Japan Can Become An Ocean Champion

Japan and the Sea

Stewards of the Sea

As a technologically advanced island nation with very strong ties to the ocean, it is the opinion of this author that Japan take a greater lead in becoming a champion of the seas. It’s no secret that the oceans have become a waste-bin for the world (see Ocean Health Index), with increasing amounts of plastic debris, industrial waste, and all manner of human refuse polluting the waters.

Human activity has not been kind. Off-shore drilling, over-fishing, chemical dumping, and climate change are all taking their toll. This post however is intended not to highlight all the wrongs that we have been doing, but encourage greater action on the part of those who share such vital connections with the sea. All life on the planet is dependent on the oceans, so it is certainly within everyone’s interest to do more to protect it. In Japan’s case, there exist substantial ties of national identity and culture, as well as the all the socio-economic benefits. Furthermore, Japan has the capacity to do something about the ocean’s current imbalance. This represents an excellent opportunity for Japan to do more for the welfare of the oceans and set an example for the world.

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The Brilliance of “One Tree Planted”

Tree Power

An Awesome Organization

One Tree Planted is a wonderful not-for-profit that plants trees. The premise is simple. For every dollar donated, they will plant a tree. You can pick where in the world you would like for these trees to be planted, and they will work with local partners to make it happen. It’s an excellent system for making a positive contribution to the planet (see In Defense of Your World), and a practical means of exercising your concern for climate change. Yes, we need speedy and significant policy change to counter the rapid destruction of our forests, but we also need people out there, literally on the ground, planting new trees. This organization offers precisely that!

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Bill McKibben in Tokyo

Green filter Tokyo

A Look Through The Green Lens

Famed author and environmental activist Bill McKibben is in Tokyo as part of his Climate Action Tour across a number of Pacific nations. He is here looking to help bring attention to the issues and encourage the acceleration climate action. Mr. McKibben was recently in Tokyo for Earth Day  barely 3 weeks ago, where he spoke to those gathered about the importance of environmental protection and fossil fuel divestment. This time round, he is back for an event hosted by 350.org, the organization he helped found. Mr. McKibben was one of several speakers that had been invited to share their wisdom and insights. I’m thrilled to have had the privilege to attend and learn!

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Feeling the Japanese Enthusiasm for the UNEP

Green goblin

A Truly Global Initiative

I recently attended an event hosted by The Japan Association for the UNEP (J-UNEP) held here in Tokyo at the UN University Shibuya campus. As someone newly arrived to this country, I’ve been excited to learn more about the sustainable practices and developments that are going on in Japan. Fortunately, this forum provided me with my first inroad into connecting with some interesting people who share my passion for sustainability. It was also really helpful that the conference was in English!

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