Towards Synergy between Dugong Conservation and Community Development: Roles of NGOs and Local Communities

As the US and Japanese governments’ plan to build a US military base in Henoko/Oura Bay, Okinawa, Japan, critical habitat for the endangered Okinawa dugong, is now under critical review, efforts are being made not only towards the protection of the Okinawa dugongs per se, but also towards synergy between dugong/environmental conservation and community development. Introducing activities of Save the Dugong Campaign Center (SDCC), our poster session examines the evolution of dugong conservation efforts by NGO and local communities in the politically charged situation of Okinawa and its implications especially with regard to eco-based community development now under way.

Our poster discusses the roles of NGOs in the adoption of IUCN resolution and recommendations regarding dugong conservation. It also shows how NGOs have used the recommendations and resolution to negotiate with the Japanese government and local governments and engage with local communities.

Our poster also illustrates NGO’s Communication, Education, Public Awareness (CEPA) activities including SDCC's “Dugong Flag Campaign” “Dugong’s Day Campaign.” It discusses how and to what extent CEPA activities held in the urban areas of Tokyo and Osaka by urban based-NGOs like SDCC can help raise the awareness for conservation of Okinawa dugong at the national level.

Our poster also highlights SDCC’s annual “dugong tour” to Henoko/Oura Bay. It discusses how the tour, launched initially as a symbolic gesture for dugong protection/conservation, has provided the local communities and municipal government important implications and lessons for eco-tourism.

Our poster concludes the discussion by highlighting different expectations held by different stakeholders for dugong/environmental conservation and eco-based community development and by suggesting how local and national NGOs and local communities can work together towards synergy between dugong/environmental conservation and community development.

Geographical scope:

Japan
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