We, Whole Earth Nature School/NPO Whole Earth Institute started the section specialized for international affairs in 2002 preceding internationalization of the Japanese style environmental education.
For the details of our programs, contact us : firstname.lastname@example.org or (+81)0544-66-0152
Supporting the developing countries-the group training for the environmental education leadership
We work in collaboration with JICA (Japanese International Cooperation Agency) for international aid projects, also operate and coordinate training courses for environmental educators.Utilizing the network and experiences of Whole Earth Nature School/NPO Whole Earth Institute、we support to develop the learning system of environmental education, and also conduct action plans.
Supporting cultural exchanges: Participating programs
We support the students and the tourists from outside of Japan through our programs, providing them real experiences in Japanese natural fields especially around the area of Mt. Fuji. As the support, we take part in the cultural exchanging projects held by the prefectures and the communities.
We plan and operate international study-tours. We have conducted those tours in Kamchatka, Hawaii, Indonesia, and Bangladesh, in collaboration with local NGOs.
Ecotourism was introduced to Japan in the late ‘80s. Whole Earth Nature School started working on a research of Ecotourism in the early ‘90s. We called a meeting to discuss Ecotourism with the members of “Japan Environmental Education Forum (J.E.E.F.)” in 1992. Today, many attendees take active roles in Japanese Ecotourism; as researchers or practitioners.
Ecotourism is a word with a variety of definitions, as it is said every country and organization has its own idea. At Whole Earth Nature School, we have been taking an approach to learn about nature through real experience in the field since its foundation.
Today, Ecotourism is practiced at more and more places in Japan. Whole Earth Nature School has been taking a leading role in Japanese Ecotourism; training nature-guides and coordinators, setting guidelines and rules on Ecotourism, calling and managing community assemblies, planning and practicing eco-tours throughout Japan, from Hokkaido to Okinawa.
For the details of our programs, contact us : email@example.com or (+81)0544-66-0152
Our actions for Ecotourism
Regional development through Ecotourism
An increasing number of regional communities are introducing Ecotourism as a method to realize the both environmental conservation and economic development. Whole Earth Nature School and NPO Whole Earth Institute support these regions through consultation. Our consultation include making concrete proposals, developing programs using regional resources, fostering and identifying regional talents, structuring the system of environmental conservation. Besides, we have been working as a committee member of the seventeen areas under Ecotourism promotion in Japan.
Project of Fostering Personnel for Ecotourism
We have been giving trainings to foster eco-tour guides and coordinators across Japan since 1998. At our school, we provide a one-year learning course and a professional training course. Also, we undertake projects requested by government agencies, local governments, JICA (Japan International Cooperation Agency), and corporations. We have been teaching our methods; the concept and practice of Ecotourism, skills of a guide (safety management, interpretation and etc), environmental conscious behavior. The number of projects we undertake yearly is about 20 in Ecotourism and 20 in personnel training.
The ”Contribution Fund for Local Environment”
the “Whole Earth Nature Fund”
In the opening of our branch school in Okinawa (Gajumaru Nature School), we set a fund,” Contribution Fund for Local Environment”, to contribute to the fields of our eco-tours. The funding system was the first trial in Japan.
We put aside 200 yen per participant and give the accumulated fund to the organizations which manage the sites (ex. a local government, administrative office of a park, commerce and industry association, land owner, etc.). The donation is used to restore the damages that the eco-tour participants might have upon the field. We raised 6 million yen between 1998 and 2005 and donated to 7 regions and organizations for environmental conservation.
CFLE brought a new concept into the money-raising system for environmental conservation. Previously, the payer has been always participants or visitors to the field. For instance, they pay entry fee at national parks and throw in some coins at pay toilets. But the introduction of CFLE embodies the mission and social responsibility of eco-tour conductors, which means that matured citizens make choice when they decide on which tour-conductor they use.
The introduction of this system has now spread to other tour conductors and environmental organizations, which resulted in 30 million yen as annual donation in Okinawa prefecture.
Succeeding to Okinawa branch school, we started CFLE at Mt. Fuji main school. In 2004, we combined CFLE and our disaster relief fund, and established “Whole Earth Nature Fund” (WENF). By setting WENF, we have been able to contribute to international disaster relief activities, regional development projects and environmental conservation.
Networking in Ecotourism Industry
As the one of the administrative board organizations, WENS has been supporting various projects and conducting lectures in Ecotourism. We are also playing a role as a core member of Japan Ecotourism Society (J.E.S.) in its Action Plan working group for future development in Japanese Ecotourism.
|3. Whole Earth Nature School Programs
We provide a wide variety of nature experience programs throughout the year. For example, the genuine outdoor sports experiences such as caving, canoeing, climbing; Eco-tours to feel the Japanese nature and culture; kids camping exploring the natural world; family-programs to share the time in nature; programs to discover different life styles by immersing oneself into the countryside; and some learning courses composed by the combination of nature experience and lectures (The course length will be decided by consultation). Which program inspires you?
