Eco-Conscious Community “Genki Grand Awards”

Overview

“Genki Grand Awards” is a voluntary program started in 2001 to promote the realization of sustainable society from the citizens’ point of view. The program is run by GENKI Net and the awards are given to the activities collected from the public which are operated in collaboration with citizens, businesses and the government.
We organize an “eco-tour” to visit the field of the previous year’s awardee and invite the public to participate. “The mutual interaction and learning citizens summit” is held at the same time with the purpose of increasing interaction and expanding network among  participants and their local communities.
When the award program was started, the applications were mainly about activities to solve garbage problems such as recycling in local areas. Nowadays, we receive applications from organizations involved in activities to better utilize community resources aiming at community development and local business expansion. Other applicants focus on reducing CO2 emissions. Since 2007 the award has been running with the collaboration of “eco japan cup.” The selection is done in the lifestyle category of the “eco japan cup” to find practical activities aiming at realizing “eco-conscious town.”
The followings are some examples of award-winning projects and their developments:
NPO Chiiki zukuri Ko-bo was given the 2004 grand award for its “Kurukuru Eco-Project,” a micro hydro project utilizing agricultural waterway which runs like a fan in the city.
For them, the experience of organizing the “Omachi eco-tour” at the time of the award ceremony  in 2005, led to receiving visitors including JICA eco-tours and other study tours
“Thubasa Yu” from Ogawa-machi, Saitama was given the 2009 incentive-award. The Ogawa-machi eco-tour in the following year was a town walking program which offered three courses featuring history, food and Japanese paper making. Each course was accompanied by a local guide and the participants explored the history and culture of the area during the day. They had an opportunity to interact with various groups including local farmers, store owners, the young manager of the Japanese paper workshop, past “Genki Grand Awards”  winners and other participants over tasty homemade dishes made of local organic vegetables and local Sake.

Points about the partnership

Since they organize an eco-tour which visits the area where the activity of the previous year’s award-winning organization has taken place, the participants are able to get a better understanding and learn from the organization as well as deepen interaction with each other. It also works as an opportunity for the award-winning organization to create a new network with various organizations in the area through the preparation of receiving the eco-tour. Some winners say that the “participation process itself is very meaningful.”

Category

Based on efforts at ‘co-action’ (cooperative action) by diverse actors

Theme 

Development of sustainable local community and recycling-oriented society

Actors 

NPO GENKI Net for Creating a Sustainable Society

Partners 

Hosts the annual award ceremony in cooperation with the organizations which were given “Genki Grand Awards” in the previous year. 

Relevant website

Tsuna-kan Vol.17:
“Toward sustainable society; connecting people, goods, minds and local communities”
http://www.geoc.jp/information/tsunakan/index/tsuna17
Eco-Conscious Community “Genki Grand Awards”
http://www.genki-net.jp/sub2.htm