“The Little Island that Could”: Creating a Better Future for Okinawa Through Partnership
Over four hundred organizations in Okinawa have partnered to advance the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals in Japan’s southern-most prefecture — and in a region with a vulnerable economy. The Okinawa SDGs Project, sponsored by the Ryukyu Shimpo newspaper, brings together more than 70 organizations, including media, municipalities, universities, large and small businesses, and not-for-profit organizations, to work on SDGs that affect Okinawa and that Okinawans are uniquely prepared to address.
Selected as a United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Natural Heritage site, Okinawa’s rich nature and biodiversity is even more notable in that it coexists on a chain of islands with a population of 1.5 million people. Additionally, the sites of Shurijo Castle and the Gusuku Group, built during the Ryukyu Dynasty prior to Japanese rule, are registered as a UNESCO World Heritage site. It is this combination of thriving nature and rich culture that the partnership seeks to apply to the SDGs.
To create a sustainable region where nature and culture are balanced, the partnership brings together science, industry, and the understanding and cooperation of the local community. This presentation will share examples of ways Okinawans are addressing local carbon emissions, improving health, promoting employment and industry development, and improving the marine environment.
Presenters will share these initiatives in an effort to foster dialogue in Asia and the Pacific and to explore solutions to global environmental problems. All of the speakers’ activities are based on partnerships. The discussion will aim to raise awareness and motivation to achieve each of the SDG goals based on partnerships, which is unique to Okinawa, with its culture of “yuimaru” or mutual support.
NOTE: This session will be delivered in Japanese and simultaneous interpretation will be provided in English.