Societies of Sustainability and Sufficiency: A Networking Event

13:00-17:00 April 25, 2015

Toyo University Hakusan Campus Sky Hall
Building #2, 16th Floor

Sponsored by the Japan Network of Engaged Buddhists (JNEB)

& the Religious and Scholarly Eco Initiative (RSE)

This event concludes a 4 day study tour of Fukushima and eco-temple workshops for 10 international participants from religious and civil society backgrounds from various parts of Asia. It will provide a forum for a wide variety of concerned persons in the greater Tokyo—such as religious leaders, civil society activists, concerned academics and students—to meet the 10 international participants to share insights and resources on issues surrounding the environment, community development, energy, and right livelihood. Through sharing the perspectives and skills of South and Southeast Asian Buddhists in community development, and Japanese Buddhists and other religious professionals in nuclear issues and renewable energy, we wish to take steps towards an international network for sharing best practices on building “green temples” and “green temple communities”.

We feel that this networking event will bring together people from diverse backgrounds concerned about these issues, who are not yet directly connected with one another. Through making connections and building cooperative networks of action, greater efficiency and power can be realized in the wider movement. We feel that NGOs, civil society groups, university professors and students, and other non-religious persons will benefit from these connections as the religious community can provide a strong ally in ethical claims against nuclear energy and supporting a vision of a post-nuclear society based on moderation and right livelihood. On the other hand, religious groups have the need to connect with these wider civil society groups to re-establish themselves as progressive forces of change in this age of extreme secularism and violent religious fundamentalism.

Registration & Participation: 500 yen, reception and dinner 2,000 yen

Participation is restricted to 30 spots only.

To register contact: Jonathan Watts (JNEB Coordinator):

13:00-17:00 Program

  • Introduction by hosts (15 minutes)
  • 3 international participants from the Philippines, India, and South Korea will speak about the nuclear issue in their own countries and the work of religious groups to confront it. (30 minutes).
  • Small Group Discussion based on key areas of interest (2 hours)

1) Human Rights of Citizens and Laborers in Localized Nuclear Power Plant Areas (dukkha-suffering)

2) Export of Nuclear Technology from North to South and the Structures and Culture of Building a National Nuclear Industry (samudaya-causes)

3) Value & Lifestyle Change and the Role of Buddhism (nirvana-vision)

4) Localized Energy Generation & Consumption and Community Development (magga-path)

  • Break (15-30 mins)
  • Sharing of group discussions in main forum (30 minutes)
  • Closing reflections on the way forward and the potentials for international collaboration – Prof. Hisashi Nakamura, Ryukoku University (15 minutes)

18:00 reception and dinner

International Participants & Speakers:

Philippines: Mr. Naderev “Yeb” Sano, Commissioner/Vice-Minister of the Philippines’ Climate Change Commission. He will soon leave this role and work as a global advocate for Our Voices, a multi-faith movement on climate change.

Sri Lanka: Ms. Kanchana Weerakoon, founder of ECO-V Eco Friendly Volunteers (ECO–V), a non-profitable voluntary organization contributting research and community work to support conservation of the environment. She is also working with Dr. A.T Ariyaratne, founder of the Sarvodaya Shramada Movement, to empower their village members about the new nuclear agreement with India.

Myanmar: Mr. Harn Zaai Leng Wang, Director of Bodhi Hill Learning Community, an ecological alternative learning community for the young. He also helped to create the Wong Metta Temple-based Saving & Credit Unions that utilizes 390 Buddhist temples as community centers and provides more than 130,000 members with access to self-generated financial services.

Myanmar: Mr. Thant Zin is the coordinator for the Dawei Development Association for their campaign against the Dawei Special Economic Zone which the Japanese Government is seriously considering investing in. He also takes part in a nationwide anti-coal campaign and is involved in the national level EITI (Extractive Industries Transparency Initiatives).

India: Mr. Gauthama Nagappan, INEB Executive Committee and Executive Director of the Foundation of His Sacred Majesty, an organisation seeking to mobilize multi-stakeholder participation in the design and implementation of a self-sustainable model of education and alternative livelihood to achieve community empowerment with the ideology of Dr. Ambedkar and Emperor Ashoka.

South Korea: Ms. Mina Kim is an activist working in the Ulsan branch of the Korean Federation for Environmental Movement (KFEM), which is opposing the restart of Wolsong #1 nuclear reactor.

Vietnam/Japan: Ms. Michiko Yoshi is a professor at Okinawa University and a specialist in the study of NGOs in Vietnam. She has co-edited Deception in the Export of Nuclear Technology from Japan to Vietnam: Behind the Scenes of a “Friendship” (in Japanese, Akashi Publishing 2015).

Bangladesh: Mr. Sanat Barua is the president of a youth based humanitarian Buddhist organization called the Atish Dipankar Society (ADS) and managing Trustee of the Atish Dipankar Peace Trust. He is also the co-founder of an NGO called the Social Advancement Mission Bangladesh (SAMB) working for sustainable development.

China: Mr. Jiaru Hou, Ph.D in Law, is an Associate Professor, Faculty of Law China University of Political Science & Law, teaching about environmental law.

Thailand: Mr. Ratawit Ouaprachanon is the Program Manager for the Spirit in Education Movement (SEM) in Myanmar,which works on capacity building, equipping participants with knowledge and skills to build up community-led, sustainable and self reliant development initiatives to improve livelihoods and wellbeing.

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