- What’s special about the Iriomote way of living?
- What traditional knowledge do you want to pass down to the younger generations?
- What are the difficulties?
- How can you integrate traditional knowledge into modern society?
– Cheryl, Vanessa, Ayako, Manatsu, Hirono, Talia
Our group thought about what Iriomote island becoming a UNESCO site would entail and thought that it would be contrary to what Kinsei and Akiko Ishigaki have done to keep Iriomote in its current, primitive state. The basic principles and values of many Iriomote residents would be in opposition to what could become of Iriomote if it became a UNESCO site. While the goals of making Iriomote a UNESCO Eco Park (coexistence and education) are positive and would encourage what the residents of Iriomote are already doing, in the long run, we believe it would ultimately make Iriomote a tourist attraction. More attention from abroad could initiate development on Iriomote and the expansion of beach resorts and hotels could become a threat to the natural environment, indigenous wildlife, and local people.
We believe that Kinsei Ishigaki’s plan towards Eco Tourism is crucial, and having a test or set of requirements for people to become tour guides will give them the necessary knowledge and understanding of the values of Yaeyama to become a tour guide capable of conveying the beauty and importance of the Yaeyama culture and way of life.