On 21 February, UNU-IAS, Bunkyo University, and the Global Environment Outreach Centre (GEOC) jointly organized the Talk and Poster Exhibition on Sustainable Tourism for SDGs. The event highlighted 2017 as the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development with a discussion of sustainable tourism and a display of posters on the topic created by students from Bunkyo University.
Following opening remarks by Tsunao Watanabe, Senior Programme Coordinator at UNU-IAS, Kaoru Hayashi, a professor at Bunkyo University, introduced volunteerism in the context of post-capitalism. He emphasized that, though technological change has affected our society, a sense of solidarity and compassion coupled with strong communication are necessary for sustainable development, and are qualities that can be strengthened through volunteer work. Yukari Kaizu, also a professor at Bunkyo University, explained how tourism has impacted the environment and culture, and discussed characteristics of the tourism industry. She also presented some case studies of eco-tourism and potential approaches to sustainable regional development.
In addition, two facilitators of sustainable tourism shared their experiences. Keisuke Fujii introduced his work as an eco-guide in Australia and described how mass tourism could become more environmentally friendly. Shinichiro Kaizawa, a representative of the international NGO Never-ending International workCamps Exchange (NICE), talked about the organization’s volunteer activities and explained how sustainable tourism is beneficial to individuals, regions, and also society as a whole.
Following their talks, participants raised questions proactively, and several students also explained their posters.