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2019 OISCA International Board of Directors Meeting

Oct 28, 2019

On October 1 and 2, the 2019 OISCA International Board of Directors Meeting was held in Tokyo with 60 delegates and observers from 15 countries and areas participating in the meeting.

Mr. Yasuaki Nagaishi, Secretary General of OISCA International, declared the meeting open. He then led a prayer for the soul of Dr. Badre Prasad Shrestha, former President of OISCA Nepal Chapter who passed away on October 18, 2018.

Dr. Meenu Kumar, Vice President of OISCA North India, Professor Ryokichi Hirono, Council Member of OISCA Japan, and Mr. Yasuaki Nagaishi, Secretary General of OISCA International, were selected as the Co-Chairpersons of the meeting.

On behalf of Dr. Yoshiko Nakano, President of OISCA International, who was not present in the meeting due to her poor health condition, Mr. Toshihiro Nakano, Executive Vice-President, read the President’s keynote speech. It stressed the outstanding contribution by the first generation of the OISCANs who provided a roadmap for sustainable global community.

For his part, Mr. Tadashi Watanabe, Vice President of OISCA International, suggested that OISCA members to actively participate international conferences and meetings as representatives of OISCA, to be proud of what OISCA has achieved over the past five decades since the establishment and to respect the predecessors of OISCA in many countries who have devoted their lives for the OISCA mission. In this connection, Prof. Hirono commented that adult must understand the impassioned appeal recently made by a 16-year old Swedish girl at the UN meeting on environmental protection.

Afterwards, Mr. Nagaishi comprehensively reviewed OISCA’s activities over the past year. Centering on the four pillars of the approach: Capacity Building, Enviromental Conservation, Rural Development and Children’s Forest Program (CFP), he reported the major achievements by presenting detailed statistical figures of each pillar. He also highlighted such special events as the courtesy visit by OISCA high-ranking officials on Tun Dr. Mahatir Bin Mohamad, Prime Minister of Malysia in November 2018, renewal of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for the Children’s Forest Program with the Philippine government agencies concerned in May 2018, supporting the earthquake victims in Lombok, Indonesia in July 2018, flood victims in South India in August 2018 and typhoon victims in Northern Luzon, Philippines in September 2018, and the inauguration ceremony of the special educational building for the handicapped children donated by the Embassy of Japan in Mexico.

Commenting on the review report, Prof. Hirono, Council Member of OISCA, pointed out that OISCA has been carrying out many significant activities but its efforts are not necessarily recognized or well-known to the common people and questioned to what extend OISCA National Chapters are publicizing these activities in their respective countries.

The representative of North India Chapter replied that their projects are being supported by 50 corporate members for the public information alone, but it is still lacking and need to reach out more to outside people.

The discussion moved to report of the result of the OISCA International Finance Committee Meeting. The Committee members agreed to provide 5 million yen to the Sericulture Project in the Negros Island, Philippines which started 30 years ago. The project is now facing a problem in the availability of cash to buy cocoons produced by the local farmers. The Committee also agreed to provide 5 million yen to the project carried out by OISCA Kumamoto Branch to help promote rural products of Mongolian communities such as herbal medicines, soaps, and others.

OISCA International concluded 3 strategic collaboration agreements, MOU with MARA, Malaysia for technical and vocational training, MOU with the University of Malaysia Pahang, and MOU with the South India Chapter for the dispatch of Technical Trainees to Japan.

The Board approved 2 new regional domestic chapters in OISCA South India Chapter, Valanchery Chapter, Kerala and Velacherry Chapter, Tamil Nadu.

In Session 2, the Board took up the results of the major events and activities implemented over the past year. The members listened to, among others, the reports on the kick-off reforestation activity led by Mr. Toshihiro Nakano in Sambhal and Varanasi in India in last September which was in line with the MOU signed between OISCA International and the government of India in June 2017 to clean up the Ganga River, the International Conference 2019 on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by Mr. Aravinda Babu, Assistant Secretary General, OISCA International, and the Japan-Philippine Business Matching Forums held in the Philippines in last November and in Tokyo in March this year.

