The Japan Awards for Biodiversity 2015
*5 Excellence Awards including the Grand Prix were selected for The Japan Awards for Biodiversity 2015.
- Grand Prix
The Advanced Promotional Project on the Appropriate Resource Use of Hokkaido Sika Deer Meat
In Hokkaido where sika deer (Cervus nippon) problem has been serious and the effective population management has been required, there was an urgent need to develop systems for the appropriate use of deer meat which also can contribute to forest conservation. However, a meat hygiene management system, which is most important for meat use, was not yet prepared for wildlife. Then in 2007, the Yezo Deer Association established a quality certification system for deer meat treated by facilities that met strict hygiene standards. In 2012, the Association started a quality certification system for processed foods of deer meat produced by certified factories. Since 2015, the Association has made efforts to establish a certification system for deer cullers who can also serve as deer meat inspectors. This project is to establish appropriate relationships among forests, deer and humans, and to make contributions to the improvement of the value of deer meat as a resource through the safe and secure distribution of deer meat.
Efforts toward the Conservation of Biodiversity through “Green Tea for Beautiful Lake Biwa” and “Green Tea for Beautiful Japan” Projects
Itoen, Ltd. has conducted environmental conservation activities for Lake Biwa, “Green Tea for Beautiful Lake Biwa Project,” based on the company’s design concept to conserve the lake through green tea, one of its major products. The company established a sustainable system to encourage participating employees to learn about local needs and nature conservation through the project as their capacity development. Making the best use of its experiences, their efforts were expanded to the “Green Tea for Beautiful Japan” project. 201 branches were placed as project “platforms,” and the donations and the activities conducted by employees and volunteers were brought together along with the cooperation of consumers, administrative bodies, NPOs and communities. Itoen has continued these projects aiming at CSR activities which lead to the conservation of biodiversity and to regional/ human resource development.
Conservation and Restoration of Water Environments and the Activation of Regions
The River Cheering Squad in Kyushu has made and conducted technical proposals contributing to biodiversity based on its in-depth scientific research. The members of the group have also made great efforts in sharing the wonders and richness of biodiversity through showing their visualized ideas to citizens. Also, they have largely contributed to the vitalization of the regions in cooperation with various parties through planning river environment projects, initiating these projects, conducting small-scale nature restoration, consulting with citizens, building consensus, making frameworks leading to regional activation, implementing environmental education, and developing interest-encouraging projects on the conservation and the restoration of biodiversity in river environments.
Citizens’ Efforts for the Restoration and Revitalization of the Damaged Genbegawa River to the Biodiverse River
The Genbegawa River in Mishima City, Shizuoka Prefecture, was seriously damaged in the 1960s due to environmental deterioration along with the high economic growth in Japan. In order to restore the Genbegawa River, NPO Groundwork Mishima has conducted practical and sustainable groundwork activities through developing a partnership with citizens, NPOs, firms and administrative institutions, and made great contributions to the revival of the water environment as an important hometown landscape for Mishima, known as a “city of water.” Groundwork Mishima has played a role of coordinator among the parties, built a framework for regional cooperation in order to make the best use of respective specialties, and conducted citizen-driven “multiple cooperation projects” that help resolve regional problems. These citizen-driven activities have been developed since 1992, aiming at the restoration of biodiversity in Mishima, and now greatly influence “regional restoration and tourism promotion.”
Ohya Hummingbird Project
The Ohya area in Kesennuma City, which has warm and cold currents in the adjacent sea area, is blessed with a rich natural environment. However, agriculture and fisheries have diminished in scale and the number of farmers and fishermen has been decreasing. Due to this, the natural environment which supported lives in Ohya was not cared for, and pine wilt disease and sea deforestacion occurred consecutively. In order to conserve nature and livelihoods in these circumstances, the students of Ohya Junior-High School started on “Do what I can do.” As pine wilt disease relates to forestry and sea deforestacion relates to fisheries, a system to study nature in Ohya in its entirety, covering agriculture including fuyumizutambo (an agricultural method of flooding rice paddies in winter), was established. These activities were expanded to become the “Ohya Hummingbird Project” where children and students from Ohya Kindergarten, Primary and Junior High schools work together in cooperation with regional organizations and research institutions. The project has been developing activities to vitalize the Ohya area.