Between June 16 and 20, Tenri Environmental Forum 2004 was held at Tenri City’s Cultural Center and Tenri University under the joint auspices of Tenri University’s Oyasato Institute for the Study of Religion and International Center for Regional Studies, Tenri Junior Chamber, Tenri Board of Education, and a non-governmental organization called Tenri Environmental Citizens’ Network. The forum, which was also held in 2001 and 2002, was intended to present people with various environmental perspectives so that they would take an active role in restoring and preserving the natural environment of the city.
The forum consisted of four sessions: exhibition, lecture meeting, panel discussion, and cleaning of the Furu River.
The exhibition was held on the first floor of the Cultural Center and was participated in by about 20 groups including local companies, citizens’ groups, and schools. Among the exhibits were photos that introduced disaster relief activities–such as building a check dam or a library made of earth bags–conducted in the aftermath of a severe earthquake that occurred in western India in 2001. Photos of shelter houses, which were made of earth bags and were built on the campus of Tenri University, were also exhibited. In addition, students of Tenri High School Day Course exhibited data from their research on river and forest preservation while students of Tenri Seminary High School exhibited the results of their research on the quality of water in the Furu River.
Staff members of Construction and Maintenance Section created a small garden (two by three meters) inside the Cultural Center, utilizing bamboos, persimmon trees, Japanese pampas grass, and undergrowth. It was designed in the image of a clean stream with an environment that could once again be inhabited by fireflies.