For the details of our programs, contact us : firstname.lastname@example.org or (+81)0544-66-0152
Outdoors / Eco-Tours
Utilizing the knowledge of living in the nature and wisdoms gained through the history of human being, kick the trails and travel the world where no cars can access. Let’s find your best place, go out and feel the nature.
These special eco-tours take you around Mt. Fuji. The destinations are; the deep forest called “Aokigahara Sea of forest”, the lava caves, the summit of the Mt. Fuji, etc. Our professional guides will take you to the wonderful nature of Mt.Fuji. If you are interested in, click here for details.
It has been 25 years since the first camping program called “Nomadic Camp” started. It is not too much to say that the history of the Whole Earth Nature School has grown with the camp. The concept of the camping program relies on its free style; there is no rule decided by adults, basically the children decide what to do and how to play and live. For sure, you see a twinkle in the eyes of your children. We expect an international exchange camp near future!! Let’s camp with us!
Fun & Relaxing time for family
At the Whole Earth Nature School, We welcome family participants! Our facilities include a tree house, climbing walls, a swing, a pond, green area, river side area, rice paddies, and the lodging house. We will promise an enjoyable and relaxing time with your family members doing camping, making a fire, cooking, and joining our eco-tours.
If you want to get away from the busy city life or feel you need to be close with nature, now is the time to review your life styles. Let’s take lessons from the nature. For example, we provide you with an opportunity to learn the wisdoms and lifestyle of Japanese farmers through rice-planting. You will touch the essence of their lives. Other than that, we have a lot of programs that are closely connected to our daily-lives.
|4. Collaboration with various sectors
Whole Earth Nature School’s mission is to realize a society with a value system based on humanism, by restoring our traditional way of viewing nature - co-existence of human and nature, human looked as a part of nature -. Our 25 yeas of work have been based on the mission.
“Collaboration” has been the basic principle of our approach. Although we have a strong belief in our mission, we are not a closed to other people who has different sense of values. We, whole earth nature school have been taking the priority to the balance of public-need and impact on our society. Collaboration has been the key indeed. We believe our mission cannot be achieved ultimately without collaboration with various sectors.
In our strategy, we do not take anti-government actions. Rater, we work together with our government and seek a higher level of public importance and dissemination of our ideas. We do not oppose business activities of corporations, but we collaborate to implement some projects of environmental actions and those related to CSR. This enables us to take on projects of bigger scale and have a significant impact on the society as a result.
When you collaborate with sectors of different culture and values, what is most important is to have a common goal. To reach a consensus, we find communication is essential. Only thorough communication, we can respect the difference and trust each other.
We cannot talk about a nature school without mentioning “local relations”. The word “Local” is not an easy word to define when in truth each individual has their own images of “local”. For us, it is “Yuno” that we call a local area. This is the place we belong to, and our history started here in Yuno.
The forerunner of Whole Earth Nature School, Animal farm started 25 years ago. Since then, we have been supported and taught by the natural environment and the locals here in Yuno.
Facing west side of the majestic mountain, Mt. Fuji, a classic Japanese countryside, Yuno, fascinates every visitor. Having Mt. Fuji over the rice field, it feels as if we were embraced gently by her grace. We also have localized culture particular to Yuno, which includes the knowledge to live with nature in harmony that evolved through experiences. We used to have such beautiful life everywhere in Japan. We think it is such a shame for us to that we are losing them now. Probably Yuno will not be the exception of such a fate in near future.
One of our goals as Whole Earth Nature School is making ourselves “built on the local-relations”. Having an identity as Japanese and also as a local of Yuno, we take over the culture and wisdoms from the former generations, and now we are trying to pass them on to future generations. As a member of Yuno, we keep our activities expending from this time forward.
Nature School built on local-relations
As “a nature school built on local-relations”, Whole Earth Nature School engages itself with the local area and the people in various ways.
As the bridge between the locals
A number of people here in Yuno have various skills and techniques based on experience, such as bamboo-craft.
However, there is a little chance that their skills and techniques are passed on to the next generation. Today, people have less and less opportunities to learn and appreciate such local cultures that have been evolving with craftsmanship. As a result, those skills and techniques are fading away year after year.
By having the locals involved in some of our lectures, camping programs, country life-experiencing programs, and sometimes as advisors, we are trying to preserve the local culture alive.
Also, we take our part to function as a bridge among the locals. For example, we introduce local experts or send our staff members to schools, to give programs of nature experience or international cultural exchange, which foster active interactions among people.
Making a playground for children
Along the beautiful flow of Shiba-Kawa River which runs through the campsite of Whole Earth Nature School, a playground was built by the hands of our staff, interns and previous staff members. This “playground for children” was built on our sweat, blood, and tears. The place is used by school children as a field of school trips and integrated learning class, and also of an after-school care and playground for the local children.
There are various ways to relate to “local”. Besides those mentioned above, we help the people running events, clean up the neighborhood area, run special programs for the local children and so on.
|6. Disaster Relief Actions
We are highly acclaimed for helping victims of natural disasters. When a great earthquake struck Hanshin-Awaji region in January 1995, there was a desperate need of help. At the early stage of rescue, even before the official rescue team was built, we initiated a local rescue team on site which had a hierarchical structure of seizing situation and the flow of orders. We built emergency shelters, and provided counseling for victims.
