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Report on 5th Introduction to NPO Activities Seminar 2021


Image 1: Guest speaker Naobi Okayasu

At the 5th Introduction to NPO Activities Seminar 2021, held on August 9, we welcomed Naobi Okayasu, representative director of the certified NPO Unified, Action for Promoting Animal Conservation in Asia and Africa (UAPACAA PARTNERS), which engages in large wildlife species conservation activities in Bhutan and various African countries. The seminar drew participants from not just Ochanomizu University students but also the Japan Animal Medical Center, the Japan-Bhutan Friendship Association, Kyoto University, and Waseda University, among others.

For us, gorillas, chimpanzees, tigers, and elephants are large animals that we can only encounter at the zoo. There are still, however, some countries on this planet where they live in the wild, among them Bhutan and the various African nations where Ms. Okayasu is primarily active.

Image 2: Challenges in wildlife conservation

In the first part of the seminar, we learned about how economic activities in the globalized world have impact on the environment, nature, and wildlife and what problems are caused by this. In the second half, Ms. Okayasu gave a detailed explanation of one conservation project she is working on, called “Forest Country Bhutan” Miracle Valley.” She also talked about fund-raising activities and social media-based public relations for supporting a plan to double tiger numbers being undertaken jointly by tiger range countries—only 13 in the whole world—and support for equipping and educating the rangers who stand on the front line of wildlife conservation.

A post-event questionnaire conducted for the first time produced many responses, which included “an enjoyable seminar despite having no background knowledge,” “a rare opportunity to learn about a fascinating topic” and “an insight into the reality of the situation rather than the official stance.” All respondents noted in relation to their degree of satisfaction with the whole event that they were “satisfied” or “extremely satisfied,” highlighting what a great seminar it was.

The many questions which Ms. Okayasu continued to field long after the end of the seminar revealed both the high level of participant interest and Ms. Okayasu’s passion for her missions.

(Rinka Yamashima, first-year student, Department of Psychology,
Faculty of Human Life and Environmental Sciences)

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