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  4. The Third 2021 Kyoto Kokoro Initiative Workshop Was Held

The Third 2021 Kyoto Kokoro Initiative Workshop Was Held

The third 2021 Kyoto Kokoro Initiative workshop was held on August 18th, 2021. Dr. Tsuyoshi Watanabe (Lecture, Faculty of Science, Hokkaido University) gave a presentation entitled, “Coral Reefs and Global Environmental Change.” The workshop was held online with 10 attendees.


The presentation began with an introduction to the characteristics of corals, which are sensitive to environmental pollution but also resistant enough to survive various global environmental changes. Coral mainly inhabits waters that are called “deserts of the sea,” where nutrient salts are low, and the waters in which coral reefs are located are a place that nurtures biodiversity where as much as a quarter of all marine life lives. In addition, it is said that coral reefs record the global environmental changes of the past 500 million years like annual rings. Based on case studies, Dr. Watanabe explained the research methods used to clarify human impact on the natural environment and past natural phenomena, such as earthquakes and tsunamis, through surveys about coral reef.


In the latter half of the presentation, Dr. Watanabe introduced his research activities based on Kikai Island in the Amami Islands. He expressed his vision for future efforts to utilize the findings of coral reef research beyond the boundaries of the humanities and sciences, and to connect them to further research. Moreover, he presented his views on the possibilities of the relationship between coral reef research and society, including actual activities to express research results, such as theatrical techniques and educational projects that involve children.


In the following discussion, the point was made that coral reefs, which coexist with plankton and include archaic layers of history, serve as a model for the kokoro and community. The discussion then turned to the comparison between coral and slime mold. Domestic and international examples of the relationship between human life, faith or artistic activities, and coral reefs or environmental change were also presented and actively discussed.