Thanks to the call made by JICA (International Cooperation Agency of the Government of Japan), I had the opportunity to develop so-called Environmental Studies, Environmental Management with community participation - 2008, where he shared experiences with professionals from the Ministries of Environment Bangladesh, Kenya, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Indonesia and Cuba.
This city located in the southern Japan island of Kyushu, Kumamoto prefecture, we find the essential elements for building a model of environmental development.
Minamata suffered in the 50s, a major environmental disaster, known as Minamata disease, in which the city harbor was contaminated by a discharge of methyl mercury from one of the largest factories in the area, which caused the discharge Death by ingestion of seafood contaminated hundreds of people and serious injuries to nearly 3,000 more, not counting the damage caused to ecosystems.
Against this background, the city and its inhabitants were proposed to start from scratch and start building a new society based on respect for the environment, was designed as a series of plans, programs and long-term projects, which helped implement among other strategies include: Proper disposal of waste. Separation at source in 22 categories. Implementing ISO 14000 standard Construction of cycle routes that interconnect throughout the city. Massification of cycling. Proper utilization of forest resources. Articulated work between community, government and entrepreneurs.
This series of actions linked to an appropriate medical management for those who still suffer the effects of environmental disaster, Minamata is shown to the world as a true eco town planned road, urban and environmentally, with great strength displayed on your people, which through different organizations, women, seniors, youth, business organizations and trade him to the city form a seal of environmental dynamics, which can be felt in developing their activities and sharing daily with each of its inhabitants.
Finally Minamata could highlight everything, but I mention only 2 elements: Separation at source in 22 categories and the vast citizen mobilization to confront and overcome adversity to achieve and pass on these lessons to boys and girls with great pride that implement environmental action from schools and colleges, which have incorporated the technical standards ISO in each of its processes.
On our return we have many lessons, both from the experience of Minamata, as we learned in Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto, Kumamoto and Kitakyushu, and many memories that will last forever, as the Shinkansen, the metro of Tokyo, Akihabara, Tokyo tower , karaokes, schools JICA, the soshu and biiru.
Already in our country the great responsibility as alumni to increase this share and implement lessons learned in this beautiful country, where the true sun, is its people.
Article published in the alumni magazine of JICA - COLOMBIA 2009