Education for sustainable development for Tokyo Bay: Developing a practice framework of university-based coastal ESD

Education for sustainable development for Tokyo Bay: Developing a practice framework of university-based coastal ESD

ARTICLE IN PRESS Marine Policy 33 (2009) 720–725 Contents lists available at ScienceDirect Marine Policy journal homepage:

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ARTICLE IN PRESS Marine Policy 33 (2009) 720–725

Contents lists available at ScienceDirect

Marine Policy journal homepage:

Education for sustainable development for Tokyo Bay: Developing a practice framework of university-based coastal ESD Midori Kawabe , Hiroshi Kohno, Takashi Ishimaru, Osamu Baba 1, Naho Horimoto, Reiko Ikeda, Jota Kanda, Takafumi Kudo, Masaji Matsuyama, Masato Moteki, Yayoi Oshima, Tsuyoshi Sasaki Tokyo University of Marine Science and Technology, Konan 4-5-7, Minato City, Tokyo 108-8477, Japan

a r t i c l e in f o

a b s t r a c t

Article history: Received 13 January 2009 Received in revised form 9 February 2009 Accepted 9 February 2009

This paper reviews the initial phase of a coastal education for sustainable development program for Edomae, the innermost reaches of Tokyo Bay. The program has been steered by a working group of Tokyo University of Marine Science and Technology faculty members from different academic backgrounds. Although the process began with conventional educational ideas, the ESD practice framework evolved to include more interactive activities. The overall goal is to pursue discussions of a plan for the sustainable use of Tokyo Bay in the coastal communities through a university–community partnership by developing Edomae ESD leaders in the coastal community. & 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Keywords: Capacity-building Coastal management University Community Partnership

1. Introduction Sustainable development was the central concept of the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) in 1992, and Chapter 36 of its action plan, Agenda 21, specifically emphasized the importance of education in promoting sustainable development and improving the capacity for people in all areas [1]. In 2002, 10 years after UNCED, the United Nations named 2005–2014 the ‘‘Decade of Education for Sustainable Development’’ (DESD) [2]. Table 1 presents the 10 essential ESD elements as defined by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization’s (UNESCO) International Implementation Scheme (IIS) of DESD [3]. No universal models of ESD exist, however, so reorientation and reshaping of the conventional curriculum are emphasized as the key to ESD promotion [4]. In the coastal context, ESD is relevant to capacity-building for integrated coastal zone management (ICM). ICM is defined as ‘‘a process that unites government and the community, science and management, sectoral and public interests in preparing and implementing an integrated plan for the protection and development of coastal ecosystems and resources’’ [5]. Chapter 17 of Agenda 21 requested that coastal states commit themselves to the Corresponding author. Tel./fax: +81 3 5463 0574.

E-mail address: [email protected] (M. Kawabe). The following authors are in alphabetical order.


0308-597X/$ - see front matter & 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. doi:10.1016/j.marpol.2009.02.002

integrated management of coastal areas for sustainable development [6], and the ICM concept rapidly spread in the 1990s as a means to achieve sustainability in coastal areas. The promotion of ICM was re-endorsed by the World Summit on Sustainable Development in 2002 [7]. Along with the increasing recognition of ICM, the importance of education as part of capacity-building has been documented, and the conceptual framework has been well developed [8]. Although ICM education is expected to take place at all levels of any relevant sectors [6], tertiary education marine affairs programs bear much of the responsibility [9]. Much of the focus has been on the knowledge, skills, and attitudes that ICM professionals are expected to have [10] and on the curriculum that develops such professionals [9,11]. What should a university-based coastal ESD program be like? Since the primary mission of a university is higher education, the program should involve students. At the same time, promoting democratic processes is a central ESD concept [3] and involving stakeholders is a key element, so a program should not be confined to the university. It should be open and connected to the coastal community to promote interactive processes with people from different backgrounds. With these challenges in mind, the Edomae ESD program was launched in October 2006. The ultimate goal is to discuss a plan for the sustainable use of Tokyo Bay. The Edomae ESD program has been steered by a working group of volunteer faculty members of the Department of Marine Science, Tokyo University

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Table 1 Summary of the Edomae ESD in comparison with the essential elements of ESD of IIS by UNESCO (2005) [3].



