Web Japan > Kids Web Japan > Archives > Monthly News > JUNEC

September 2004

Junior United Nations Eco Workshop Held in Tokyo

Tokyo Dome
The water processing equipment at Tokyo Dome

The Junior United Nations Eco Workshop (JUNEC) was held in Tokyo from August 18 to 20, 2004, with the aim of developing environmental leaders who can think about environmental issues in their schools and communities. This was the fourth annual conference for JUNEC, which was begun in 2001 under the slogan of "environmental conservation from an early age." This year about 120 middle and high school children participated, mostly from Tokyo and the surrounding area.

The workshop was made up of three courses that took place at the same time, and the children in each course visited several places in Tokyo. The Communications course focused on publicity for environmental conservation, the Infrastructure course looked at the relationship between architecture and the environment, and the Energy course took its participants around sites where resources are recycled. The children went on their tours carrying separate plastic bags for flammable and inflammable waste. This gave them practice so that they could continue separating trash when they went back to their schools and homes.

collect information
The children used notebooks and cameras to collect information

The 40 kids in the Energy course toured behind the scenes of the Tokyo Dome City amusement complex. The roof of Tokyo Dome is curved, and the rainwater that falls on the roof is collected and filtered. The water is then used for flushing toilets and other purposes. In addition, approximately 1,000 tons of water is kept in storage so that it can be used in the case of a fire emergency. The children also got to see the workings of the sodium-sulfur battery system, which stores cheap electricity during the late night hours for use during the day.

A group of kids presents its ideas

Seventh grader Mikuriya Sonoko and her classmate Maeda Rika participated in the conference for the first time. They both came as members of their middle school's Blue Earth Summit committee, which considers ways of dealing with environmental issues. After the Tokyo Dome tour they gave a reaction of surprise and gratitude. "Until we came here, we didn't know that Tokyo Dome has recycling facilities out of sight of visitors," they said. "Now we know it's because of these facilities that we can use the water."

On the final day, the children divided into small groups, summarized what they had learned on their tours on paper or computer, and gave presentations to the other participants.

In summer 2004 the United Nations International Children's Conference on the Environment was held at the University of Connecticut in the United States, and two members of JUNEC took part. Since the 2005 World Exposition, which will have the environment as its major theme, will be held in Aichi Prefecture, Japan, the next international conference will be held in Toyohashi, Aichi Prefecture. The members of JUNEC can be expected to engage in environmental activities on an international level next year as well.

News Top