purpose of stemming
population outflow and to help people get by even in areas with
declining population. The major stumbling block in terms of welfare
policy is vertically divided (un-integrated) administrative structures.
For example, institutions for the elderly are limited to the elderly
only. Institutions for the disabled provide services only to the
disabled, and institutions for children are only for children.
In semi-mountainous areas, the absolute numbers of each group are small;
therefore, providing services to all groups at one location will be
essential. That is why we are building facilities called “Attaka Fureai”
Centers (meaning “warm connections”)  that can provide all needed
services. Currently, we are building 200 of these centers across the
prefecture to provide various services. By creating bases called
“Shuraku Katsudo” Centers (meaning “community activity”) in different
communities, we believe we can help Japan continue to be able to earn
foreign currency, protect domestic agriculture, forestry and fisheries,
and always ensure enough food.
Lastly, for countermeasures to the falling birthrate, Japan can be
divided into four areas: places with many young people, places with few
young people, places with a good environment for raising kids, and
places with a deficient environment for raising kids. The issues to be
dealt with differ completely among these areas. The areas with many
young people and a good environment for raising kids need to promote
greater economic support and create a society that encourages child
birth. In areas such as Tokyo’s 23 wards with lots of young people, but
lacking a good environment for raising kids, eliminating the waiting
list for nursery schools seems to be a big issue.
On the other hand, neither Kochi Prefecture nor Kochi City has a big
problem with children waiting to enter nursery schools. The issues they
face, however, are declining population and unemployment of young people.
Thus the critical point will be how to help young people find marriage
partners, especially by creating meeting places for the dwindling
numbers of young people.
When people talk about local revitalization, they often tend to focus on
one initiative, but one initiative alone can never solve the problem. We
need a comprehensive system. I don’t think the depopulation issue can be
handled outside the framework of a large system.
I hope businesses will support rural communities in semi-mountainous
areas in their development of CSR activities. I recognize it is a
daunting task to face the depopulation issue, but it is also challenging.
All of us involved need to do our very best.
Speaker: Kochi Prefecture Governor Masanao Ozaki
Edited by Junko Edahiro
[JFS Web Site Additions of the Month]
– A new recipe is posted on “Eco-Cooking” page (2014/09/27)
Grilled Salmon with Shichimi
– This month’s cartoon:
“Pieces keep dropping out and getting lost”
on the Eco Cartoons Page (2014/09/16)
– We updated CSR/Sustainability Reports’ Page
– JFS Newsletter No.144 (August 2014)
From Energy-Saving Architecture to Energy Self-Sufficient
Architecture: History of Energy-Saving Architecture in Japan
Update on Japan’s Efforts to Build National Resilience to
Kochi’s Challenge — A Prefecture Tackling
Depopulation (Part 1)(2014/08/28)
– Updated contents in
“Miracle Miracle — A Place for Global Kids to Create the Future”
Miracle Report:
A Happy Connection Between Homeless Youth and Animals (2014/09/25)
Refrigerator That Cools Things without Electricity and Ice (2014/09/18)
Adults Pay Tribute to World’s “Climate Champions” (2014/09/11)
An Orchard at School!? (2014/09/04)
The Japan for Sustainability newsletter is a free monthly newsletter
to keep you up-to-date on the latest developments in Japan.
Japan for Sustainability bears no liability for the newsletter’s
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This newsletter is sent only to those who have registered for it.
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Copyright (c) 2014, Japan for Sustainability. All Rights Reserved.
We invite you to forward our articles or use information on the JFS
website and in your newsletters, as long as you also provide the proper
credit to  “Japan for Sustainability,”



Web relief

Help the humanitarian community by taking the ReliefWeb user survey

New article on the ReliefWeb blog:

Help the humanitarian community by taking the ReliefWeb user survey

Read the article on ReliefWeb:

At ReliefWeb, your feedback, ideas and suggestions are very important to us. They are what have helped ReliefWeb become such an important tool for the humanitarian community. We’re always exploring new ways to deliver humanitarian information, but we can’t do it without your input.

To ensure that ReliefWeb best meets the information needs of humanitarians, we’ve decided to undertake some research on you, our humanitarian users. The 2014 ReliefWeb user survey is now open.

