This is a guest blog by Becca Williams, an arts undergraduate student at the University of British Columbia with a passion for storytelling and the environment. She is a Young Reporters for the Environment alumni and won first place in the international video category in 2011. She was one of three young reporters recently in Japan covering a UNESCO conference.

Hello all! I have arrived back in Canada! I am super excited to tell you about the rest of journey in Japan!

Day two was intense on the journalism front. I covered a workshop about early childhood care and education as a starting point for Education for Sustainable Development (ESD). You can read my article from day two here.

After completing our articles, the YRE (Young Reporters for the Environment) team sorted and captioned ESD Conference photos for the UNESCO website and further publications. Then, we spent the rest of the evening exploring the city of Nagoya.

The next day, which was our last day in Japan and at the conference (crazy, I know), was spent producing a newsletter of our conference reports to be distributed prior to the closing ceremonies at 3 p.m. It was quite a hectic morning. Martins, a fellow young reporter from Latvia, and I focused on gathering short quotes and photos from participants, staff, and anyone involved in the ESD Conference on their experience and what they learned. We then brought the photos back for editing and formatting. Emily, a young reporter from Germany, took the lead on the layout, design, and photo credit aspects of the newsletter.

Meanwhile, the Japanese team of young reporters we were working alongside was in the midst of creating a video that included journalists’ perspectives on the event. We were involved in that project as well.

Because of a mix of teamwork and leadership, we all met our 3 p.m. deadline.

After our publication was issued and complete, we could relax for a bit and attend the closing ceremonies. The most exciting part of the closing ceremonies was the official launch of UNESCO’s Global Action Program on ESD (GAP). Qian Tang, Assistant Director-General for Education at UNESCO, explained the final draft of the initiative, and five major stakeholders presented the GAP launch commitments their countries and communities have taken.

To wrap up the event, we were treated with a wonderful performance by local children on how they believe children and adults need to work together and learn from each other for ESD to be implemented effectively across all borders. It was very inspiring.

Overall, I can say my experience reporting for UNESCO at the World Conference on ESD in Nagoya, Japan was amazing! Thank you to all my supporters who made this experience possible for me, especially Environmental Defence. And to those who took the time to read this blog post, arigatou gozaimasu.