The Third AEON Future Earth Forum

Yasuda Auditorium of The University of Tokyo, Feb 2nd, 2019. 東京大学安田講堂、2019年2月2日
The third AEON Future Earth Forum themed "Natural Assets" was held at The University of Tokyo Yasuda Auditorium on February 2nd, 2019, with about 700 participants.

The series of forums has been focusing on global issues such as extreme weather related to global warming, food security, and depletion of natural resources, by bringing together citizens, students, industries, and scientists across generations to discuss what solutions can be developed in Japan to such global issues and to move towards a sustainable society. The Forum theme for each year has been selected from Future Earth’s Knowledge-Action Networks. 

The event started with opening addresses from President Makoto Gonokami from the University of Tokyo and Mr. Takuya Okada, Chairman of AEON Environmental Foundation and Honorary Chairman and Adviser of AEON Group. They introduced their histories and engagement in global sustainability, including Tree Planting. President Gonokami also stated that the university is proud of their contribution to Future Earth by hosting its Japan Hub.

Next, three keynote speeches presented the current issues and potential solutions for the world. Dr. Naoko Ishii, CEO and Chairperson for the Global Environment Facility (GEF), and a member of Future Earth Advisory Committee, clearly stated the stewardship for the Earth in the Anthropocene Era and introduced the concept of Global Commons. Prof. Futoshi Nakamura from Hokkaido University demonstrated the recovering processes in Japanese environment with many pictures and introduced the usefulness of green infrastructure for the prevention of natural disasters. Mr. Tokutarō Nakai, Director-general for Environmental Policy from the Ministry of The Environment of Japan introduced the Japanese Fifth Basic Environment Plan.

Dr. Naoko Ishii, CEO and Chairperson for the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and a member of Future Earth Advisory Committee, emphasized the stewardship and idea of Global Commons in her keynote speech. 

Prof. Futoshi Nakamura from Hokkaido University demonstrated green infrastructure. 

Mr. Tokutarō Nakai, Director-general for Environmental Policy from the Ministry of The Environment of Japan, introduced the 5th Basic Environment Plan. 

As part of the basis for the panel discussions held with the keynote speakers and Ms. Kaori Fujita, Nikkei ESG Senior Editor/Nikkei ESG Management Forum Producer, Nikkei Business Publications, Inc. and Mr. Yasuaki Fukunaga from AEON AGRI CREATE Co., Ltd., students from three high schools, two of which are from islands Sado (Niigata Prefecture) and Tanegashima (Kagoshima Prefecture) and the other also from Kagoshima Prefecture, and The University of Tokyo students’ group named “Kankyo Sanshiro” gave presentations urging for the need to lead actions for the future of both nature and society and raising questions to the panelists. 

Moderated by Director Tsuneo Watanabe, Japan Wildlife Research Center/Ishikawa-Kanazawa Operating Unit of The United Nations University Institute for the Advanced Study of Sustainability, the panelists discussed what can be done based on the keynote speeches and the messages from the students. Finally, the panelists invited the audience to the discussion. Among other topics, it was emphasized to consider how these ideas can be implemented most effectively. In the end, Prof. Kazuhiko Takeuchi, representing both The University of Tokyo, IR3S and Future Earth Japan Committee, summarized the forum and thanked to the speakers and the participants. The fourth AEON Future Earth Forum will be held on February 1st, 2020, at The University of Tokyo.

The event was co-organized by the AEON Environmental Foundation, Integrated Research System for Sustainability Science (IR3S), The University of Tokyo, and Future Earth.

Place: The University of Tokyo Yasuda Auditorium
Date and Time: Feb 2nd, 2019 13:00 - 17:30

The event was also supported by Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, Ministry of the Environment, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Science Council of Japan, Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES), Research Institute for Humanity and Nature, National Institute for Environmental Studies, and the Future Earth Japan Committee.