Reduce / Reuse / Recycle

August 13, 2004


Creating 'Eco-villages' in Shiga

Keywords: Ecosystems / Biodiversity NGO / Citizen Reduce / Reuse / Recycle Renewable Energy University / Research institute Water 

In an effort to build a recycling-oriented society, a movement to create 'eco-villages' has started in Shiga Prefecture, and an eco-village of 1,000 residents is scheduled to open in the suburbs of Omi Hachiman City, Shiga. A promotion council has been established and educational workshops held, and the eco-village movement is also starting to gain momentum in other areas of Shiga Prefecture.

The eco-village initiative aims to create a sustainable social model on a local scale that harmonizes human activity and nature. Plans for eco-villages take a comprehensive approach towards creating a recycling-oriented society and encompass water recycling, sustainable energy use, recycling of organic wastes from households, and locally supported economic activities. Houses are designed for comfortable living without fossil fuel-based air conditioning and construction work is carefully planned to minimize environmental impacts, based on the use of recyclable materials.

The eco-village idea is mainly advocated by Professor Takaaki Niren of Shiga Prefectural University. The eco-village movement is not an initiative of government agencies: rather; collaboration among researchers, economic leaders, citizen activists, and administrative leaders gave rise to the movement. Shiga Prefecture is next to Kyoto and has Japan's largest lake, Lake Biwa. Shiga carries out a continuous struggle against water quality deterioration. From this experience, environmental awareness among local residents has been growing, and non-governmental organizations in various environmental fields are presently very active in the prefecture.

Posted: 2004/08/13 01:28:35 PM
Japanese version