The Japan Awards for Biodiversity 2013
*5 Excellence Awards including the Grand Prix were selected for The Japan Awards for Biodiversity 2013.
- Grand Prix
Restoration of Rice Paddies Devastated by the Tsunami of the Great East Japan Earthquake Using Resilience of the Ecosystem
In order to restore rice paddies in tsunami-devastated areas, NPO Tambo has applied “fuyumizutambo,” a natural farming method using the resilience of the ecosystem, mainly in Kesennuma, Shiogama and Minamisanriku Cities in Miyagi Prefecture and Rikuzentakata City in Iwate Prefecture. More than 1200 volunteers have joined this project to restore rice paddies through their manual work, which is important for avoiding damage to the soil layer structure. The saline suppression in the rice paddies has been successful, and the rice paddies have produced rich harvests since the autumn of 2011. In addition, as tradition says, the fact that “agricultural lands after tsunami become rich” was scientifically supported through their monitoring of various chemical and biological properties including biodiversity, water quality, and soil components. NPO Tambo has restored rice paddies in the devastated areas through gaining the faith of local citizens. As a result, not only has biodiversity been increased, but also a sustainable economic system including 6th industry is being established.
Joint Tagging Survey of Skipjack off the Pacific Coast of Japan and a Series of Cooperative Projects and Enlightenment Activities
Ajinomoto Co., Inc. has conducted joint tagging surveys of skipjack tuna in conjunction with the National Research Institute of Far Seas Fisheries (NRIFSF), Fisheries Research Agency (FRA), continuously since the 2009 fiscal year. This has been undertaken in order to make contributions to the sustainable conservation of skipjack off the Pacific Coast of Western Japan and to deepen understanding about ecology actions of skipjack which are still unknown, including migration. In 2012, Ajinomoto and NRIFSF succeeded in obtaining detailed migration data for more than 500 days in total, for the first time in the Kuroshio region. The results of the survey are important for academics, domestic fisheries administration and fisheries management both nationally and internationally, and were reported to various related societies, congresses and the Commission for the Conservation and Management of Highly Migratory Fish Stocks in the Western and Central Pacific Ocean (WCPFC).
Bamboo Paper Project
Since 1998, Chuetsu Pulp & Paper Co., Ltd. has made bamboo paper from Japanese bamboo that is now rarely made use of. Currently, after much trial and error, Chuetsu is producing more than 20,000 tons/year of bamboo paper, mainly in Kyushu. Their project has contributed to the conservation of biodiversity and the prevention of luxuriantly growing bamboo invasion in adjacent satoyama or forests. In addition, the project has also made contributions to the regional economy and employment of the seriously depopulated regions through making use of bamboo, the value of which was not well recognized. Above all, residents who appreciate the improvement of the mountains have long suffered from abandoned bamboo forests. In this way, Chuetsu is challenging the difficult social problem of abandoned bamboo forests through their main business, the paper industry.
Aya Lucidophyllous Forest Project
The Aya Lucidophyllous Forest Project aims to conserve the forest and restore coniferous plantations and secondary forests to lucidophyllous forests in the project area. The area is about 100 ㎢ which includes 25 ㎢ of natural lucidophyllous forests. The natural lucidophyllous forest in Aya town is the largest such forest area in Japan. The project is jointly being conducted by five governmental, private, and academic parties; the Kyushu Regional Forest Office, Miyazaki Prefecture, Aya Town, The Nature Conservation Society of Japan, and TERUHA Forest Association. The association plays a key role in administering the project and various activities including forest thinning, forest tours, seeding investigations, and research forums. The association and project also help people to inform the value of the forest and assist community development in Aya town.
System Construction for the Creation of Nature Technology
In order to resolve environmental problems, it is necessary to envision spiritually rich lifestyles not by forecast thinking but by backcast thinking, to learn from nature which drives a perfect cycle with minimum energy, and to create new technologies and businesses. Here, nature technology is defined as research and activities not only for learning technologies from nature but also for deeply observing relationships between nature and humans through backcasting and hearing from people in their nineties, and for scientifically examining nature in order to learn from it and utilize its wisdom. This project has conducted research and activities (businesses and policy development) through involving many firms and local authorities, and also has revitalized educational activities for children and members of society.
March 11th for All Living Things, Ecosystem Monitoring Project for the
Green Restoration of East Japan
Earthwatch Japan has carried out projects to engage ordinary citizens as science volunteers to support science research conducted by the graduate school of Tohoku University. The projects have supported efforts to restore the resilience of the ecosystem which enhances the richness and strengths of the region.
Ecological Networks + Compensatory Mitigation = Aichi Method,
Collaboration for Achieving the Aichi Biodiversity Targets
In order to harmonize the environment and economy in Aichi Prefecture, a prefecture of industry, the Division of Natural Environment, Department of Environment, Aichi Prefecture has networked divided habitats in collaboration with diverse parties. At the same time, they have promoted “Ecological Networks” aiming at the conservation and restoration of the regional ecosystems.
Fuyumizu-tambo Project and Activities for “Living-Things-Friendly Rice Paddies”
Since 2006, Aleph Inc. has implemented the fuyumizu-tambo farming method, conducted investigations and carried out experimental programs each year. Based on these activities, Aleph standardized a farming method contributing to the conservation of biodiversity. Since 2010, in cooperation with agricultural cooperatives, Aleph has provided rice produced in the rice paddies to “Bikkuri Donkey,” Aleph’s hamburger steak restaurant chain.
