One of our main aims is to learn about the ecological system of overlooked arboreal animals (Japanese squirrels, Japanese dormice (Yamane), and Japanese giant flying squirrels, and Japanese dwarf flying squirrels) and the impact that increased forest fragmentation and forest exploitation is having on their habitat. In addition, we focus on searching for suitable animal pathway installation sites and raising awareness of these issues in the community, especially amongst the road management authorities and local road users. We also have a goal to increase the number of animal pathways in order to support biodiversity conservation.
Installation of animal pathways, 2014
1.Environmental conservation related exhibitions: The number of picture books distributed
- May 10-11: Midorino Kanshasai (Keidanren Committee on Nature Conservation exhibition) :100 copies
- May 18: Shinjyuku NPO Collaboration and Promotion Center festival: 210 copies
- July 19-August 31: Yamane exhibition at Itabashi Ecopoliscenter: 500 copies
- August 12-14: Tokyo International Forum Kids Jamboree: 1,000 copies
- October 4-November 30: Gunma ken(Tomioka city) Natural History Museum, Project exhibit “ Moonless Night Creatures”: 100 copies
- December 11-13: Biodiversity Knowledge Square at Eco-Product: 1,200 copies
- Permanent exhibit: Yamane Museum: 4,000 copies
- Permanent exhibit: Nasu Heisei-no-mori Field Center: 2,000 copies
- Presentation: 500 copies
The Tokyo International Forum Kids
There were approximately 125,000 visitors at the Tokyo International Forum Kids Jamboree held during the Summer holidays in August and also approximately 160,000 visitors at Eco- Product 2014 in December. We were one of 18 exhibitors at Eco-Product 2014, “Biodiversity Knowledge Square” organized by IUCN-J and CEPA Japan. At both events, we successfully encouraged students from elementary and junior high schools as well as other visitors to become more aware of our mission through the distribution of leaflets and picture books and promotion of the importance of environmental education.
2. Presentations and collaborative activities with companies and associations.
- May 24-25: Yamane’s nest boxes replacement activity in Kiyosato.12 volunteer staff and 5 members repaired antennas on tracking devices, replaced nest boxesand cleaned around Animal Pathway #2.
- September 16-19: 2014 International Conference on Ecology & Transportation September 18-23: 9th International Dormouse ConferenceA few members participated in the Wild Animals and Transportation International Conference held in Sweden. We also had an opportunity to perform our Animal pathway installation activity at the International Dormouse Conference in Denmark.
- October 4: “ Nasu Hesei-no-mori animal pathway volunteering tour” organized by The Body Shop (also mentioned on the alterna website)24 participants learned about the habitats of wild animals in the untouched forest, observedanimal pathways and constructed new preparatory paths for dormice which will be the basis for animal pathways in the future.
In addition, The Body Shop Foundation’s Lip Butter campaigns ran until the end of October and our activities were introduced in the shop. We received a donation in 2014 as well.
- October 14: Presentation about animal pathway activities at the 12th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (COP12):
Taisei Corporation, one of our corporate members, presented about animal pathway activitiesduring the event, “UNDC-DAY” organized by the Keidanren Committee on Nature Conservation.
- November 2: Association of Wildlife and Human Society Conference in Inuyama session, “Wildlife and Transportation”.
We presented about “animal pathway development, installation and awareness building thorough collaboration”.
- February 20: Symposium on Wildlife and Traffic: 5 members participated in the 5th session meeting organized by the Animal Pathway Association and ApWA. They presented on the following topics.
- January 26: “ Companies and Biodiversity Conservation” seminar organized by ESD Research Center of Rikkyo University and KEEPChairman Minato ran the seminar “Collaboration with companies to develop animal pathways through environmental education and conservation”. 70 picture books and leaflets were distributed.
