Reconstruction towards Sustainable Communities:Promotion of locally-based industries with all stakeholder approach (Japanese), United Nations Centre for Regional Development (UNCRD)
The Great East Japan Earthquake, which struck a wide area of East Japan on 11 March 2011, was unprecedented in scale and nature. The earthquake was the fourth largest in the world and the largest in Japan ever recorded. Subsequent tsunami hit the Tohoku region along the Pacific coast of Japan and washed away many towns and communities, resulting in massive loss of lives and property. Full recovery and reconstruction will likely take many years, but much effort is being made and the region is seeing substantial progress. There is a great deal to learn from this experience for future disaster risk reduction and sustainable regional development. The recovery work has been progressing steadily and is now shifting to reconstruction. However, as these efforts have just started, there is an urgent need to look into the issue of unemployment, in particular for the young generation and women, in the Tohoku region and to promote business opportunities.
Against these backdrops, UNCRD, financed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan, organized workshops and site visits in three prefectures in the Tohoku region (Iwate, Miyagi, and Fukushima) from 27 February to 2 March 2012. UNCRD engaged eleven experts from in and outside Japan and visited local governments and communities. The workshops were intended to share the experiences of community reconstruction from the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami and to exchange information between representatives of local communities and experts. Practical ideas were also exchanged to support economic activities of local communities, particularly community-based eco-friendly industries. In addition, exchange of information was made regarding the role of NGOs and NPOs in reconstruction efforts.
After the Tohoku Workshop had ended, UNCRD put together the recommendations received from the experts. The key points are summarized as 'Defining a vision in reconstruction plans,' 'Industrial reconstruction,' 'Restoration of the ecosystem,' 'Collaboration with NGOs/NPOs,' 'Collaboration with the private sector,' and 'Collaboration among local communities.' The experts who participated in the Workshop came from diverse backgrounds. For this reason, these recommendations cover a range of issues. We hope that these recommendations will further stimulate discussion and will be applied in practical ways.
UNCRD compiled the information derived from the workshops in the report, with the aim of disseminating information to the rest of the world. This report includes the details of the workshops, results of site visits, and recommendations of experts. UNCRD will also reflect experiences and lessons derived from the workshops in its training programmes that will be planned for government officials of developing countries.
We hope that this report will help stimulate discussions on this topic and assist in the efforts of reconstruction.
While working on this Workshop, UNCRD has also been collecting case study data in the three prefectures in the Tohoku region. The data will be released on our website shortly. We intend to widely utilize information derived from this Workshop and the case studies in UNCRDfs future activities. We will also maintain ties that have been established with people in the Tohoku region through the Workshop.

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