About UMI-SACHI Promotion Conference


Munakata is the area where international exchange has existed across the sea since about 1500 years ago. Sea people in Munakata have long believed in and prayed three goddesses in Munakata, who are worshiped at Okitsugu in the ‘Sacred Island’ of Okino Shima Island, Nakatsugu in Ohshima Island, and Hetsugu in Tajima area. The descendants are still living in Munakata living together with the sea.
We established Munakata International Conference on the Environment 4 years ago. The first meeting was held with participation of Mr. Pachauri, the then Chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Dr. Ramos-Horta, the former Prime Minister of East Timor and the Nobel Prize winner, and Ambassador Svensson from Sweden in charge of ocean, sea and water. At the 2nd meeting, we have produced ‘Munakata Declaration’ as the conference fruit, and the declaration was submitted to Yamamoto Environmental Minister in Japan and the headquarters of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) through the National Federation of UNESCO Associations in Japan. Moreover, we have organized Munakata International Educational Program for about 8 times every year for local junior and high school students by receiving Professor Reiko Kuroda from Tokyo University of Science as the program director. From the 3rd meeting, we have established the conference executive committee in Munakata, and this time, we have established the general corporation of UMI-SACHI Promotion Conference so that we can take over past efforts made by the Munakata International Conference on the Environment and promote more practical activities.
‘UMI-SACHI’, which means ‘blessing of the sea’, enables rich marine life and the environment, and this should be the common value for the people in the world living with the sea. The land area size of Japan is the 62nd in the world, but the position becomes the 6th in the world by including the sea area. Japan is a marine nation. We will conduct concrete activities regarding global environmental protection from Munakata where people and the sea coexist together, and want to send out the message of importance of ‘UMI-SACHI’ to the world strongly. It is our aim to make the Japanese term ‘UMI-SACHI’ internationally recognized, and want to continue our activities for protecting the environment for coming 100 or even 1000 years.

General corporation of UMI-SACHI Promotion Conference
Chief Director of a Board of Directors
Nobuo Yofu

History of Munakata International Conference on the Environment (MICE)

May 30 – June 2, 2014: 1st meeting of MICE (Munakata International Educational Program (MIEP) for 5 times)
May 22 – 24, 2015: 2nd meeting of MICE (MIEP for 7 times)
June 21, 2015: Special session of the 2nd MICE – Announcement of Munakata Declaration by students of MIEP
July 21, 2015: Ashizu Chief Prist of Munakata Grand Shrine and two students of MIEP were invited to the Summit of Conscience in France
July 23, 2015: Presentation about environmental protection activities in Munakata by MIEP 2 students to UNESCO HQ in Paris
January 13, 2016: Establishment of MICE Executive Committee (1st meeting of the Executive Committee)
August 19, 20 and 21, 2016: 3rd meeting of MICE (MIEP for 8 times)
June 30, 2017: Establishment of UMI-SACHI Promotion Conference