Edomae ESD

Is based on the principles and values that underlie sustainable development. Deals with the well-being of all three pillars of sustainability: environmental prudence, social equity, and economic efficiency.

Pursues discussions of a plan for the sustainable use of Tokyo Bay.

Deals with environmental and resource issues concerning Tokyo Bay, including water quality and fishing resources, as well as use conflicts among a variety of sectors. (3) Promotes life-long learning. Promotes education in the coastal communities. (4) Is locally relevant and culturally Takes root in the coastal communities appropriate. that rely on the ecosystem services of Tokyo Bay. (5) Is based on local needs, perceptions, Is based on the local needs to retrieve the link between people and the bay and conditions, but acknowledges that was almost lost because of the that fulfilling local needs often has industrialization over the past 40 international effects and years. consequences. (6) Engages formal, nonformal, and Attempts to involve community informal education. members, schools, and the university curriculum. (7) Accommodates the evolving nature Has developed its practice framework of the concept of sustainability. to be more practical and interactive to achieve the sustainable use of Tokyo Bay. Deals with Tokyo Bay, which is a local (8) Addresses content, taking into coastal water, but similar issues are account context, global issues, and shared by many coastal communities. local priorities. (9) Builds capacity for community-based Builds capacity in the coastal community for sustainable use of decision-making, social tolerance, Tokyo Bay and for integrated coastal environmental stewardship, an zone management in the future. adaptable workforce, and quality of life. (10) Is interdisciplinary. Involves the communication of people from a variety of backgrounds both in the university and the community. (2)

of Marine Science and Technology (TUMSAT). This paper, through a review of the program’s initiation phase (Phase I: August 2006–March 2007), examines the development of the practice framework in preparation for launching the next phase.

2. Background: Edomae now and then Tokyo Bay is located in the center of the southeast coast of Honshu, the main island of Japan, and faces the western region of the North Pacific Ocean. The maximum meridional and zonal widths of the bay are 50 and 30 km, respectively. The entire coastline is 650 km long, and the area is about 960 km2 (Fig. 1). Surrounded by the Tokyo Metropolitan Area, the bay may hold the most concentrated human population of any waterway in the world; the population density in the bay catchment is 3301 people km 2 [12]. The bay was originally rich in tidal flats and shallow waters, which were primarily associated with Edomae, or the innermost western reaches of the bay. The cognomen of Edomae dates back to the Edo Period (1603–1867), when the central government was first setup in the city of Edo or present-day Tokyo. Since then, Edomae has provided its coastal communities with abundant seafood. Many types of commercial fisheries were conducted there for a variety of species of seaweed, bivalves, crustaceans, and fish. The production of Nori (laver; Porphyra spp.) ranked the highest in Japan before the Second World War in both volume and value [13].


