Panasonic Hosts Kids "Eco" Events at World Heritage Sites in Kyoto
-Mayor of Kyoto, UNESCO Director General and Sarah Brightman welcomes the children-
Panasonic Corporation held a ceremony to honor winners of its Eco Picture Diary Global Contest at the UNESCO World Heritage listed Nijo Castle in Kyoto, Japan on Tuesday, November 6. On June 3, 2011, Panasonic and the UNESCO World Heritage Centre signed a strategic partnership agreement to promote sustainable development through World Heritage conservation and environmental education for the next generation. The Eco Picture Diary Global Contest Ceremony was held in conjunction with the 40th Anniversary of the World Heritage Convention.
The Eco Picture Diary Global Contest
The Eco Picture Diary Global Contest is a program that gives children the opportunity to learn about environment issues while keeping track of their eco activities in a diary format. Approximately 300,000 children from 51 countries and regions participated in the 2012 Eco Picture Diary Global Contest. The national winners from 33 countries attended and were honored at the global ceremony in Kyoto. Each of the children gave a presentation of their unique eco activity in their respective countries. Many dignitaries attended this global event, including Kyoto Mayor Daisaku Kadokawa, UNESCO Director General Irina Bokova and UNESCO Artist for Peace ambassador and world famous soprano singer Sarah Brightman. In her speech, Mrs. Bokova said "You are already today's problem solvers, and you have strong ideas on how to protect our heritage, how to engage society."
Eco Learning and Experience
On November 7, the day after the ceremony, the children visited Ryogaoka Elementary School in Kyoto to meet and interact with their Japanese counterparts. They enjoyed cultural exchange and challenged together to make a Japanese traditional craft called "uchiwa", a fan made of wood and paper. In the afternoon, the children visited Kiyomizu Temple, another UNESCO World Heritage site in the ancient capital of Japan, as part of the UNESCO World Heritage Eco Learning Program. In this program, students can visit and participate in an interactive environment for learning about World Heritage conservation activities in cooperation with UNESCO and World Heritage Sites. Since its launch in 2011, the program has been held in 10 countries with approximately 4,000 children participated. During the Kiyomizu Temple tour, the children took part in a special light bulb changing event. Each of the children took turns changing the temple's light bulbs to LED bulbs and learned how energy-efficient LED technology contributes to environmental protection.
- The Children Experienced a Traditional Dance of Kyoto
- Special Light Bulb Changing Event in Kiyomizu Temple
- Participants Impressed by This Whole Event
The participants were tremendously impressed by the overall events in Kyoto. "I didn't know much about Panasonic before coming to Japan but I learned that Panasonic is a trustworthy brand." commented the girl from Panama. The representative from the U.A.E. Ministry of Education stated "I highly value Panasonic's next generation programs. I would like to continue working with Panasonic to help expand your kids related programs throughout the Middle East."
Panasonic aims to be the "No.1 Green Innovation Company in the Electronics Industry" by 2018, its 100th anniversary. Panasonic is combining its environmental contributions with business growth as well as aiming to provide its environmental education programs to 2 million children. The total number of participating students in Panasonic's eco learning program since its inception in 2009 surpassed 1 million children. Panasonic will continue to work in unison with UNESCO to help foster eco awareness among children worldwide.