Vol. 431 Oct., 17 2012
Inviting university students from Japan, China, and South Korea, Aeon hosts the First Asian Students Environment Platform (ASEP).
Aeon is implementing various initiatives aimed at developing young leaders
            able to face up to the challenges of environmental conservation.
Over a period of seven days starting from August 17, 2012, the Aeon Environmental Foundation hosted the Asian Students Environment Platform (ASEP) with the participation of 60 students from Waseda University in Japan, Tsinghua University in China, and Korea University in South Korea.
ASEP was hosted as a component of the Foundation’s contribution outlined in its memorandum of understanding with the UN Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (SCBD), signed at the tenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (COP 10) held in Nagoya in 2010. In the memorandum, the Foundation pledged cooperation in hosting the MIDORI Prize for Biodiversity, promoting environmental education for young people, and implementing tree-planting projects with the aim of supporting the United Nations Decade on Biodiversity and fostering the development of young people who will become future leaders in the area of environmental conservation.
Under the theme of “Studying the Environment through Culture,” the university students visited Aeon Lake Town to study its low environmental impact facilities and the village of Tanohata in Iwate Prefecture, which was hit by the Great East Japan Earthquake. They also took in historical sites such as Kibune Shrine and Kuramadera Temple to become acquainted with Japan’s traditional aesthetic values and unique perspective on nature. Other activities included tree-planting and other field trips in order for the students to get an idea about coexistence with nature and environmental conservation. On the final day of the program, the students made group presentations on what they had learned through their participation in ASEP. In the presentations, key words such as “onko-chishin” (meaning “learning from the past” in Japanese) and “coexistence” were proposed as a way of introducing measures and ideas they thought would contribute to solving environmental issues.
Planning to expand the circle of ASEP participants to include those from other parts of Asia, going forward, Aeon strives to help foster the development of a generation of young people with a global outlook.