Commenting on the results of the major events and activities, Datuk Ibrahim of Malaysia and Dr. Meenu Kumar from OISCA North India strongly suggested to utilize the social media so that OISCA activities could be actively promoted and spread across the globe.

Mr. Aravinda Babu, Director & Secretary General of OISCA South India, invited the Board Members, particularly youth delegates, to participate in the Global Youth Forum which would be held in Chennai, India in the coming December.

In Session 3 held in the afternoon, the representatives from Japan, Thailand, Mexico, the Philippines, North India, South India, Mongolia and Malaysia respectively presented reports on their implemented and on-going projects and programs.

In the evening, the participants of the Board Meeting attended a reception to celebrate the 2019 International Cooperation Day held at the same building. They joined prominent political figures belonging to the Association of Diet Members Supporting OISCA International Activities, OISCA Japan Members, supporters and other guests.

On the second day of the Board Meeting, the participants were divided into three groups. In the first group, the participants discussed how to devote greater resources to pursuing Eco-DRR (disaster risk reduction). The delegates from Indonesia, Mongolia, the Philippines, Sri Lanka and Thailand reported on their situation. In the second group, the participants took up Promotion and Diversification of Capacity Building Programs for Young People by making better use of the facilities available. They recognized the need to maximize the utilization of the OISCA International facilities including OISCA Academy in Japan by organizing exchange programs, and the need to learn the Japanese language in advance prior to the arrival of trainees in Japan. In the third group, the main theme was What and how messages should be sent out to have greater number of OISCA activities and promote the OISCA movement. The participants agreed that in order to stop the environmental deterioration, we need to work and act together by identifying a model family that engage in tree planting and sustainable agriculture to be emulated by other families, influencing government leaders to make right policies and creating industries to promote rural development and to reduce the problem of rural depopulation and urban congestion.

After lunch break, Mr. Hiroyuki Cho, Director, Research and Study, OISCA Japan, made a report on Present Status and Future Perspective of Eco-DRR. He presented videos showing the achievements and challenges of the reforestation projects of OISCA in Indonesia (coastal abrasion and flooding problems) the Philippines (forest fires) and Japan (progress of the coastal forest rehabilitation project in the disaster-hit Miyagi Prefecture).

Then followed a presentation made by Mr. Kengo Kitaura, CEO of Agribuddy Ltd., a private company co-founded by Mr. Charles Cheo, President of OISCA Cambodia. The company aims to boost the economic conditions and improve the quality of life of the people in rural areas through the provision of best practices to maximize the farmers’ profit; provision of finance to farmers and provision of market access for the farmers’ products. Prof. Hirono raised a question: How is Agribuddy different from 1960-1970’s middlemen? Mr. Kitaura replied that Agribuddy is more transparent.

Afterwards, there were reports from national chapters: Bangladesh, Cambodia, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Israel, Malaysia, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, and OISCA College Ltd. Mr. Denzil Joseph George Poppen, Director of SALT Program, OISCA Calicut Chapter, was presented a Citation in recognition of his tireless efforts to advance OISCA movement.

Ms. Etsuko Nakano, President of OISCA Japan, delivered closing remarks. She shared with the participants the idea of Rev. Yonosuke Nakano, the founder of the organization. Regardless of color, religion, language, and custom, we are all brothers and sisters, and that when one is in need for assistance, others must help. She mentioned about education and empowerment as the main pillars of OISCA and emphasized that the OISCA education aims to nurture a sense of mission and responsibility to the community and with other people.

After the Board Meeting, there was an optional 3-days and 2-nights field tour to Shizuoka Prefecture and Aichi Prefecture. 20 delegates from 7 countries and areas (Cambodia, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Israel, Sri Lanka and Taiwan) participated in the group tour. On the first day of the excursion, the participants visited Gekko Astronomical Observatory located in Kannami Town, Shizuoka Prefecture. Then, the group moved to Kakegawa City for visiting the Headquarters of ANANAIKYO, a Shinto sect, where the OISCA Movement originated. On the second day, the participants visited a car manufacturing plant of TOYOTA MOTOR CORPORATION. In the afternoon, they visited OISCA Chubu Training Center located in the suburban area of Toyota City for observation of the training activities.