A Casual Sound Walk at Kawazu Seven Waterfalls in Izu

During my stay in Izu, I made time for the stunning Kawazu Seven Waterfalls (河津七滝). Located in the mountains above the onsen town Kawazu, the site was of natural scenic beauty. But this time it was more than a feast for the eyes; it was also one for the ears. I was taking a soundwalk along the 1 km long trail past the waterfalls.

A soundwalk is a walk one takes focusing on the sounds of the surroundings. As different from what we usually do, in a soundwalk we pay more attention to what we hear, experiencing the environment through sounds rather than sight. And how a scene sounds like is known as a soundscape. The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) also released standards on the measurement and management of soundscape. So this time, I was feeling the soundscape of the Kawazu Seven Waterfalls with what I heard. It was a nice and relaxing walk. When I closed my eyes and listened: it was a symphony of water splashing, gurgling, rushing, gliding through and hurtling against rocks.

Along the trail, we also came across statues from the story of The Izu Dancer by Kawabata Yasunari, Japanese sculptures, a suspension bridge… All made pleasant additions to the walk. If you visit Izu, the Kawazu Seven Waterfalls is a must-go!



平日我們習慣以視覺來感受外界,甚少依賴聽覺來感受,但視象與聲音都是組成我們記憶和感覺的部分,很難分割開來,聲音漫步讓我們專注聆聽周圍,以聲音感受環境。透過聲音來感受和描述的環境被稱為聲景(Soundscape),國際標準化組織(International Organization for Standardization)近年亦為量度和管理聲景訂立國際標準,可見聲景研究和設計漸趨重要。這次七滝中連接瀑布與瀑布間的小徑是很好的聲音步行路線,沿途有不同特色的聲景。把七滝風光盡收眼底,閉起眼,又是另一番感受︰一場水流的交響樂遠遠近近響起,是水或濺起,或潺潺流動,或穿過或激打石頭的聲音……


Enthusiastic about EU Action Plan for Nature, People and the Economy

I am excited about the Action Plan for nature, people and the economy published on 27 April by the European Commission.

This comprehensive action plan aims to improve implementation of the Nature Directives in order to reach the EU’s goal for 2020 of halting and reversing the loss of biodiversity and ecosystem services. The action plan covers four priority areas with 15 concrete actions. Actions will be launched in 2017.

The overarching concern of the action plan is to strengthen the Nature Directives’ coherence with socio-economic objectives and engagement with national, regional and local authorities, stakeholders and citizens. It stresses a participatory approach towards nature conservation, highlighting dialogue and understanding, communication and outreach, between Member States, the stakeholders and the public.

I look forward to the presentation of EU Action Plan on 6th June in Brussels. For more information, please refer to here.


歐盟委員會於四月二十七日通過《自然、人類和經濟行動計劃》(EU Action Plan for Nature, People and Economy),推動社會各界參與生態保育,實在讓人鼓舞。

這個全面的行動計劃用以加強推行《自然指令》(Nature Directives),旨於保護生態多樣性,幫助歐盟達成在二零二零年前扭轉生態物種消失和停止自然生態破壞的目標。《自然、人類和經濟行動計劃》在二零一七年推行,涵蓋四個主要方面和十五個具體行動。