Tokyo Tech News
The Bio-Char Project team of Tokyo Tech's International Development Academy (IDA) has won the Coca-Cola Foundation environmental education award.
For the past 23 years, the award has been given to organizations doing outstanding work in environmental education or supporting new projects that contribute to environmental protection or education.
Winners receive between 100,000 and 500,000 yen as financial support for project implementation.
IDA is a non-profit student-led organization that aims to contribute to society through technology. The academy has implemented multiple projects in various countries, including the development of affordable, functional prosthetic legs for people in developing countries, robot contests and workshops for Fukushima's elementary school children, and bio-char projects in Nepal and Kenya.
The Nepal Bio-Char Project aims to establish a locally suitable bio-char production method and its diffusion in order to solve two problems: deforestation and household indoor air pollution from firewood. Currently, the team has seven members from Japan, Nepal, Indonesia, and Thailand, who range from first-year bachelor's student to first-year doctoral students.
Shinnosuke Sawamura, Transdisciplinary Science and Engineering
We visited Nepal for about two weeks in the summer of 2016. After conducting experiments on bio-char production in the rural village of Chandanpur, we surveyed relevant governmental organizations, NGOs, and households. Finally, we organized a workshop to provide information regarding the benefits of bio-char over traditional fuel wood, and demonstrated the process of bio-char production utilizing locally available bio-waste. The workshop boasted a huge number of female participants. Based on these experiments and surveys, we will continue improving our activities for the welfare of society.
Keshav Raj Pokhrel, International Development Engineering
IDA gave me an opportunity for creating ideas and developing a project to solve the indoor air pollution problem in my home county, Nepal. I have had first-hand experiences of this problem by burning firewood in conventional cook stoves. I am grateful to the Coca Cola Foundation for their financial contribution and my teammates in the Nepal Charcoal Project for exerting their utmost efforts to make this project successful. Beside the Nepal Charcoal Project, IDA currently runs many other projects in other countries as well. For the students who aspire to make a tangible contribution to society, IDA is a great platform. Please join us in the challenge of applying your innovative ideas for the betterment of society.