About UMI-SACHI Promotion Conference

Aim of our establishment

‘Munakata’ is a sacred place in Fukuoka, Japan, which is inherited from the ancient times that are celebrated by myths. This holy place is now facing increase of sea temperature due to global warming and rocky-shore denudation resulting in decrease of marine plants and other marine lives. And this occurrence is not limited to Munakata. We can hear screams by the earth from all parts of the world.
According to the First Assessment Report published by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), we must immediately reduce greenhouse gas emissions from human activities by over 60% to stabilise their concentrations at today’s levels. Moreover, under the Paris Climate Accord, it is agreed that the member countries aim to hold the increase in the global average temperature to well below two degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. Nevertheless, we still cannot stop the temperature increase and it is rather rising after a quarter of a century from adoption of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
Further, global environmental issues are not limited to climate change but causing negative influences on various fields such as degradation of biodiversity and pollution of the natural environment, which are damaging all living things including us humans. Forests are lost, the sea and the atmosphere are polluted, natural capital is being run out. To try to solve these severe global environmental issues, we established the initiative of the ‘Marine Guardian Grove of a Community’ and began relating activities in the sacred place ‘Munakata’. Four years have already passed since our commencement. Additionally, Munakata area is a part of model districts designated by the ‘Project to connect and support forests, villages, rivers and the sea (Mori-Sato-Kawa-Umi Project)’ organized by the Japanese Ministry of the Environment.
We must nurture forests, develop (eco-friendly) villages, and protect clean water flows in rivers, which result in assisting protection of the Mother Sea. And the protected sea can provide benefits to our living creatures on land. All life forms including human beings can live in a prosperous manner and the natural environment becomes well conserved only when a chain of life and natural capital are well balanced and cooperated miraculously. We should not ignore the fact that these workings of natural circulation are under destruction at this very moment.
The turning point is right now. We must realize a paradigm shift.
The life forms on earth were created in the sea first. The sea is not just a place but home for all living things, and it is the source to support all our daily lives. Japanese people have venerated the sea and committed to conserve it forever with a strong feeling of attachment since early times. In return, we have received countless blessings from the sea. We would like to share this thought of ‘UMI (sea)・SACHI (blessings)’ to the world and make the term commonly understood globally. We aim to enhance our past efforts further, make our activities more solid, and diffuse our thought and activities very broadly by creating partnership with like-minded people in the whole of Japan and the world. It is our given mission as an earthling to recuperate the global environment that is harmed by what is called civilization of mankind.
Therefore, we would like to take over past efforts made by the Munakata International Conference on the Environment, make them more solid through conversing the implementation agency into a corporation, further develop our activities, and take back the true fertile sea so that we can accomplish our mission. Here, we will establish;
‘General corporation UMI・SACHI Promotion Conference’
as a brand-new organization (registration as a corporation is expected to be completed within June this year).
Responsibility of us, who live at present, is to hand over rich nature fostered by eternal flow of time to 100 years ahead or even 1000 years ahead. This promotion conference aims to conduct the activities that help achieve a true sustainable relationship between humans and nature stemming from the concept of ‘UMI’, and send out the message globally. We wish to contribute to protection of the global environment through cooperation and working together with national/local governments, universities, community-based organizations (CBO), local citizens, and international organizations, and through connecting various activities implemented locally and uniting our spirits. Let us send our message to the world with pride based on our national commitment to the environment.

About UMI-SACHI Promotion Conference

Outline of our corporation

Name of the organization

General corporation: UMI-SACHI Promotion Conference

Headquarters:755-4, Tajima, Munakata, Fukuoka, 811-3505, Japan
Tokyo Office:Togo-House 3F, 5-11-12, Minanami Azabu, Tokyo, 106-0047, Japan
e-mail: info@umisachi.org
URL: http://umisachi.org

【Honorary advisors】

■Emile H. Ishida(Professor emeritus at the Tohoku University/ Representative Partner of the Earth Village Research Lab. LLC)
■Masaru Tanaka (Professor emeritus at Kyoto University / Moune Institute for Forest-Sato Studies )
■Tomoyo Nonaka (Chair, NPO Gaia Initiative)
■Yoshinori Yasuda (Environmental archaeologist / Director of the Museum of Natural and Environmental History, Shizuoka / Specially-appointed professor of the Graduate School of Environmental Studies at Tohoku University)
■Yasuyuki Yoshizawa (President of Low Carbon Society Promotion Association)

【Chief Director of the Board of Directors】
■Nobuo Yofu (Representative of the Incorporated Association Kyushu Villages / Chief Executive Committee Member for the Munakata International Conference on the Environment)
総務省地域創造力アドバイザー、内閣府地域活性化伝導士など歴任。「Nippon ノMURA」編集長

【Director of the Board of Directors】
■Takayuki Ashizu (Chief priest of the Grand Shrine of Munakata / Executive Committee Member for the Munakata International Conference on the Environment)

■Everett Kennedy Brown (Director at the Japan Branch Office of the European Pressphoto Agency (EPA) / Member of the Cool Japan Expert Committee by the Government and the Private Sector)
1959年 アメリカ、ワシントンD.C.生まれ。1988年から日本に定住。Epa通信社日本支局長を経て、現在は、湿版光画家、ブラウンフィールド代表として活動。国内の媒体をはじめ、「ナショナル・ジオグラフィック」「GEO」「家庭画報」「ル・モンド」などに広く作品を寄せる。著書に『俺たちのニッポン』(小学館)『日本力』(松岡正剛氏と共著・パルコ出版)『Japanese Samurai Fashion』 (赤々舎出版)他多数。日本文化デザインフォーラム会員、文化庁主催「文化芸術立国の実現のための懇話会」会員、経済産業省クール・ジャパン官民有識者会議委員など。文化庁長官表彰被表彰者

■Takashi Kozu(President of the Ricoh Economic and Social Research Institute / Chief Board Director of the General corporation Basyobunka Forum)

■Keiko Hitsuoka

【Vice Secretary-General】
■Toshikazu Mito (ex-Ministry of the Environment/UNDP)

【Accounting Adviser】
■Hitoshi Watanabe