Environmental Seminar in Caribbean
In July 2015, APIC hosted the “Symposium on Environmental Protection in the Caribbean Region” in cooperation with Sophia University, on their campus in Tokyo. APIC hosted the second of the symposium series in Palau on August 2015, and the third on October 31 of this year (2016), at the University of West Indies (UWI) in Jamaica. Mr. Ken Shimanouchi, Councilor of APIC and Special Envoy for the Japan-CARICOM Friendship Year, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, gave a welcome speech, and Mr.Megumi Araki, Director and Secretary-General of APIC, presided over the seminar.
Approximately fifty individuals participated in the seminar, that as held at the UWI. Also present were the Ambassador of Trinidad and Tobago.
At the beginning of the seminar, Dr. Richard L. Bernal, Pro-Vice Chancellor, Global Affairs of UWI and former Ambassador to the United States, gave the opening and introductory speech, and expressed his gratitude to APIC, for hosting students invitation programs and the environmental seminar. He also discussed his expectation for future exchange between Sophia University and UWI based on the MoU was signed last year when Prime Minister Abe visited Jamaica.
Ambassador Shimanouchi gave welcome remarks and discussed the general operations at APIC. He mentioned that the environment is a priority between CARICOM nations and Japan. He also welcomed the exchange that were instituted as a result of the MoU’s between APIC and Sophia University.
Professor McDonald gave a presentation titled “Charting Island Futures: Exploring Effective Policies in the Face of Climate Challenge and Environmental Challenges”. She provided a number of examples of success stories in Japan, where fishermen and environmental experts worked together, with a flexible mandate, in order to solve problems. During the question and answer session, professors and executives from the Ministry of the Environment raised questions that reflected their high level of expertise on the environment. The mission was also impressed by the Port Royal Marine Laboratory Department of Life Science, UWI, to learn that the professors of the laboratory occasionally teach at high schools and it is compulsory for high school students in Jamaica to take environmental classes. Moreover, the high school students regularly participate in practical learning settings in the laboratory.
On the following day of the seminar, Ambassador Shimanouchi made a courtesy visit to talk with Johnson=Smith, Minister of Foreign Affairs, and Professor McDonald and Secretary-General Araki provided a report at the seminar. Professor McDonald was particularly impressed by the strengthening of ties between Jamaica and Japan, through the seminar.
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