In the wake of the rapid industrialization of Japan after 1955, however, the Edomae environment was drastically transformed [14]. One of the early impacts of industrialization was chronic water pollution primarily caused by industrial discharge; several fishing grounds for fish and shellfish and laver farming were damaged by 1960 [15]. Laver and shellfish fishermen adapted by expanding their fishing grounds offshore to avoid the contaminated areas. Ongoing coastal development, however, forced most Edomae fishermen to renounce their fishing rights in the 1960s. Industrial pollution was attenuated after the oil crisis in 1973, but the filling of coastal land has continued as sewage and incinerator plants, ports, and transportation facilities have been constructed [16] (Fig. 1). Although more than 90% of the coastline has been modified through land reclamation during the past 40 years of large-scale development, Edomae still provides a variety of coastal ecosystem services [17]. Sanbanze tidal flats, a limited area of natural tidal flats, serves as a nursery for various species of fish [18] and shellfish [19]. Some Edomae fishermen, together with other fisheries cooperatives in the neighboring prefectures of Kanagawa and Chiba, share the fishing grounds in Tokyo Bay and catch Maanago (conger eel; Conger myriaster), Suzuki (Japanese sea bass; Lateolabrax japonicus), Asari (Manila clam; Ruditapes japonicus), and other commercial species of fish under a permit from the prefectural governor. Artificial tidal flats provide residents with places for recreation and relaxation, and offshore demersal fish (e.g., flatfish; Pleuronectidae) and pelagic fish (e.g., Suzuki) attract anglers. The major current concern for the Edomae environment has changed from the pressures of industrialization to eutrophication caused by discharges from the more than 26 million people that inhabit the basin. The vicious cycle of eutrophication and chronic organic contamination, including red tides, anoxia, and fish and shellfish die-off, continues [14]. The organic level is highest in Edomae where large river estuaries and industrial facilities are concentrated [20]. Another concern for Edomae is the uncoordinated heavy use of the coastal area by different sectors, including developers, fishermen, and recreationalists. In the absence of any central coastal zone management programs, substantial anthropogenic influence has been exerted on the bay’s environment and resources. Japan’s national government began to incorporate an environmental perspective into its policy-making in the late 1990s, which was followed by the stipulation of ICM implementation in The Marine Basic Law in 2007. These changes in coastal administration should help to avoid further degradation of the coastal environment. Before launching ICM programs, however, several issues must be thoroughly discussed and incorporated into the coastal policy, including involving citizens in policy decisions and incorporating coastal fishermen into the coastal managerial framework [21].

3. Edomae ESD program Phase I: calling for collaboration and setting program goals 3.1. Step 0: kick-off Tokyo Bay has been a familiar research field for TUMSAT because the campus is located on the coast of Edomae. Many TUMSAT researchers and postgraduate students have studied the natural and social aspects of the bay, including the water currents, water quality, fish and shellfish, plankton, fisheries, and recreational activities. In recent years, TUMSAT has been offering annual public programs that include biosurvey cruises for high-school students and extension lectures for local residents. Through these activities, several faculty members have shared a concern that


M. Kawabe et al. / Marine Policy 33 (2009) 720–725





Tokyo Bay


Chiba Prefecture Tokyo Metropolis

The Pacific Ocean Edomae 122°E


Tokyo Port

Chiba Port

Kanagawa Prefecture

Kawasaki Port Yokohama Port

Kisaradu Port

Yokosuka Port

Underway 1986-1998 1976-1985 1966-1975 1956-1965 1946-1955 1926-1945

Sagami Bay & The Pacific Ocean

Meiji/Taisho Era 0


10 km

Fig. 1. Map of Tokyo Bay showing the development of the coastline. (Modified from Tokyo Bay Environment Information Center 2008 [22].)

Participatory problemsolving process

Consensus building of concerned parties

DEVELOP EDOMAE ESD LEADERS TERAKOYA Workshops For sharing understanding

MIMIBUKURO For sharing experiences

CAFÉ For sharing knowledge

Offering scientific knowledge & information

Fig. 2. A schematic diagram of the three sharing activities of the Edomae ESD process. Terakoya (workshops) are the core method for carrying out the activities in the revised practice framework.