If you are a long-term ReliefWeb user, you will recall that we conducted similar comprehensive user survey back in 2010. You feedback helped us to roll out useful features and services, such as Headlines, Topics and Tweeter aggregations.

We’re asking you for a moment of your time. We want to know more about you, why you use ReliefWeb, what type of humanitarian content you’re looking for, what you think of the existing ReliefWeb features, and what kind of online humanitarian information services you would like in the future.

The survey is comprehensive but simple and should only take approximately 10-12 minutes. No personal information will be requested.

The responses you provide will help us to develop new humanitarian information services that meet the needs of the wider humanitarian community.

We’re also looking for humanitarians who would like to participate in an in-depth interview where we will ask a few additional questions. If you are interested, please leave your email in the last question of the survey.

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A clean, green cooking machine: the ACE 1

Hello Hélène H. Oord,
Half the planet cooks on open fire every day. And this claims millions of lives each year.*
Do you think that these numbers are simply unacceptable?
We do too. The good news is this is a problem we can solve. And we would invite you to join our mission to change these numbers with the ACE 1 No Smoke Stove!

Imagine the following scenario:
It’s a lovely, sunny day, and you have a barbecue planned with friends. But instead of waiting half an hour for the barbecue to heat up, you are cooking within minutes on a beautiful portable stove.
While enjoying dinner, there’s no bothersome smoke and the clean-up is quick and easy. Now, imagine that this stove is not only useful and fun for you, but that it can also save lives, help families out of poverty, and even reduce climate change.

This is what the ACE 1 is all about. Are you curious to know more, or are you wondering where you can get such a stove? Watch our video on Kickstarter:
(If you’re in the Netherlands, visit:
Whether you choose to buy a No Smoke Stove for yourself, give one away or choose another pledge, in all ways the gift you are giving will mean big change.
Thanks a million.
P.S. Sharing is already a huge contribution:
* According to the World Health Organization



We have started: The ACE 1 now live on Kickstarter

Hello Hélène H. Oord

Have you seen it yet? The ACE 1 Ultra-Clean Biomass Cookstove is now live on Kickstarter! The ACE 1 is a portable stove and device charger that can power outdoor adventures. And global change.
In case you are still wondering what the ACE 1 can mean to you: we’ve filmed a beautiful  3 minute video explaining this smart product. We are sure that it will make you want to be part of a global cooking revolution.
How, you ask? Well, that’s easy.  All you need to do is follow this link and visit our Kickstarter page:
So why join the cooking revolution? Well, because there are great rewards for our backers, such as the Signature Red Edition: a Tesla-inspired cherry red edition of the ACE 1, with an engraved signature of the employee who assembled it! Don’t want a stove but do want to pitch in? We’ve got you covered.
Need another reason? We’re convinced there is no better way to change the world while enjoying yourself.
Thank you!
Ruben Walker
P.S. Can you tweet this campaign too?
Or share:
#ACE1 portable stove and device charger, powers outdoor adventures and global change. Pre-orders NOW on Kickstarter:


Share an inspiring story

Hi, Hélène H. Oord
At the end of August we are launching a global crowdfunding campaign for the ACE 1 Ultra-Clean Biomass Cookstove. With the capital raised, we can make a huge positive impact on global health, the environment and poverty.
Enjoy cooking anywhere, improve life everywhere
The ACE 1 is the ideal product for anybody who enjoys cooking outdoors. And it also has the power to save millions of lives.
Did you know?
Few people know how dangerous it is to cook on an open fires or use primitive stoves. Yet this is how close to half of the world’s population cook on a daily basis. And it’s deadly, causing 4 million deaths per year. The ACE 1 is smokeless, meaning it will eradicate the health risks of indoor air pollution. It’s also incredibly fuel efficient, requiring up to 70% less fuel than traditional cooking methods. This makes it cheaper to run, and is better for the environment.
Joining the revolution
So before we launch our campaign we are reaching out to as many people as we can to join the global cooking revolution. And we need your help doing this. After all, what is a revolution without supporters?
Sharing the story
To support us in gaining momentum for the ACE 1, we’d like you to share our message on your social networks. Simply visit:
Let’s work together to get the ACE 1 improving life everywhere!
Ruben Walker
ACE Website
ACE Facebook
ACE Twitter



*Worldview Mission  is Standing Up ,* Taking Action* , **Making Noise for the United Nations MDGL’s !!!**