Vol. 460 Dec., 18 2013
University students discussing the development of concrete approaches to addressing waste issues

Launch an Asian Youth Exchange Program, Focusing on the Familiar Issues on the Environment

First Aeon Asia Eco-Leaders forum held in Indonesia

The Aeon 1% Club has launched the Aeon Asia Eco-Leaders forum, where high school and university students from around Asia are invited to discuss environmental issues. The program aims to provide young people in the region with opportunities to: (1) learn about environmental issues around them, for which they are encouraged to increase their awareness of and take voluntary actions; and (2) develop an understanding of the differences in values and cultures and a relationship of mutual cooperation across borders in solving specific issues. The first event of the new project was held this year in Indonesia, where 80 high school and 84 university students from six countries—China, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam—met to exchange opinions on waste-related issues. The high school student program was organized from August 19 to 27. The participants first learned of Jakarta’s general social conditions through lectures and on-site studies, including an observation tour of the city’s waste disposal center, and then group discussions were held to explore effective approaches to raising public awareness of the social concern, which was concluded by a presentation session where discussion results were shared among the groups.

High school students signing the proposal to submit to the government in Jakarta for
            raising public awareness of waste issues

Following this, the university student program was organized from November 24 to 30, including attendance at an environmental seminar hosted by the University of Indonesia and a site visit for learning waste management measures being implemented by Surabaya City. In discussion and presentation sessions that followed, the university students talked in groups eagerly, intending to develop concrete solutions and initiatives using ideas suggested by high school participants three months earlier, and shared plans that had been developed among all the participants. The best ideas selected in each of the junior and senior programs were proposed to the government in Jakarta.