Training Programme For Young Leaders On Environmental Conservation (Biodiversity), Sapporo, Hokkaido

Name of WWP Participant: Esther Ooi                         Traing Dates: 25 Jan - 11 Feb 2009

This programme is fully sponsored by JICA (Japan International Cooperation Agency)

Fieldwork In Hokkaido in the snow is fun. Esther is squatting, second from left.

Fieldwork In Hokkaido in the snow is fun. Esther is squatting, second from left.

After having participated in this program, is there any changes about how you see your challenges, problems or obstacles currently you see in your organization and daily job?

  • Lack of funds
  • Skepticism from certain quarters
  •  Weak collaborations between organizations
  •  Lack of expertise in undertaking scientific work
  •  Poor citizen participation and interest
  •  Lack of qualified individuals in the environmental field

Based on the above points, I can see that the mindset of people which is largely influenced by awareness and education is the main key to all the problems. Since the Malaysian government’s aim is to boost the economy, it is unfortunate that this has led its citizens to focus blindly on earning more money for better livelihood at the expense of sacrificing the environment. It is my aim and hopes to change Malaysian's economic mindset towards better care for the environment.


Please write anything (idea, system, situation or activity) that impressed during this program which you may be able to use or apply in your working place.

  • Environmental conservation being carried out by connecting people & people and people & nature in the form of environmental education.
  • The national government and local government are given pressure by the local community to implement appropriate conservation and management measure.Data sharing among the people and agencies is the first step in environmental problem solving.
  • Scientific approach is promoted to carry out environmental conservation based on researchLocal community is highly involved in the activities of wetland conservation and wise-use management


Based on the experiences, findings and realizations you had in the training program, what kind of action or approach do you think to take? Or what kind of efforts do you think to be made in the issue of environmental conservation in your country / region / working places?

  • To give more people the opportunity to learn about environment and maintain the knowledge of environmental conservation by collaborating with other organization like Penang National Park, Malaysian Nature Society and etc.@ expanding environmental education ( on overall ecosystem instead of just water )for wider range of people by eco- tour and eco- camp @ promote the concept of Corporate Social Responsibility and Social Responsibility   @ encourage prestigious company to practice CSR by carry out large scale conservation programme such as large scale campaign which give more impact and benefit to the society.
  • To take initiative to invite a discussion with local government or privatized water supply company to implement appropriate conservation and management measure.
  • To take initiative to invite a discussion on data sharing with local respective department for the purpose of environmental problem solving process and environmental education.
  • To carry out more survey and research in order to obtain environmental conservation strategy such as restoration of river, usage of river and etc.
  • To encourage local community in the activities of river conservation and wise use management. For example, participation in World Water Day, conference and etc.


Briefing about Japan – History, Society, Events & etc.

Lecture on :

  1. Natural environment and its conservation in Hokkaido
  2. What we do with GIS, Database and web
  3. Citizen and company participation in environmental conservation
  4. Recovery and preservation of Kushiro Marsh and Preservation of Shiretoko World Heritage
  5. Citizen’s participation in preservation of Kushiro Marsh and Ramsar convention
  6. Blakiston’s fish owl, the precious bird protection and breeding programme
  7. Countermeasures against Sika deer & Protection and management of Birds and Sika deer
  8. Conservation of Shiretoko World Natural Heritage

Practice work / visit / field work / inspection :

  1. Guide walk and GPS in Rakuno Gakuen University
  2. Practice work : GIS Database
  3. Visit to Maruyama Zoo
  4. Visit to Kushiro Wetland
  5. Visit to Akan International Crane Centre
  6. Guide walk in Shiretoko World Natural Heritage

Closing Ceremony of Training Programme. Esther is standing second from left

Closing Ceremony of Training Programme. Esther is standing second from left

Benefits gained from this training

First of all, I would like to express my deepest gratitude to Water Watch Penang and its president Professor Chan Ngai Weng for recommending me to apply for this programme. Next, I wish to thank JICA and JPA for approving my application and giving me opportunity to explore and gain knowledge. Finally, I must thank USM for giving me the leave to attend this training proramme. This proves that USM is always assisting its students in internationalising their experiences and outlook. Not only is the trip fruitful and memorable, but also invaluable in providing me with the rich experience to mix with international students and learn from each other.

This 18 days training programme at Hokkaido was planned and conducted by EnVision Conservation Office (specified non-profit organization). Overall, the programmes are about natural conservation and wildlife conservation / management in Hokkaido including conservation of Kushiro Marsh and Shiretoko World Natural Heritage. Lectures are given by well-known conservation officers on topics related to environmental measures, policies and the collaboration between private sector, NGO, researchers, local community and government in environmental conservation. Besides, lectures on participation of citizen on preservation of wetland and world natural heritage, GIS and ecotourism were also given. The programme includes fieldwork, which we are enjoyed tremendously. There were visits to Maruyama Zoo, Kushiro Wetland, Shiretoko World Natural Heritage, Akan International Crane Centre, Kushiro Shitsugen Wildlife Centre, and others. Fieldwork is important as it gives us first hand knowledge and also allows us to observe and participate in the various measures being carried out to conserve the rich biodiversity in these places, including facilities to disseminate information and increase awareness.

During this programme, I gained a lot of knowledge and concepts on environmental conservation and the importance of awareness. Participation of local communities in conservation activities is very important as they play a vital role model in establishing facilities and information centres besides helping to raise public awareness of conservation and wise-use/management of an ecosystem. Other than that, there is Kushiro Nature Conservation Office under the Ministry of the Environment, Japan (on behalf of National Government) which collaborates with researchers and local community to carry out Nature Restoration Projects and Management of Shiretoko World Natural Heritage Site. In addition, there is Environmental Partnership Office Hokkaido which plays a role in linking private sector and NGO engaged in environmental conservation activities.  Lastly, I hope there are more JICA training programme offered to other potential and enthusiastic candidates from WWP and other NGO as well.