The Global NGO Village is one of the projects organised by the Japan Association for the 2005 International Exposition. For the first time in the world, citizens' groups such as non-profit organisations (NPOs) or non-governmental organisations (NGOs) will be able to participate in an international exhibition as exhibitors.
The aim of the Global NGO Village is to establish itself as a source of learning and exchange in order to solve the global challenges facing humanity in the 21st century. The concept of the Village can be summarised as: "Learning about sustainable development".
The basic operation is as follows: a Japanese NGO or NPO may join the Global NGO Village by forming a "unit" to host local or international NGO or NPO partners. For example, an organisation active in Japan that supports citizen reforestation would welcome and partner with, for example, a British citizen movement working for the environmental protection of forests or the countryside in Britain. These organisations will thus form a "unit" and will jointly present their activities, organise their education and exchange programmes.
About 80 organisations from all over the world in 30 units have come together to participate in EXPO 2005. Their main focus is on sustainable development in the field of nature and environment as well as international exchange and cooperation.
The Global NGO Village will be located in the northwestern part of the Nagakutee Area, on a small hill with a beautiful view. It will be composed of two zones: the Encounter Zone and the Experience and Exchange Zone.
The Encounter Zone includes the Central House, which will inform visitors about the concept and meaning of the Global NGO Village. It will be set up in existing premises and will feature themed exhibitions as well as the stands of the participating partner companies. It will also be the place to find out more about the NGOs and NPOs participating in EXPO 2005, as well as the various stands and events. The Central House will also host the Earth Dreaming Theater. This is a huge open-air theatre where visitors can lie on the floor and watch films on the theme of "Earth Dreaming". Here, the grand history of our planet will be presented through symbolic images, from its birth 4.6 billion years ago to the present day.
The Experience and Exchange Zone will consist of five pavilions and a workshop hall surrounding a multi-purpose circular area, the Earth Esplanade. The pavilions and the workshop hall are known as the "Bamboo Egg". This is an environmentally friendly structure, shaped like an egg and built with natural materials such as bamboo, wood, clay and fabric. It will be in harmony with the surrounding bamboo forests and tea plantations. These five pavilions will form the main area of the Global NGO Village.
Each month in turn, NGO and NPO units will use one of the pavilions to present exhibitions and events highlighting their experience on the theme of "Learning about Sustainable Development". At the beginning of each month, five units will present their activities. In total, thirty units will be in the spotlight. The themes are not limited to environmental issues, but also include peace, poverty, development and human rights.
For example, one unit will be able to recreate the reality of a refugee camp as closely as possible using real tents, first aid equipment and facilities as they actually exist. At the same time, another unit may present photos or documentary films describing its activities in the field.
In the Earth Esplanade in the centre of the Zone, there will be various attractive events such as "moonlight concerts" on full moon nights, symposia on various themes or demonstrations of ethnic dances and songs.
The Global NGO Village will undoubtedly offer you an excellent opportunity to think about what you can do for a sustainable environment on a global scale.
© Japan Association for the 2005 World Exposition