ITTO and City of Yokohama host summer class for students on tropical forests


ITTO’s Masako Sakai delivers a presentation at Kodomo Adventure College. Photo: R. Carrillo/ITTO

ITTO and the City of Yokohama co-hosted the Kodomo Adventure College on 16 August 2023 at the International Organizations Center, Pacifico Yokohama. The event delivered lectures and learning exercises for fourth-, fifth- and sixth-grade elementary school students aimed at raising awareness about environmental issues and the importance of tropical forests in healthy and sustainable societies.

Yokohama City’s Environmental Bureau held a session on the connections between natural ecosystems and the lives of Yokohama citizens, including an exercise on the role of biodiversity in food chains.

ITTO staff members explained that Yokohama citizens benefit from many tropical forest goods and services and illustrated this by describing an ITTO project. The project, which was funded by the Government of Japan, assisted forest communities in North Sulawesi, Indonesia, to strengthen the conservation and sustainable use of cempaka (Elmerillia spp.). Cempaka is a native tree species that has long been used in the construction of traditional wooden houses, musical instruments and handicrafts, but its overexploitation has led to its decline in natural forests. The ITTO project has enabled local people to develop plantations of the species and increase their knowledge of cempaka cultivation and conservation. It developed 18 hectares of demonstration plots in the three participating districts and documented silvicultural techniques for the species to help ensure its sustainable management.

The class concluded with a reflection by the students on their connections with tropical forests and on the actions they can take to promote forest conservation and sustainable use. The students later visited ITTO headquarters.

The event was attended by 21 students in two sessions (morning and afternoon), many of them accompanied by their parents.

ITTO’s Kanako Ishii delivers a presentation at Kodomo Adventure College. Photo: R. Carrillo/ITTO
ITTO’s Christina Hoegen interacts with elementary school students during Kodomo Adventure College. Photo: R. Carrillo/ITTO
Elementary school students visit ITTO headquarters during Kodomo Adventure College. Photo: R. Carrillo/ITTO
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