General Incorporated Association My Japan (Students’ report on the SDGs)
Valuing small actions and great awareness toward achieving the SDGs
In Hiroshima, there are limited tourist destinations to visit and wonderful places are insufficiently well-known … Upon learning of such a situation, My Japan initiated the “Asageshiki Tour.” This tour is not just for sightseeing, but also for enjoying forest bathing where participants can reflect on themselves in an extraordinary space, experiencing Japanese culture, and hearing stories from a guide about the history and peace of Hiroshima. We felt that from small steps of feeling nature and learning about history, we can gain a lot of awareness, and by accumulating them, we can change the future into a “sustainable” one. We realized that our daily activities are connected to the SDGs, even if we do not forcibly associate them with the SDGs.
Culture is a bridge that connects people
As the number of craftspeople is decreasing, the organization is taking on new challenges while carrying on the traditions to make Japanese culture “sustainable” as well. “Culture can only be developed if there is peace.” When we heard this phrase from Ms. MIMURA, the Representative Director, we thought that culture means interaction among people that transcends all boundaries such as time, gender, and nationality. By experiencing a culture, we can learn about the way of thinking and sensibilities of people who have that culture. Understanding and accepting each other will lead to the creation of a path to peace. We realized that the SDGs are not only about the environment, but also about valuing people’s minds, in terms of peace, community development, and job satisfaction.
Thinking about the natural environment through “small forests”
In the course of conducting the “Asageshiki Tour,” it became apparent that there was a distance between mountains and people, which led to launch of the “Giving Forest Project.” This project offers participants the opportunity to experience making moss balls from seedlings growing in the mountains, which they will grow at home, allowing them to spend some time thinking about nature. After the seedlings are planted, participants can visit to see the seedlings they have grown themselves, thereby having an opportunity to develop a connection with the local community.
We believe that as the distance between mountains and people is reduced, more people will be responsible for the natural environment in the future. As some mountains have become devastated due to labor shortages resulting from the aging of the population, it is necessary to support people who intend to engage in the management of forests. We hope that the “Giving Forest Project” will spread as one of the means to achieve this.
It is important that we, as college students, also learn about, experience, and communicate these initiatives. We recommend everyone to spend some time thinking about the environment while having fun.
We conducted interviews!
NAGAFUJI Shiho （2nd year student, Yasuda Women’s University）
SAIBARA Anna （2nd year student, Yasuda Women’s University）
General Incorporated Association My Japan
4-7-7 Jonohori, Kumano-cho, Aki-gun
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