June 14, 2018
Mansfield Fellows in Japan. Mansfield Fellow Sarah Watson’s final placement presented a unique opportunity to contrast U.S. and Japanese approaches to technical cooperation with developing countries. As part of her placement with the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), last month Ms. Watson travelled to Sri Lanka with colleagues from JICA’s Global Environmental Division. Over several days in Colombo the team held a series of meetings aimed at formulating a waste management project for Sri Lanka’s Western Province. Participating in this project formulation mission allowed Ms. Watson, an Environmental Engineer with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), to observe how JICA’s approach to environment projects differs from that of U.S. agencies. The team also spent several days visiting waste management sites outside Colombo and other cities and towns in Sri Lanka. As a holy place for Buddhists, Hindus, Muslim, and Veddah indigenous peoples and with proximity to national parks, Kataragama faces challenges in large seasonal variation of tourists (and therefore waste) and wildlife vulnerability. The photo above shows Sri Lankan contractors explaining the progress to Ms. Watson and her JICA colleagues at a pilot project site for improved waste management site construction using local materials such as clay, as well as a hanging electric fence to keep out wild elephants. Also during her JICA placement, Ms. Watson had an opportunity to share her expertise on funding mechanisms for water infrastructure, a growing challenge for both the United States and Japan.
U.S. Forces on Okinawa. Mansfield Fellow Patricia Sloss (U.S. Department of Defense) will be the featured speaker at the 45th Platform for International Policy Dialogue in Tokyo June 19. Ms. Sloss will discuss “The U.S. Forces Presence and Controversy on Okinawa.” Please click here for more information and to RSVP for this event.