Encouraging People to Develop Skills Needed for Environmental Protection―Sompo Environment Foundation
Sompo Environment Foundation, based on its philosophy of “Fostering people who plant trees,” supports education,
capacity building, action and research in conservation and other environmental fields with the goal of contributing
to global environmental protection.
The foundation, together with SOMPO Holdings and the Japan Environmental Education Forum, has been holding Open Lectures on the Environment for the general public since 1993. The lectures are designed to help citizens gain an accurate understanding and awareness of environmental issues and implement specific activities from their own perspectives. The themes include SDGs and sustainability, and the lectures have attracted a total of 36,400 participants to date (as of March 2023). Starting in FY2020, the lectures were held online amid the COVID-19 pandemic, and 2,968 participants were able to join from all over the country. A recording of it was also made available, attracting 3,834 viewers (including viewers who watched the live session as well as the recording).
Naoko Ishii, Executive Vice President / Director, Center for Global Commons, The University of Tokyo
Yoshinori Harumoto, Aquamarine Fukushima
Open Lectures on the Environment for citizens 2022 Regular and special lectures.
In addition, the foundation offers the CSO Learning Scholarship Program, an eight-month internship program for undergraduate and graduate students in the environmental field at a CSO (Civil Society Organization, a comprehensive term that includes NPOs, NGOs, and other organizations). This program started in 2000, and aims to develop human resources who can contribute to a sustainable society together with environmental CSOs. As of March 2023, the program has sent interns to 78 organizations, and 1,276 students have completed the program. Even amid the COVID-19 pandemic, program activities have continued without interruption by making use of online conferencing and teleworking.
The 2022 CSO Learning Scholarship Program Completion Ceremony
In February 2019, a similar program was newly launched in Jakarta, Indonesia, with 78 students having completed the program across four batches, with the fifth batch of students starting activities in February 2023.
Kickoff ceremony for the fifth batch in Indonesia
In addition, since 1999 the foundation has awarded grants for environmental conservation projects to support CSOs working on environmental issues. Moreover, since 2001 the foundation has provided academic research funding for graduate students’ costs of writing PhD papers, to support outstanding young researchers who are inspired to write on environmental themes.