All good things come to an end! After spending countless hours to prepare for our proposal, we finally had the opportunity to present our project and show to the stakeholders how much efforts we put to bring our piece to the complex puzzle of Hokkaido…. At first, I was pleased to see that nine people had come despite the heavy rain, and I was really looking forward to listening to their opinions about the different issues they are currently facing. However, I quickly became disillusioned once they had the occasion to share their thoughts regarding our three presentations. Indeed, from the moment they heard about a proposal concerning the cranes, they almost ignored any other topic presented.
I was therefore extremely disappointed by this Winda Granda Project. I believed we had the opportunity to present a proposal that might give them another perspective and maybe eventually help them to develop a project. However, it seemed to me that apart from the necessity to protect the cranes in Hokkaido, they did not really have other opinion. Even the article in the newspaper about this event doesn’t mention the two other projects! I was therefore very disappointed and felt that all the time we all spent thinking about a proposal that could suit their situation wasn’t really necessary.
At least, this project helped me to understand that even if many people in Hokkaido present themselves as environmental protective groups in the façade, it seems in fact that most of them focus on cranes and forget about other problems that deserve attention. When we were asked about our image of Hokkaido, I wanted to share my view that even though I believe cranes deserve to be protected, they shouldn’t be the only center of interest of the associations just on the pretext that they are aesthetic to see…. In our project for instance, we wanted to emphasize the need to connect consumers and producers of Hokkaido, and to make people understand the importance of fishery, forestry or farmer products. As I see it, using the cranes as the main symbol does not bring much else than some tourists in winter to take photos, whereas I believe that emphasizing on restoration projects that concern more directly all these important fields in Hokkaido’s economy would benefit to both the planet and the people of Hokkaido.
On the other hand, the fact that the interest of the stakeholders mainly focused on cranes showed me that in fact I might have a role to play in places like Hokkaido. Before coming in person I thought that being a foreigner and a young student studying in Tokyo wouldn’t enable me to do anything whatsoever for the people of Hokkaido. But now, I start to think that because I am an outsider and because I have another state of mind, I might be able in the future to bring my contribution.
In short, even though I was first disappointed by the result of this project, I now believe into the necessity to bring new ideas to the experience of the people of Hokkaido, and I am more motivated than ever to be a part of this contribution.