FEALAC Young Leaders Invitation Program
on Sustainable Development
(Overview and Evaluation)

January 2006

  • This program was implemented under the framework of the Forum for East Asia-Latin America Cooperation (FEALAC) by the initiative of Japan. This program aims at enhancing the relationship between the East Asian and Latin American regions. This was the fifth FEALAC Young Leaders Invitation Program (a different theme is chosen each time).
  • From December 7 to 17, 2005, a total of 28 young professionals, or one young representative from each of the 28 East Asian and Latin American countries, engaged in sustainable development field, were invited to Japan. Various programs were held, taking as their theme the environment issue, particularly the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), established in the Kyoto Protocol.
  • A "Sustainable Development Seminar" was held, together with Japanese specialists engaged in CDM as panelists. The participants exchanged opinions with Japanese panelists about "Cooperation on CDM among FEALAC member countries," and formulated the "10 Suggestions from Young Leaders".
  • In addition, participants took part in such activities as visits to Japanese institutions and companies related to the environment issue and trips to Kyoto and Hiroshima cities. Establishing such relationship, some participants keep contacts on specific CDM projects with Japanese personnel which are expected to be materialized in the future.
  • The program was great beneficial because, through this program, Japan promoted cooperation on CDM, and thereby, contributed to making progress in achieving "sustainable development," a goal specified in the "Manila Plan of Action" adopted at the Second FEALAC Foreign Ministers' Meeting (FMM II) held in January 2004. At the same time, it was quite effective for promoting exchanges among the participants deepening their understanding of Japan.

1. Overview of the Program

(1) Program Overview

A. Sustainable Development Seminar

  • Held at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on December 15.
  • During the invitation program, participants were divided into four groups and each prepared presentations on their suggestions for the main theme of the invitation program-"cooperation on CDM among FEALAC member countries"-with respect to specific areas (renewable energy, capacity building, and forestation). On the day of the seminar, each group made presentations, which were followed by an exchange of opinions between participants and Japanese panelists engaged in CDM. The suggestions made by all the groups were ultimately compiled to formulate the "10 Suggestions from Young Leaders."

B. Visits to related institutions in Japan, tours, and lectures

  • Participants visited such institutions as the Ministry of the Environment; Tokyo Metropolitan Government; Japan Carbon Finance, Ltd.; Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC); Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO); and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), and attended lectures on the respective institution's efforts for CDM.
  • Participants visited environmentally-friendly technologies and facilities.

C. Visits to Kyoto and Hiroshima cities

Participants visited Kyoto, the old capital of Japan, and Hiroshima, the symbol of world peace, and deepened their understanding about Japan through exposure to Japanese history, culture and regional practices.

(2) Participants

1. 16 participants from Latin American countries

Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, Paraguay, Bolivia, Mexico, Cuba, Costa Rica, Panama, Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Nicaragua

2. 12 participants from East Asian (and Oceanian) countries

Republic of Korea, Australia, New Zealand, ASEAN countries (Thailand, Singapore, the Philippines, Malaysia, Cambodia, Brunei, Viet Nam, Myanmar, Lao P.D.R)

2. Evaluation of the Program

(1) Sustainable Development Seminar

The seminar was participated by a wide range of people including those from governments and private companies who engage in CDM. Participants conveyed their opinions from the standpoint of their respective areas of expertise on such matters as capacity building, project identification, and finance with respect to CDM. In addition, Japanese panelists highly evaluated the seminar, noting that it was a good opportunity to hear about the CDM situation in each country directly from those engaged in the environment issue in East Asian and Latin American countries. In the process of advancing the discussions, the challenges in promoting CDM projects (e.g. raising funds for capacity building) were underscored. It is believed that the seminar, which allowed all participants to share their insights and opinions on these challenges, would contribute towards the smooth advancement of future CDM cooperation.

(2) Visits to related institutions in Japan, tours, and lectures

All participants gave positive assessments of the visits, saying that they were able to receive extremely meaningful lectures at each of the places they visited, and were impressed by the enthusiasm towards the environment issue and the technologies of the Government of Japan and Japanese companies. In addition, there were instances in which after the lectures and other events, participants actively sought to exchange contact information with various people including the lecturers. Among them, some participants had one-on-one negotiations with Japanese personnel on specific CDM projects. It can be said that the invitation program functioned not only to promote symbolic exchanges but as a negotiation forum for making concrete progress on the projects. It is hoped that participants will be in contact with the Japanese personnel from their countries to realize as many specific projects as possible.

(3) Conclusion

  1. During Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi's visit to Latin America in September 2004, he announced that Japan will perform a leading role at the FEALAC in "A Vision for a New Japan-Latin America and Caribbean Partnership." The implementation of the invitation program can be positioned as one example of Japan taking an initiative.
  2. The invitation program is also one of Japan's efforts towards "promoting sustainable development," a challenge specified in the "Manila Plan of Action" adopted at the Second FEALAC Foreign Ministers' Meeting (FMM II) held in January 2004. The "10 Suggestions from Young Leaders" formulated at the seminar is planned to be introduced at the Fourth "Economy and Society" Working Group of FEALAC to be held in Tokyo in May 2006. Regarding the environment issue, which is one of the areas that will be brought to attention as FEALAC expands its activities in the future, it is expected that the "10 Suggestions from Young Leaders" will provide a basis for the discussions in advancing the cooperation.

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