A foreign internship program（Supplementary material）
Local Future Planning Association
LFP is an association founded by local people in Oita Prefecture, Japan in collaboration with academic and industry links provide human resource development for local planning, revitalization, and development. The Association was established in 2015 and has been running projects both in domestic Japan and internationally. Domestic level activities are designed to connect local people with each other and create an environment for inclusive learning and the active participation of communities in their current issues and future development planning. The company accepts projects from local governments and holds workshop activities for local communities to help them understand and manage their resources in collaboration with academia and using successful examples of both domestic Japan and international local community activities.
Local future planning people have a long experience with conserving the agricultural heritage landscapes of Japan. Some have visited similar agricultural heritage landscape in other countries and have created dialogues among agricultural heritage communities. These workshop activities are not only for local communities to understand their potential better but can enable them to utilize traditional knowledge and to share lessons among communities and also conduct internships and training programs for students from Japan and abroad. In this way a series of international internship programs and study activities have been conducted with other universities and international organizations.
If you are interested about local communities and leadership at the community level or if you want to know about the everyday lives of people in local areas and the story of sustainable adaptation of human nature through the traditional landscapes of Japan you can learn from the activities designed for these purposes by the Local Future Planning Association. The subjects that represent the Association’s activities include conserving traditional agriculture and associated landscapes traditional knowledge and crafts, forestry, agriculture and fisheries activities using traditional and sustainable ways of resource management, activities designed in herbal and medicinal edible plants environments such as tourism and cooking events with such materials, branding and value added products using traditional agriculture, international certification, geotourism and associated heritage and volcanic landscape including Hot Springs.
The associated activities cover art and culture such as bamboo crafting art and architecture with stone materials such as stone bridges and historical buildings including the religious associations of stone sculptures. the Association also has activities related to industries in Oita such as alcohol and beverage branded materials, paper manufacturing, local foods such as soy sauce, bamboo products, the mining industry, and tourism related industries. There are specific programs for people who are interested in geography utilizing special the geographic background of Oita such as old and new volcano environments, geoparks, nature parks and islands.
Paying attention to the agricultural heritage of Oita, the Association works in five different areas related to agriculture heritage including:
The biodiversity values of species of birds and aquatic animals and plants including medicinal edible plants;
Sustainability including sustainable community development and sustainable traditional agriculture landscape planning;
Landscape design and culture, including forestry associated landscape for mushroom production, rice terraces, and land use and landscape diversity;
Cultural landscapes including historical resources traditional lifestyle and marginal villages;
Agriculture heritage tourism using the concept of agricultural heritage as a destination brand covering new types of agricultural experiences, community collaboration, and interaction through agricultural heritage.
The founders of the Local Future Planning Association believe that the Association belongs to the people in Oita prefecture and they have an obligation to pay back to the local community while living within that community and learning from their traditional knowledge and valuable resources and heritage. Activities with the Local Planning Association gives you first-hand information and links you with the real lifestyle and everyday life of Oita now and in the past. Local future planning is created as a Community School of traditional knowledge to serve anybody who is interested to learn from local communities and welcomes interested people who want to contribute to their community and enrich their own life and knowledge through these activities.
Professor. Vafadari Kazem
Professor Kazem Vafadari (PhD) is director of International Center for Asia Pacific Tourism (iCAPt); academic director of the Kunisaki city research center for world agriculture heritage, Oita, Japan and Division Head, Graduate school of Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University (APU) Tourism and Hospitality (THP) Beppu, Japan. He worked with United Nations University and Kanazawa University in Japan before joining APU in 2011. He is an expert on Tourism and natural resource management and tourism applications of agriculture heritage landscapes. His research background also includes community building and rural revitalization and destination branding. He worked with United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization as an advisor and scientific committee member for the Globally Important Agriculture Heritage Systems (GIAHS) program. He works with UNWTO as advisory board member for QUEST program. His research interest includes development of health and wellness destinations through promoting edible and medicinal plants food tourism in agriculture heritage landscapes. Professor Vafadair is co-founder of SCoT webinar series www.scotwebianrs.com