many young people in the Tokyo Metropolitan Area, including TUMSAT students, are not sufficiently aware of the importance of the coastal waters. One of the reasons for this lack of awareness is the insufficient collective effort to understand the issues facing

the bay, seek sustainable uses, and participate in educational activities concerning the bay. Thus, the education of young people in both the community as a whole and the university has become one of the aims of the TUMSAT’s Tokyo Bay activities. In August 2006, when the Ministry of Environment (MOE) of Japan called for local ESD projects across the country, TUMSAT proposed an Edomae ESD program. The program was funded for 6 months, and the Edomae ESD program was launched in October 2006. The working group for the Edomae ESD Council was setup with 11 TUMSAT faculty members with multi-disciplinary backgrounds, including ichthyology, marine biology (plankton), marine chemistry, physical oceanography, fisheries economics, coastal management, communication in Japanese, and education. The working group forms the core of the program, but the Museum of Marine Science and the Bay Plan Associates, a non-profit organization, also joined the program from the start. The overall objective is to pursue discussions of a plan for the sustainable use of Tokyo Bay in the coastal communities through a university– community partnership. The goal of Phase I was to identify program activities to spread awareness through the local community of the importance of sustainable development of the bay. Three program activities were provisionally determined as follows (Fig. 2)

 Cafe´: Sharing knowledge by cultivating a multifaceted understanding of Tokyo Bay.

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 Mimibukuro: Sharing experiences by visiting the coast and 

holding interviews with people who make their livelihoods from the bay to learn from them. Terakoya: Sharing understanding by holding workshops on Edomae resource use and the environment for people from various backgrounds, and developing a consensus based on an understanding of each other’s perspectives.

The core concept of the program at this early stage was a oneway delivery of scientific knowledge, information, or coastal experience opportunities to the public upon request. Interactive processes were not well incorporated, and the link between the three activities of the program was not deliberately designated. 3.2. Step 1: defining the provisional program goals At the first meeting, the working group identified the following first-year goals: (1) Calling for participation of stakeholders, including school teachers, museum and aquarium staff, commercial and recreational fishermen, and citizen groups. (2) Sharing the concept of the Edomae ESD by interviewing the stakeholders. (3) Implementing, evaluating, and improving a pilot ESD program based on the three activities; and (4) Developing a more specific framework of ESD practice. The people who would be ESD targets were sketchily identified as school teachers in the bay area, whereas fishermen and museum and aquarium staff were identified as resource persons who were expected to provide the targets with the ‘‘living experience’’ of the coast. 3.3. Step 2: consultations with the local community The next challenge was to identify the needs of stakeholders for ESD. This type of educational activity takes time and requires continuous participation. This aspect was thought to be crucial to sustaining the Edomae ESD program as well as to leading towards developing more practical activities in the future. Accordingly, the working group consulted individually with fishermen, school teachers, curators of museums and an aquarium, a traditional cast-net fisherman who runs a restaurant-boat, a fisheries consultant, and an organic food dealer. All of these people have been practicing environmental education or have been active in bay conservation activities and were therefore designated as ESD resource persons. The working group then ran a participatory workshop with six of these people for a group interview. All of the participants, including six working group members and 12 students, were divided into four small groups and the students of one group asked one or two resource persons the following questions: (1) What is your Tokyo Bay activity? (2) What concerns do you have for Tokyo Bay as it relates to your activity? (3) Please provide specific details of your concern for Tokyo Bay as it relates to your activity. The consultation and interview results can be summarized as follows. A variety of groups and individuals involved in activities pertaining to Tokyo Bay offer coastal area residents opportunities to experience the bay. For example, the Aosa Project aims to


