4th Island Meeting Held on Chichijima

The Tokyo Treasure Islands Project is a project which aims to refine the Tokyo's islands brands through "Shima-Kaigi" (Island Meetings) with residents. This report covers the fourth island meeting and a study tour of Chichijima held on October 29 and 30.

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Is there any way to make use of maps? Searching for ideas at a pioneer map company

Six people from Chichijima participated in the study tour that was held on October 29. To substantiate the action ideas raised in the previous island meetings, three organizations that are conducting advanced initiatives in their respective fields were visited.

First, the participants visited Zenrin Co. Ltd., which investigates, creates, and sells maps, to find hints on the idea of using maps to communicate the region's appeals.The person in charge of the Map Design Business Division explained how maps are made and talked about items that use maps.

The participants then thought about how to use maps as they looked at various products including over 2,000 books of map data, stationery that contain maps, and fabric products.

In the ensuing discussion with Zenrin, the participants pointed out challenges unique to the Ogasawara Islands, such as only having rough maps even for the tourists and how creating a map of all of Ogasawara leads to the map mostly illustrating the ocean. Zenrin responded with detailed advice such as how it would be easier to communicate if there is an article with basic information such as stores and distances, and how pictures can be pasted in areas depicting the ocean on maps to improvise.

The participants followed up with questions on the cost of creating maps and the materials used. Using examples such as the make-your-own-map kit and themed maps such as those featuring the Rugby World Cup, Zenrin responded with realistic advice, pointing out that calculations are important for the seller as well. The participants nodded in response to the detailed advice and left the first destination of the study tour.

Learning the present state of environmental conservation activities and exchanging ideas at WWF

Next, the participants visited WWF Japan, an environmental conservation organization. The purposes of the organization's activities are to prevent global warming, create a sustainable society, to protect wild animals, and to protect forests and nature. Especially regarding the objective of protecting forests and nature, the organization confirmed the novelty of Chichijima's action plans. In order for the participants to learn about example cases, the person in charge of communications and marketing explained the contents of WWF's activities.

The person in charge introduced the ecological footprint, which shows the burden of human activities on the Earth's environment, the current state of the Earth's environment, WWF Japan's nature conservation activities, and fundraising activities.

Given that the Ogasawara Islands are registered as World Natural Heritage Sites and that the residents feel familiar with environmental issues and conservation activities, the participants asked questions on the matching of companies, regions, and conservation organizations and shared the current state of the Ogasawara, which is simultaneously preserving the environment and exterminating non-native species, as they exchanged ideas.

In response to the participants' question regarding the difficulties of collecting donations in Japan, hints such as the framework of increasing monthly supporters who will make monthly contributions after understanding and resonating with the activities introduced, collaborating with not only individuals but also with corporations, and using subsidies and bequests were given as detailed methods.

Considering the possibility of JTB's social contribution-type programs

On the second day, JTB Corporation was invited to the meeting room in Akasaka, Tokyo to conduct a hearing on the market needs of a social contribution-type program. Here, challenges on substantiating Chichijima's action plan-a training program for companies on protecting the environment-including whether there is demand in the market and what points, if any, need to be revised, will be made clear.

The person in charge of supporting the planning of training tours at companies across the country used examples such as the mindfulness experience by the chief priest at Happo-en, which is done for pharmaceutical companies, and a unique initiative to tackle the world's food loss, which is done for food companies. According to him, there are also many consultations on trips that involve learning and improving skills, as well as those that stimulate communication.

Next, whether a social contribution-type program could be done on Chichijima as a training trip was examined. Though there were unique challenges, such as needing a seven-day schedule and being able to accept max around 200 tourists, given the increase in social contribution awareness and movements related to SDG's, the person in charge said that the training program on Chichijima has potential.

Reflecting on the study tour and discussing an action plan

In the reflection that was done last, people said, "It can be connected to many things," and "I'm starting to see a detailed method on how to make the tourists circulate," referring to the initiatives that use maps.

On the other hand, regarding the planning of training trips, people said, "I feel that the people of Ogasawara are more conscious about the environment than the people on the mainland." The importance of conveying the message to a broad audience and the fact that what the participants are thinking is important for the Earth were reconfirmed.

With a clearer picture after the study tour, the participants will substantiate the action plans of a visitor passport that makes use of maps and a conservation project that teaches the ecosystem and look forward to the Tokyo Treasure Islands Meeting scheduled to be held on November 25. Given the discussions leading to the present, the brand concept of Chichijima was also decided as "An otherworldly island where life shines as it is."

Looking back on the two days, participant Makoto Fukuda said, "I'm seeing the detailed results of the discussions up until now, and I can feel the progress. It's the result of people from different backgrounds coming together."

The participants are looking forward to the Tokyo Treasure Islands Meeting, which will be held on November 25.