Michi Creative City Designers Inc., General Incorporated Association Eco-Island, which locates its main office in this company, and NIKKEN SEKKEI Research Institute jointly organized “Eco-Island and Sustainable Community Global Summit 2015”, which took place in Okinawa Convention Center in Ginowan City of Okinawa Prefecture, between November 5th and 7th. This event is a revival of “Ecoisland Global Summits” which were held in Europe in 2012 and 2013 but have not been continued.
The impacts of climate change, conservation of energy and water, environmental issues, demographic changes, and the promotion of regional industry and the vitalization of economy, appear in remote islands in sharpened and extreme manners. This facilitates the development of solutions called “Remote Island Models” in all over the world. The solutions for the remote islands can also be applied to the sustainable communities of small and medium-size, which aim at autonomous energy and resilience.
Hence, the words “Sustainable Community” have been added to the title of the summit.
The summit was endorsed by central ministries such as Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, Ministry of the Environment, and Cabinet Office, and local governments, which include Okinawa Prefecture, the City of Ginowan, and the City of Miyakojima, as well as public organizations like New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO), and Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC), and was funded by the sponsorship of many enterprises including Hitachi Ltd., Nikken Sekkei, Toshiba Corporation, Obayashi Corporation.
Over 150 participants from 14 countries took part in the summit.
The summit opened with the opening remarks by senior officials of Okinawa General Bureau of Cabinet Office, and Okinawa Prefectural Government, and keynote speeches by Executive Vice President of the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University, Director General, Smart Community Department, NEDO, and Vice Chair of European Small Island Federation. These were followed by presentation by municipalities and industries in the plenary sessions.
On Day 2, split session took place in 4 separate conference halls, and 8 subjects were discussed in the morning and afternoon. They were; Creating New Energy, Community Energy and Management Schemes, Business Incubation and Regional Industries, An Island’s Challenge towards Symbiosis with Environment, Environmentally-friendly Buildings, Low-Carbon Transportation, Transformation of QOL and ICT-enabled Lifestyle, and Safety, Security and Resilience. Each separate session consisted of 3 or 4 presentations and a panel discussion by the speakers under a facilitator. The split session were thus made fruitful and informative compared with the simple presentations.
On Day 3, Saturday, November 7, a site visit tour was offered to those who are interested, in Miyakojima Island, where demonstration projects of the use of renewable energy are being carried out.
Michi Creative City Designers Inc. has been engaged in the organization of the summit from the very first step of the preparation, and Michi, as Vice Chair of the organizing committee, played central roles of establishing good relations with the ex-organizers of the previous summits in Europe, identifying and inviting overseas speakers, and in obtaining the approval of endorsements by the governmental ministries and agencies.
Further, Michi made the wrap-up remarks at the end of the program of Day One, and played the role of the facilitator in the split session on “Community Energy and Management Schemes”, which was discussed by the speakers from United Kingdom, Japan, and Indonesia participate.
Michi Creative City Designers Inc. will extend its effort to make the summit into a series, in which the island communities of other regions such as South Pacific and the Caribbean, are also included and to make the summit literally “Global”.
It has been reported in the Summit that the Council of Orkney Islands of Scotland is planning to host a summit in 2017, which is a good sign of the continuation of the summit.