Junior Eco-Club, established in 1995, is a network of more than 70,000 elementary and secondary school students who voluntarily participate in environmental conservation and education activities throughout Japan. Under the guidance of various environmental groups, including the Environment Agency of Japan, this network promotes environment-friendly lifestyles and helps raise environmental awareness in young people, in an effort to achieve a more sustainable society. The Eco-Clubs consist of action-oriented groups of children between six and 15 years of age. Although guided by one or more adult supporters, the children play the leading role. They select the priorities and set their own goals. They organize annual national meetings where they share information and build on the momentum they have generated. The focus varies from group to group and reflects regional needs and interests, which range from climate change to clean-up campaigns. Their efforts have influenced the community at large, and have inspired members of those communities to collaborate with Junior Eco-Club on various conservation efforts. Participants in this unique Club have also taken a leading role in environmental activities in the community.
Dr. Jiro Kondo
Dr. Jiro Kondo has played a leading role in presenting a number of important policy recommendations to the Government of Japan, particularly in his former capacity as Chairman of the Environment Pollution Control Council (1990-1993) and as Chairman of the Central Environment Council (1993-2000). During that period it was clear that the existing legal framework, which worked mainly by imposing regulations, could no longer deal adequately with emerging complex and wide-ranging environmental problems, such as those caused by the growing number of automobiles, wastewater from different sources, and climate change.
Dr. Kondo presented a recommendation in March 1993 on Basic Environmental Law to chart a new direction for Japan's environmental policies. In November 1993, the Law was enacted. Another significant contribution was his recommendation on the measures toward Global Warming Prevention in March 1998, which put together a range of measures to be implemented to achieve the target Japan committed to at Kyoto in 1997. In October of the same year, Japan introduced the world's first law designed to prevent global warming, namely the Law Concerning the Promotion of Measures to Cope with Global Warming. Following his recommendation on the Basic Principles Governing Integrated Measures for Waste and Recycling Management presented in March 1999, the Basic Law for Establishing a Recycling-based Society was enacted in May 2000.
From 1985 to 1994, Dr. Kondo was President of the Science Council of Japan, and from 1980 to 1985, he was Director of the National Institute for Environmental Studies. Since 1994, he has been Chairman of the Science and Technology Foundation of Japan.