Enhancement of Greening Activities Using Chips Made from Jellyfish
Now, massive growth of Nomura's jellyfish (Nemopilema nomurai) and Moon jellyfish (Aurelia aurita) in Japanese coastal waters is an emerging problem. By utilizing water retentivity and nutrients of Nomura’s jellyfish and Moon jellyfish, Prof. Ezaki has conducted research on greening technology making use of jellyfish chips that stably provides fluid and nutrients to lands. His research is expected to support fishermen and contribute to the greening of dried or desertified lands.
Taking over Natural Environment of Otome Highland for the Next Generation!
In Otome Highland, forestation of the grasslands was unavoidable due to the end of ski slope use in the highland in 2000. In order to maintain biodiversity as grasslands, Otome Highland Fan Club has cut the grass in cooperation with local governments. In addition, they have conducted various activities including the limitation of access to the highland and construction of trails which conserve the plant community.
Projects Contributing to the Load Reduction and Conservation of
Biodiversity through Business Activities
The Japanese Business Initiative for Biodiversity (JBIB) is a group of leading companies engaged in responsible business for biodiversity. In order to make contributions to the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity by the companies, monthly meetings are held by five working groups and research and tool development have continuously been conducted and utilized.
Restoration Project of Shigetomi-kaigan Coast
Kusunoki Shizenkan, a NPO, has cleaned up the coast and implemented investigations of tidal flats since 2005 in order to restore a beautiful coast and rich tidal flats. The restoration has been promoted in cooperation with various parties including the residents’ associations, children, technical school of survey, fisheries cooperative association and Kagoshima University.
Conservation and Restoration Activities of
an Endangered Plant Asteraceae (Aster kantoensis) in the Tama River Basin
Civic activities toward the conservation and restoration of an endangered plant species, Aster kantoensis endemic to gravelly floodplains, have been conducted based on the accumulation and results of diverse studies including basic ecology, conservation ecology and restoration ecology. The activities have been jointly conducted involving citizens, local governments and researchers.
From “Damselflies or Humans” to “Damselflies and Humans” –Successful Conservation of
Mortonagrion hirosei, an Endangered Species, by Government-Private-Academia Collaboration
The Society of Natural History and Education in Mie, Mie Prefecture and an environmental consulting firm jointly conducted ecological surveys. Based on the results, they created new habitats for Mortonagrion hirosei designated as a Threatened Species (Critically Endangered (CR) + Endangered (EN)). As a result of 10-year monitoring and conservation activities, the population of Mortonagrion hirosei successfully increased.
Midori no Asobiba (‘’Midori no’’ Playgrounds)
Green Playgrounds –Providing Places for Experiences to Cherish Mind, Life,
Things and Nature– (Landscaping of Nursery School Gardens and Its Utilization)
Shogakukan Academy nursery school revives and conserves “regional nature and culture” as much as possible when they construct a school building in accordance with the principle of “rearing warm-hearted children.” The school also enhances biodiversity in its gardens and makes efforts to enrich opportunities for children to have contact with nature, with support from childcare workers.
Distribution and Enlightenment Activities of
Biodiversity by “Ikimonogatari (Story of Life, in Japanese) (Movie and Book)”
Think the Earth published a book entitled “Ikimonogatari” in 2007 and presented copies to approximately 45,000 primary, junior-high and high schools throughout Japan. In conjunction with COP10, they produced and released an “Ikimonogatari” movie. Currently the book and movie are being utilized at schools throughout Japan.
“Life in Sato” Revived by Watershed Commons
– The Blessings of Grasslands Maintained and Revived through Exchange Programs
between City and Rural Residents –
Shinrinjukuseisui has made efforts to review the modern value of nature in the Tonegawa River upstream satoyama region, conserve/restore the satoyama and realize new methods of utilization and management. These efforts revive the “primordial landscape of satoyama” and also conserve living things inhabiting there.
Next Generation of Environmental Learning Program Utilizing Information and
Communication Technology (ICT) and a Short Movie for
Communication, Education, and Public Awareness of Biodiversity
By making use of ICT and a short movie, TREE Inc. developed next generations of an environmental learning program for dialogical workshop-style lessons. This project was selected as an authorized activity by the Japan Committee for United Nations Decade on Biodiversity, and will be deployed throughout Japan.
Conservation of Wild Animals including Okinawa Rails
For more than ten years, Conservation & Animal Welfare Trust Okinawa has been engaged in conservation activities of rare Okinawa rails (Gallirallus okinawae) living only in the north part of Okinawa Island region (“Yambaru”) and representing the ecosystem. They have conducted not only rescuing and breeding of Okinawa rails but also artificial breeding for avoiding extinction.
Regional Project for Making Use of Azolla japonica, Endangered Species, for Agricultural Lands
The Agriculture Club and Agricultural Study Group of Usuda High School, Nagano Prefecture, have conducted research and study on the agricultural utilization of Azolla japonica which was designated as an endangered species IB by Nagano Prefecture in 2004. They have continuously conducted research and activities on Azolla japonica in order to manage idle farmlands, utilize them as culture soils and for making compost.
Mulberry Project of Recovery
In May 2012, the Japan Habitat Association (JHA) planted mulberry trees in cooperation with farmers in farmlands damaged by salt from tsunami of the Great East Japan Earthquake and had their leaves processed into health food, generating revenue. JHA made great contributions to the revitalization of the farming community by making maximum use of resources available locally.
Aid Project for Rescuing Wildlife
Wildlife Rescue Veterinarian Association Kanagawa has strengthened its rescuing system through cultivating and certifying supporters of wildlife rescue (“wildlife rehabilitators”). Certified “wildlife rehabilitators” have played central roles in rescuing wildlife and contributed to distribution/enlightenment activities and the conservation/restoration of habitats.