Also, we received high acclaim for supporting the set-up a volunteer center when an earthquake hit Niigata, and provided mental health care for children at Ache, Indonesia when the huge earthquake hit off Sumatra.
Utilizing our experience, we hope to work in cooperation with people in the region for the better preparation against disasters.
|7. Corporate Social Responsibility
Demands for the future: what the corporations in the 21century will be asked for
After the Earth Summit held in 1992 in Rio de Janeiro as a turning point, many corporations slowly began to take their responsibilities for environment into consideration. Consequently, they started to take actions such as obtaining ISO14001 certification, promoting green procurement reaching zero-emission operation at factories, and so on.
Because of the generalization of the concept, Corporate Social Respon
sibility (CSR), corporations today are asked for not only the mere pursuit of profits, but also their social responsibility to various stakeholders.
In addition to the conventional “environmentally friendly” approach, corporations will be asked to express their originality in their actions for CSR. That would include “soft” approaches such as providing education for eco-consciousness of employees, and “value-creating” approaches such as an active use of forests in their properties.
Applying our wide range of expertise and the know-how, Whole Earth Nature School has been working in partnership with public sectors, autonomous bodies, environmental NPOs, and corporations.
・ Practice of environmentally friendly management, which is satisfactory to various stakeholders
・ Multidimensional environmental education to provide employees with eco-consciousness
・ Planning and developing projects at local areas that make corporations loved and needed by the locals
・ Utilization of a corporation-owned forest to improve the corporate image and enhance the property value
・ Utilization of a plant premise as a field for environmental education for employees
In order to find the solutions for such environmental needs, Whole Earth Nature School launched the section for promotion of CSR in 2006. And we are replying to social needs with watchword; “The changes in corporations change the world.”
What we can do with corporations for CSR
Our CSR Promotion Office is a section to answer the various needs from corporations.
Under the direct control of CEO, this section has an interdisciplinary character. We undertake projects in collaboration with experts at Whole Earth Nature School and outside sources, with our wide network. Specific examples of the needs and the solutions are listed below. For more information, contact us : email@example.com or (+81)0544-66-0152
・ We have done development and operation of the programs for environmental education, utilizing corporations’ plant premises
・ We have made a proposal to utilize corporate-owned forests, and development and operation of programs on environmental education.
For corporations which seek new perceptions on the employee training
Environmental onsite-training or environmental hands-on training is quite an effective way of achieving a good level of understanding of CSR among employees.
We provide a wide range of training programs which use the field of Mt Fuji area. (those can be customized to the employees in different positions who have different goals; such as prospective employees, freshmen, and backbones of companies)
・ Environmental Education program to lift up environmental consciousness of employees (Mt. Fuji, Okinawa and Other places on your request)
・ Training programs for the leaders of in-house environmental education(same as above)
・ Outdoor-training programs for employees (problem-solving skills and teambuilding skills)
Examples: Training programs for new employees pre-work
＞For corporations, whish aim to focus on a specific stakeholder
Japan entered the age of no more seniority-based promotion and life-time employment. In many companies, employees have a lot of stress and strains by being under unsecured circumstances. We provide nature-based experience programs to refresh the body and mind of employee and their family, who are the most significant stakeholders. Also we provide other programs specially designed for various purposes and targets.
・ Planning and conducting events for the environmental contribution
・ Planning and conducting events for the benefit of employees and their family (such as labor unions)
・ Conducting a nature experience programs at an event of thanks-giving for customers
・ Planning and conducting dialogic meetings for locals
Examples: planning and operating the citizen-involved project, “Roukin’s School in the Forest” having the theme of rejuvenation of a Japanese farming village
＞For hotels-seeking to attract more people and improve customer satisfaction
We support those hotels by introducing nature experience programs and eco-tours as the means to attract wider customers. We support not only the companies that already have fields for such programs in their premises, but also those without field by undertaking the total coordination; from the development of programs to implementation.
・Planning and implementation of nature-based experience programs for the summer vacation
・Planning and implementation of a nature-based experience event and an eco-tour as a single project
Examples: development and implementation of nature experience programs at resort hotels
＞For companies- seeking to add the eyes of NPOs into their strategies for CSR promotion
We provide consultations to the companies that need higher-level actions for CSR, especially in the categories of social contribution and environmental communication. Our consultations include giving advice on an effective way to collaborate with NPOs, and how to present themselves effectively. Also we advise them on the effective use of CSR report as a media to show their environmental strategies.
Planning and making proposals for the formulation of CSR strategies
＞For companies; seeking to work on the social contribution as a whole
We plan, propose, and implement the specially-designed one-off projects for those companies seeking the activities specialized in “environment” and “nature” as social contribution.
Those projects for the social contribution can be arranged according to the purpose, size, and budget
・ Planning, proposal, and implementation of the project specially designed for each company
Examples: We supported the project called “Kashiwazaki Park Forest of the Dreams” which involves the residences, the city administration, and the corporation