By Shinya Miyazaki, Okayama ESD Promotion Commission (Japan)
We started the "Okayama ESD Project" in 2005 to promote ESD activities in the Okayama region. Various stakeholders, such as schools, universities, civic groups, businesses, community learning centers (“Kominkans”) and local governments have been engaged in this project. In 2014, the Stakeholder Meetings of the UNESCO World Conference on ESD were held in Okayama City. For those reasons, the recognition of ESD is very high among people in Okayama. A public survey conducted in 2015 revealed that 37.1% of residents acknowledged ESD.
Our project was highly esteemed as a locally-rooted example of managing a city sustainably. Winning the UNESCO-Japan Prize on ESD encourages our stakeholders to continue and scale up their ESD activities. It is our mission to encourage and support more organizations and people to participate in our project, work together to build a sustainable society.
Personally, it was my second time to visit Paris, but I had never dreamed of visiting UNESCO in my life. It was a great opportunity for us to get to know UNESCO’s staff and the other two laureates from Cameroon and the United Kingdom. We could also learn how they work to tackle their challenges. We would like to strengthen the connection with them as partners which are working for building a sustainable world.