Understanding environment through culture, UEHIRO×WASEDA Seminar series

Final Report(Kosuke Nagano)

Outcome of the symposium

On 4th January, we had a symposium about “commons.” Speakers sat in a small circle and audiences gathered around. Regardless of you are presenter or audience, you can get a microphone and give your opinion towards presenters’ topic. We had three groups, grassroots for children, policy, and spirit. Each group picked up one article happened in 2020 and predict the future situation in 2030 related to the article.

My group named grassroots for children focused on grassroots movements for environmental issues and sustainable life. Since grassroots movement is a bottom-up movement and implicate us an image of plants growing from a sprout to lush greenery, we decided to take child education as our main topic. We found Gro More Good which is the foundation cultivating the health and well-being of the next generation and trying to connect 10 million children to the powerful benefits of gardens and greenspaces. In the symposium, we asked a question, “What is your sense of nature?, where and how do you feel that?” to the audiences. Answers were very interesting. They were so different and reflected each person’s background. Similar to Gro More Good, we learnt the second last class, making public farm in a central city shows, Gro More Good also tries to let people regain their senses to nature. People especially living in urban areas almost lost their ecological ethics because they don’t know ecology, so we predicted that unless we and future generations have sense of nature, it will be difficult to be able to cope with environmental problems.


Ecological Ethics

Through the trip to Takahata, I learned satoyama, where individual profits meet and keep sustainable as a result. In satoyama,everyone has their own role and ethical responsibility. If everyone can do the way of Takahata, climate change would never happen. Since environmental problem is a global issue, ecological ethic is also global wide and ambiguous. In the entire world, it’s very difficult to determine who has the responsibility to each issue. So here’s my idea. We are living in a globalised world and sharing lots of things and information. What I got and learned through this Nature and Culture class is that people living in global world should be global citizens, means should be responsible for the biggest common, the earth. Even if there are victims and criminals, the most important thing is that re-realising each of us has the ecological ethics, earth ethics and responsible for nature. And as Greta Thunberg said, we have to treat climate crisis as a crisis. Maybe we don’t have enough time to adjudicate each environmental criminals stone for, but we all together need to pay for it.
Throughout this class, nature and culture, I have learnt my important things. Unlike other university courses, this class take us into real nature and allow us to be in a real community which people are strongly connected each other. Experiences of this class and wisdoms from the locals are precious. A huge thanks goes to the local people we met, people concerned who make this amazing class happened, and of course to the wonderful classmates.

“NO ONE IS TOO SMALL TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE” by Greta Thunberg, A Penguin Original

Gro More Good

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