Joint talk event between OIST and the Okinawa Municipal Museum this Sunday


This Sunday, on November 6, 2016, there will be a joint talk event between the Okinawa municipal museum (沖縄市立郷土博物館) and OIST, held at the Okinawa municipal museum. The first talk is going to be presented by the curator of the museum, and it is titled “Why is Okinawa city the entrance to Yanbaru”? The second talk is given by Yoshi, the coordinator of the OKEON Churamori project, and his talk is titled “Figuring out the biodiversity of Okinawa – OKEON Churamori project”.OIST will also have a booth set up at the event.

The talk will start at 1:30 pm and will be held at the 4th floor of the Okinawa Cultural Center, in the entertainment hall.
If you have any questions please contact the Okinawa municipal museum at 098-932-6882.

Opening ceremony for the 41st exhibition at the Okinawa Municipal Museum


While the streets were bustling with Halloween-related activities on October 31, the opening event to the 41st exhibition of the Okinawa municipal museum titled “The entrance to Yanbaru – Nature of Okinawa City” (やんばるの入り口 沖縄市の自然) was also taking place. The exhibition aims to present the results of a five year survey conducted by the Okinawa municipal museum dedicated to documenting the natural environment of Okinawa city.


Collaborating with a local museum and sharing the same field site and data, having an allocated space at the local museum exhibition, cooperating with the museum to have a joint talk event about the exhibition, all of the above are great achievements for the OKEON Churamori project given its goal to to revitalize the museum network and the amount of effort that has been put into achieving that.


At the opening ceremony, guests from OIST, led by vice president Neil Calder, lined up and participated in a ribbon cutting.

We are very thankful to Kawazo san and Tone san who has continued to assist us, as well as everyone else at the museum. From this point on let’s continue to work together to cultivate a collaborative environment.

Below is the Japanese:





OKEON Churamori meets Yanbaru Discovery Forest

On the first day of my internship I was invited to attend a meeting between OKEON project leaders Yoshi and Masako and representatives of the Yanbaru Discovery Forest (YDF). The Yanbaru forested area in Northern Okinawa is known for its natural beauty and endemic species. If you ask local Okinawans about wildlife and the environment, Yanbaru forest is usually mentioned before too long, perhaps due to the strong association with species such as the Yanbaru Kuina bird (やんばるクイナ)or how it is historically uninhabited tropical rainforest.



Photo courtesy of: tata_aka_T

The meeting took place in order to re-establish the link between the OKEON project and YDF. Within local organisations anywhere around the world, without prior introductions, it is not easy to establish connections straight away. This is especially the case in Okinawa. It takes time, with trust and understanding needed in order to gain access to key stakeholders within an organisation. Not only is it important to meet face-to-face with the relevant people, but that relationship has to then be maintained and built upon to be truly successful.

Collaboration and communication is key to the success of OKEON. The overall aim of the project is to gain a deeper scientific understanding of the biodiversity and natural environment of Okinawa. However, the key to the project is not science alone, but a diverse network within the local community and other organisations which support and acknowledge the project, and eventually collaborate as well. The longevity of the project depends on this network, and the longer OKEON runs for, the more useful it will be overall in terms of monitoring the terrestrial environment of Okinawa.


The YDF in particular is an important organisation for OKEON to establish a relationship with. It is specifically known as an area of valuable nature, and is a conservation hotspot currently being prepared for nomination as a World Heritage site. It is therefore bound to be a place which attracts people who like nature. Visitors to Yanbaru will see information on OKEON and OIST, and perhaps become interested in OKEON, further building the network. Collaboration is a good opportunity for information about OKEON to spread, and to become well-known in the community. YDF can also benefit, as co-operation could lead to new environmental education programs in the future using data from OKEON.


As the meeting progressed, what seemed initially to be a meeting where Yoshi and Masako were trying to win over the YDF with the importance of OKEON, there was a gradual shift towards mutual understanding, and by the end of the meeting, a much firmer bond was established. The head of the YDF even asked Yoshi for advice about an ant infestation in one of the rooms, which Yoshi happily went to investigate with his pocket microscope. Not only had the link between the organisations been established, there was talk of future collaboration regarding conservation projects and mounting an explanation of the OKEON project along the trail of the YDF.