prevent further deterioration of the water by removing Aosa (blue sea lettuce; Ulva pertusa), which grows as thick surface mats in Tokyo Bay in the summer; volunteers harvest the Aosa, which is then used in organic farming. The oyster farming project in Tokyo harbor aims to remove nutrients from the bay water. A fishermen’s group teaches the complete process of laver production to children at an elementary school located at the edge of the harbor where one of the largest laver production sites in Japan was once located. A number of other similar projects were also mentioned in the interviews. All of the activities identified from the consultations emphasize the importance of retrieving the link between people and the bay that was almost lost because of industrialization and development over the last 40 years. The scale of activities differs, however, by group. Some are well funded by governmental agencies and have human resources support, whereas some are volunteer-oriented on–off activities. Not surprisingly, individuals doing different activities expressed different concerns. Fishermen are sometimes invited to a school to talk with a large group, but they feel that this activity often leads nowhere. Other concerns include museums that are frequently short on staff, teachers who do not have time for extra programs, and environmental citizen groups that usually have difficulty finding regular participants for their activities. The following points were also clear: networking among members participating in the same activity was not well developed, and inaccurate scientific information was passed on to the participants. Environmental education practitioners have been aware of these two limitations and have expected TUMSAT to provide marine science knowledge and to be a hub for individual and group networking. After the consultation, those who once had been designated as ESD resource persons were also recognized as targets of education because they were also eager to learn about the bay environment and resources as well as to network with other stakeholders. Concurrently, the working group conducted a pilot project of the program with students through an undergraduate course. The aim of the pilot project was to confirm the educational needs of students in conjunction with the three activities of Mimibukuro, ´, and Terakoya. A second aim was to test the multi-disciplinary Cafe approach, which was also unfamiliar to many faculty members. Through the pilot project and the subsequent consultation with students who took the course, the working group was convinced of the program’s educational efficacy and concluded that they should promote the program as designed. The group also noted that the program’s efficacy for developing ESD leaders must still be examined.

3.4. Step 3: revising the practice framework After reviewing the consultation results, the working group revised the ESD practice framework to be more specific. The overall goal remained pursuing discussions of a plan for the sustainable use of Tokyo Bay in the coastal communities through a university–community partnership, but the focus was changed to developing Edomae ESD leaders in the coastal community. The leadership targets were identified as local people who had been active in community groups (such as citizen groups, town councils, or parent–teacher associations), including people who had been designated to be the information resources in the initial stage, because these are the people who can sustain and expand ESD activities and develop practical educational activities for the community. TUMSAT students were also identified as targets, and to involve them in the program on a regular basis, the working


M. Kawabe et al. / Marine Policy 33 (2009) 720–725

Challenges for the next Phase: • Designing a program composed of the three activities. • Examining the efficacy of the program to develop ESD leaders.

STEP 2: Consultations with the Local Community & Students (Dec 2006–Jan 2007) Findings from Pilot Project: The efficacy of the program was verified. Findings from Interviews: (1) A variety of groups/individuals offer coastal area residents opportunities to experience the bay. (2) All of the activities emphasize the importance of retrieving the link between humans and the bay. (3) The scale of activities differs by group. (4) Individual activities have different issues. (5) Networking among members participating in the same activity is not well developed. (6) Inaccurate scientific information is passed on to the participants.

STEP 0: Kick-off (Aug–Sep 2006) Provisional Concept of the Program The program is composed of three activities: sharing knowledge, experience, and understanding .

STEP 3: Revising the Practice Framework (Feb–Mar 2007)

Challenge D: Revise the ESD practice framework to be more specific

Challenge C: Identify the needs of stakeholders

Practice Framework Overall Goal: Pursue discussions of a plan for the sustainable use of Tokyo Bay in coastal communities through a university–community partnership. Approach: Develop Edomae ESD leadership in coastal communities. Targets & Resources: Local leaders and TUMSAT students. Program Design: • Incorporate the ESD concept through networking with participants of existing activities and embedding the ESD concept into individual activities. • Terakoya (workshops) are the core vehicle for carrying out the three activities.

STEP 1: Defining the Provisional Program Goals (Oct–Nov 2006)

Challenge A: Incorporate interactive processes Challenge B: Link the three activities

Provisional Program Goals for the First Year (1) Call for participation of stakeholders (targets: school teachers; resources: fishermen, museum and aquarium staff) (2) Share the ESD concept in group interviews (3) Conduct a pilot ESD program (4) Develop a specific ESD practice framework

Fig. 3. The evolution of the framework for Edomae ESD practice in Phase I (August 2006–March 2007).

