Over 100 children from seven nations gathered recently at the National Olympics Memorial Youth Center in Shibuya Ward, Tokyo, to discuss what they could do to prevent environmental destruction.
The International Juniors’ Conference for the Environment, organized Saturday by the nonprofit-making Taiyoh-no-Kai (Society of the Sun), brought together youth, from ages 9 to 15, from Japan, China, South Korea, France, Romania, Canada and the United States.
Participants in the conference, which this year marked its 10th anniversary, exchanged ideas on what they could do to coexist with nature, preserve natural resources and promote peace.
They tried to come up with practical ideas so they can continue their efforts as they grow older. At the end of the session, the participants voted on the several ideas presented and agreed on three issues for resolution: to be active in recycling, to be more in contact with nature and to make efforts toward intercultural communication.
The three goals were compiled in the Teenager’s International Treaty, and the participants agreed to spread the treaty and its spirit among their friends and schoolmates.
Other opinions brought forward during the meeting included greater use of bicycles, fundraising for growing trees and the protection of animal rights.
“You all brought up a variety of ideas to save the Earth, and the important thing now is to continue what you have discussed today in your daily lives,” said keynote speaker Masaru Kitano, a professor at the College of Cross-Cultural Communication and Business at Shukutoku University in Saitama.
“I was surprised to realize that there were so many things I could do for the environment. I want to do whatever I can from what I learned today,” an 11-year-old Japanese participant said.
The conference was supported by junior staff members of Taiyoh-no-Kai, which encourages young people to contribute to environmental protection efforts both at home and abroad and is chaired by Mutsuko Miki, widow of the late Prime Minister Takeo Miki.
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