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Award winning school using book to promote environment

Date Posted: 2007-08-10

Miyako Agricultural High School won an international prize three years ago for its ideas for protecting underground water supplies.
The small school on Okinawa’s tiny Miyako Jima, southwest of Okinawa’s main island, has taken its 2004 Stockholm Water Prize and turned it into a new book. With the theme ‘Think Globally. Act Locally’, the school has turned the initial award-winning report into a book promoting ways to protect underground water supplies.
Miyako Jima, best known for its international triathlon, has no mountains, hills or dams to trap rainwater, and must depend on underground waters for its existence. Serious water pollution threatens those supplies because of industrial chemicals used in farming.
The second and third year high school students want to protect the environment, and more specifically, the clean water supplies. The school has been actively involved in environmental issues for 11 years, and says its book is a natural upward step. Since winning the Stockholm competition, students have been working on the English language book, which incorporates the original four page report and seven color pictures. The report noted dangers of chemicals, and artificial manure being used by farmers.
Kazuhiro Maezato, the environmental group section chief, says “Now it’s time to act to keep nature purse, and protect the environment, keeping our own feet firmly planted.” The 42-year-old educator says it is important to let everyone study environmental education, and “know about how important it is to protect nature as a natural environment.”

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