group is looking into including some program activities in the university curriculum. Because many environmental education activities focused on Tokyo Bay take place independently, the working group determined that Edomae ESD activities should include incorporating the ESD concept by networking with the participants of existing activities and embedding the ESD concept into the individual activities. Therefore, the Terakoya (workshops) were designed so that participants from a variety of backgrounds could share their perspectives with one another (Fig. 2). Programs are to be designed so that the participants can (1) raise awareness for sustainable development of the Edomae coastal area through regular participation in activities, (2) gain accurate state-of-theart knowledge on marine science with the help of the university, and (3) broaden the acceptance of different cultures and values through a collaborative learning process with a variety of people. Whether a program composed of the three activities is suited to developing ESD leaders in practice needs to be examined in the next phase. As they worked on the project, the working group became aware that many people have difficulty understanding the terms ‘‘sustainable development’’ or ‘‘ESD’’ for Edomae. As a result, the group now uses the phrase ‘‘Edomae community revitalization’’ in their talks because it has a greater emphasis on the link between the community and the bay rather than only on bay conservation. The challenge for the next phase of the Edomae ESD project is to design an education program together with the community as well as testing the efficacy of the program in promoting people’s continuous participation in program activities and offering a wider perspective on the sustainability of Tokyo Bay.

The evolution of the framework of the Edomae ESD project is summarized in Fig. 3 and a comparison of the Edomae ESD with the essential elements of ESD is summarized in Table 1.

4. Concluding remarks The Phase I process has influenced the development of the framework of the Edomae ESD practice. Although the overall goal remained almost the same from the initial stage (i.e., pursuing discussions of a plan for the sustainable use of Tokyo Bay), all of the practices to achieve the goal, including the approach and the program design, have become more interactive as a result of discussions with stakeholders. As a natural consequence of deepening community involvement, the point of view of the working group has moved to the community itself. The program now includes more community issues, such as community revitalization in conjunction with the link to Tokyo Bay, rather than only bay conservation issues. In particular, the biggest change is that the basis for the activities is the equal partnership of participants. Individual stakeholders, regardless of who they are, have their own experiences and ideas for Tokyo Bay, and all participants have something to say to others as well as to learn from others. Corresponding with this change in attitude was a reorientation of the use of conventional educational methods. Consequently, the program is no longer a one-way delivery of scientific knowledge, information, or coastal experience opportunities to the public. The three program activities have been linked to each other, and workshops in which the understanding of all of the stakeholders are shared have been placed at the center of the activities.

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In this way, the whole Phase I process to establish the ESD practice framework has turned out to be an ESD process for the working group. The group experienced team teaching by faculty members of different academic backgrounds in the pilot project and had in-depth discussions with the bay stakeholders outside academia for almost the first time. Through the Phase I process, the working group discovered two existing environmental education activities for the Edomae waters. The practitioners of these two activities joined the Edomae ESD Council. The Council has setup Edomae ESD community programs for Phase II (April 2007–March 2008), and the programs produced in Phase II were implemented with three TUMSAT ESD courses in the 2008 academic year.

Acknowledgment The authors gratefully acknowledge funding by a grant from Nippon Life Insurance Foundation. References [1] The United Nations, Agenda 21; 1992. (Available from The UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) at: / agenda21.htmS.). [2] The United Nations. The United Nations General Assembly Resolution 57/254; 2002. [3] UNESCO. United Nations Decade of Education for Sustainable Development, 2005–2014: International Implementation Scheme; 2005 /http://unesdoc. [4] UNESCO. Reshaping Education. UNCESCO Environment and Development Briefs; 1992. [5] GESAMP (IMO/FAO/UNESCO-IOC/WMO/WHO/IAEA/UN/UNEP Joint Group of Experts on the Scientific Aspects of Marine Environmental Protection). The contributions of science to coastal zone management. Report and Studies, GESAMP, 61; 1996. [6] The United Nations. Chapter 17, Agenda 21; 1992. [7] The United Nations. Report of the world summit on sustainable development. Johannesburg, South Africa; 26 August–4 September 2002.


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