RCE Chubu - 2022


Bio-Cultural Diversity Project on Traditional Festivals and Biodiversity Conservation
Basic Information
Title of project : 
Bio-Cultural Diversity Project on Traditional Festivals and Biodiversity Conservation
Submitting RCE: 
RCE Chubu
Contributing organization(s) : 
RCE Chubu, Chubu University, Nagoya University, Mie University, etc.
Focal point(s) and affiliation(s)
Reita Furusawa
Organizational Affiliation: 
RCE Chubu, Coordinator (Chubu University, Associsate Professor)
Format of project: 
Language of project: 
Japanese (English version is comming soon)
Date of submission:
Tuesday, May 10, 2022
Aichi-Nagoya Declaration on ESD, Bio-cultural Diversity initiative (CBD & UNESCO)
At what level is the policy operating?: 
Geographical & Education Information
Ise-Mikawa Bay Watershed (Chubu Central Japan)
Address of focal point institution for project: 
Chubu University 1200 Matsumotocho Kasugai City, Aichi Japan
Target Audience:
Socioeconomic and environmental characteristics of the area : 
Ise-Mikawa Bay Watershed in Chubu Central Japan
Description of sustainable development challenge(s) in the area the project addresses: 
This project focuses on the issue on biodiversity conservation. Biodiversity conservation activities are becoming an activity of people with a high degree of expertise and awareness, confined to a few environmental action groups and researchers. On the other hand, cultural conservation, such as the lack of successors to traditional festivals, is a problem in the region. These need to be linked together to relearn the appreciation and reverence for living creatures and animals that are rooted in our daily lives.
April, 2021
Biodiversity should not be considered as a separate issue, but should be linked to various issues in our daily life. To this end, it is essential to further deepen Education for Sustainable Development (ESD), which is being advanced in Chubu central Japan based on the idea of Bioregion. In particular, education on the interrelationship between culture and natural diversity based on the concept of 'Bio-Cultural Diversity' proposed by the CBD and UNESCO.
The aim of this activity is to promote ESD to learn about the interrelationship between culture and biodiversity. It is hoped that this will lead to a situation where every citizen in the region understands the importance of biodiversity in relation to culture and daily life, and takes action for its conservation.In addition, the initiative will also contribute to the achievement of the SDGs, by clarifying the interrelationship between biodiversity conservation(#14&15) and the cultural diversity (#4&11).
Activities and/or practices employed: 
In this project, a learning programme on the conservation of the growing environment of plants and animals (and foodstuffs) related to festivals will be developed and implemented, with a particular focus on 'festivals' amongst local cultures. Specifically, a series of biocultural diversity workshops will be organised in collaboration with festival preservation associations for local festival-goers, mainly children.
Size of academic audience: 
The project is still ongoing, but what has been achieved so far is that four workshops have been organised. Two of these were online symposia due to Covid 19, while the other two were face-to-face workshops in the field. During the face-to-face workshops, participants learnt about the problem of the devastation of planted forests of cypress, the material used to make the floats used for the Inuyama festival. They also learnt about the sustainability of agriculture and fisheries in the Ise Bay basin area under the theme of the Tenteko Festival, where mullet and radish are used.
Lessons learned: 
Through this project, festival-goers who attended the workshops gained a deeper understanding of environmental issues they had not considered before. Challenges included the cancellation of the workshops due to the impact of the Covid 19. In addition, majority of the participants are still environmental activists, and there are challenges in increasing the participation of festival people, especially young people.
Key messages: 
The importance of the SDGs lies in the fact that they aim to solve comprehensive problems. To achieve this, local issues should be examined in a comprehensive manner. To implement activities that focus on the interconnectedness of the goals. And multi-stakeholder collaboration. These three factors are considered important. In this project, a traditional festival can be used as a starting point to consider the linkages between different issues.
Relationship to other RCE activities: 
Our ultimate aim is not for all regions of the RCE to act in the same way towards a sustainable society, but for each region to develop activities that make use of its unique natural environment and cultural diversity. We believe it is important to showcase these local practices around the world and to deepen mutual understanding. Therefore, we would like to share the results of this project with other RCEs and build a biocultural diversity ESD model that can be applied internationally.
The project is part of the Toyota Motor Corporation Environmental Action Grant Programme, of which only 10 projects were selected in Japan in FY2021. The project is funded for two years until FY2022.


File Name Caption for picture Photo Credit
Image icon learningmaterial.jpg (693.54 KB) Workshop learning material Reita Furusawa
Image icon DSC02536.JPG (1.55 MB) Thinning the forest Reita Furusawa
Image icon DSC02393.JPG (1.4 MB) forest workshop Reita Furusawa
Image icon DSC_1236.JPG (1.51 MB) Tenteko Festical lecture Reita Furusawa
fish market selling ritual fishes Reita Furusawa
UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
(https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/sdgs) and other themes of Education for Sustainable Development (ESD)
SDG 4 - Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all 
SDG 11 - Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable 
SDG 14 - Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development 
SDG 15 - Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification and halt and reverse land degradation, and halt biodiversity loss 
SDG 17 - Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalise the global partnership for sustainable development 
Traditional Knowledge  
Plants & Animals 
ESD for 2030-Priority Action Areas
Priority Action Area 1 - Advancing policy 
Priority Action Area 2 - Transforming learning and training environments 
Priority Action Area 4 - Mobilizing youth 
Priority Action Area 5 - Accelerating sustainable solutions at local level