Tokyo workshop helps protect marine ecosystem

Top: City children create their own coral with colorful wool as part of the Marunouchi Kids Jamboree. Nearly 120,000 children and their parents took part in the three-day event, open to elementary and junior high school students in the Tokyo Metropolitan area. Bottom:The students learn about marine biodiversity proactively through playing card games during the Marunouchi Kids Jamboree in Tokyo. The theme of this year’s workshop was “Do You Know a Coral Reef? Why Is It Important?”

Nearly 120,000 children and their parents flocked to the Marunouchi Kids Jamboree, an annual three-day educational event for elementary and junior high school students in the Tokyo Metropolitan area during a recent school break.

Aramco Asia-Japan (AAJ) took part this year in the event, co-organizing a user-experience-based workshop under the theme of “Do You Know a Coral Reef? Why Is It Important?” for the students while teaming up with its corporate social responsibility partner of eight years, the Okinawa Coral Reef Conservation Consortium (OCRCC).

The goal of the workshop was to raise interest in kids from the nation's capital for protection of the marine ecosystem in the southern utmost prefecture of Okinawa — a popular tourist destination for its beautiful ocean and beaches.

Saudi Aramco's presence in the islands began when it signed an agreement with the Japanese government to use the crude oil terminal in 2010 — the same year in which AAJ started its support for OCRCC. The workshop this year is the latest endeavor of AAJ leveraging the out-of-Kingdom donation program to support the corporate social responsibility pillars of people and planet.

The interactive and entertaining programs prompted the audience to better understand the importance of coral reefs in Okinawa and their priceless value in making the island one of the world's most diversified marine spots.  

A fun-filled educational experience

Through engaging activities such as card games, handicrafts, and ad-lib performances, the workshop provided a firsthand experience to children in Tokyo to learn more about the reef building corals and the importance of protecting the marine environment. Photos and videos of the beautiful underwater world around the Okinawa prefecture enabled the students to literally dive into biodiversity and the symbiotic relationship with the coral reef ecosystem.

“Such awareness programs raise the degree of understanding and importance of maritime biodiversity among our kids,” said AAJ representative director Omar M. Al Amudi. “So, I hope we have been successful in giving our kids the chance to appreciate the surrounding environment, interact with it — and preserve it for the future generations.”

The Marunouchi Kids Jamboree, a public cultural event, is jointly sponsored by the country's leading daily newspaper, Yomiuri, and the Tokyo International Forum with the goal of encouraging urban kids to develop their curiosity in science, engineering, music, and art.