The River Foundation, which has sponsored Project WET Japan since 2003, and Taiwan’s Guandu Nature Park have been cooperating since their staff members met at the 2014 Sustaining the Blue Planet conference.The organizers of Project WET in Japan and Taiwan are crossing borders and breaking down barriers to encourage water education.
In December 2014, Kazunari Sugawara, a researcher at The River Foundation, was invited to Taiwan to speak at the Taiwan Water Education Partnership Network (TWEPN) in Taipei. While there, he visited the Guandu Nature Park. The following summer, officials from Guandu visited Japan for a research trip and took time to meet with The River Foundation. Both organizations are seeking more cooperation with schools to expand water education in their respective areas and so were able to discuss their experiences and lessons learned.
After the meeting, staff from the two organizations visited the Metropolitan Area Outer Underground Discharge Channel, one of the largest underground discharge channels in the world. The channel is designed to protect metropolitan areas from flooding. They also visited the Yatsuhigata Tidal Flat near Tokyo and the flood control basin at Watarase-yusuichi to study their water education and public relation efforts around wetlands. Watarase-yusuichi is a registered wetland under the Ramsar Convention and the largest flood control basin in Japan.
As a result of these visits, The River Foundation and Guandu Nature Park have pledged to continue their cooperation in the hopes of strengthening water education and Project WET in both areas.