Ecotour including mangrove planting conducted in Uken Village, Amami Oshima

First initiative under collaborative agreement with Japan Airlines, ITOCHU Corporation, and Uken Village, Amami Oshima

From March 14 to 17, an ecotour was held in Uken Village, Amami Oshima, to experience its nature, culture, and mangrove planting. This tour, organized by Japan Airlines, was the first initiative under the collaborative agreement on environmental conservation and regional development in Uken Village, signed in September 2023 by Sophia University, Uken Village, Japan Airlines, and ITOCHU Corporation.

A total of 20 people attended the tour, including 13 employees and family members from ITOCHU Corporation and 7 students from Sophia University. The participants learned about the history of Amami Oshima and its “Shimauta,” traditional folk songs, participated in mangrove planting, visited the village’s landmarks, and touched its natural beauty and culture.

In addition, a workshop on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), organized by Professor Akemi Ori from the Graduate School of Global Environmental Studies, introduced the concept of SDGs through a card game. Professor Ori gave a mini-lecture on “World Heritage, Nature Positivity, Ecotourism, and SDGs,” which deepened participants’ understanding of the balance between environmental conservation and regional promotion.

Students who participated said, “I want to visit the village in person after proposing tourism plans in Uken Village during a collaborative course with Japan Airlines,” and “It was a fulfilling four days with opportunities to interact with the people of Uken Village, employees of Itochu Corporation, and experience local culture, nature, and food.”

This tour will continue to be improved and conducted on a regular basis, contributing to environmental conservation through initiatives such as reforestation and promoting regional development in Uken Village.

Sophia University

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