- January 29: Chairman Minato gave a lecture at the Japan Techno-Economics Society(JATES) technology management conference Former members of the Japanese chapter of the Club of Rome, including a key member involved in the 1972 publication of “Limits of Growth”, held a meeting. At the meeting, Chairman Minato gave a lecture about “significant aspects of biodiversity” for 90 min. The main topics covered were the importance of biodiversity, the origin and migration of Japanese dormice (Yamane) and the benefits of constructing animal pathways. (40 picture books and leaflets were distributed)
- February 28: Japanese dormouse nest box making volunteer activity ( organized by Taisei Corporation
70 families volunteered making a total of 306 nest boxes for Japanese dormice (Yamane). Thisis the highest number made since the even started ten years ago. All the nest boxes will be used at animal pathway installation sites.70 volunteers at Yamane nest box making volunteer activity
3. Animal pathway research and development activities
- Using System to specify the Animal pathway installation sitesBy utilising a GIS Mapping system, possible installation sites were identified in Hokuto cityareas and we hope to explore these sites further to find suitable locations for animal pathways.Also, we will start developing GIS mapping systems for the Yamanashi prefecture and other areas.
- Management of animal pathways installationWe have been keeping an eye on potential sites as well as searching for more suitable sites toinstall the animal pathways. We noticed an increase in the number of local communities and local nature conservation groups asking us about animal pathways sites at the Eco-Product exhibition.
- Communication and research meetings
- April 21: Animal pathway research meeting: This meeting focused on reporting 2013 activities and discussing strategic plans for 2014, which included using GIS mapping system to find animal pathway installation sites.
- June 2: Animal pathway research meeting( with a special lecture) :Mr. Takeshita, the wildlife specialist from Agriculture and Forestry Department in Komoro-shi, gave a presentation about progressive approaches for coexistence with wild animals. http://cc.ctk23.ne.jp/~komoro-c/Syutubotu.html
- July 14: 5th Communication meeting: 17 members gathered at the Shinjuku NPO Cooperate Action Center and had a discussion about environmental assessment. Topics covered were:
- Different examples of environmental assessment mechanisms, functions and projects in Japan. There are only a few cases of environmental assessment in Japan and members agreed that this is an area that needs urgent support in order to maintain the biodiversity.
- Lack of knowledge tends to be a major factor contributing to the extinction of Japanese squirrels, especially in the Northern part of the Chiba prefecture. Japanese squirrels are a very important part of the forest ecosystem due to their food storing behaviours androle as prey for other carnivorous mammals and raptors. However, Japanese squirrels are not always considered and targeted for environmental assessment. Therefore it is necessary to evaluate the impact of projects in order to protect the Japanese squirrels and their habitats.
- Presentation about the Siberian flying squirrel protection strategies and monitoring system, their ecological system, cases and impact of forest fragmentation in Hokkaidou by viewing videos of their habitats and movement.
- October 17: 6th Communication meeting and observation tour for Mobara dai-ichi 21 members visited four different areas of the Metropolitan Inter-City Expressway (Ken-O Expressway), which was opened to traffic in April 2013, ranging from Togano, Mobara and Chonan areas. One of the tunnels, over bridge Mobara Dai- ichi tunnel is the first tunnel to be built by considering the surrounding environment and wildlife, which we found fascinating.
- November 13: Animal pathway research meeting: There were two reports back about the following conferences.
- 2014 International Conference on Ecology & TransportationThis conference takes place in Malmo, Sweden once every two years with participantsfrom Western companies and researchers. Most of the discussion is based on terrestrial animals, as there are more grasslands than mountain forests in Europe.
- 9th International Dormouse Conference:
- Mr. Aiba gave a presentation about animal pathways at the conference and had the opportunity to promote animal pathway installation activities as there are only a few organizations focused on researching arboreal animals internationally. We have received some questions from Germany as well.
- January 26: Road Ecology Meeting: One of our members, Mr. Sonoda, Mr. Kameyama (the president of The Nature Conservation Society of Japan), Mr. Minato (the chairman from Animal Pathway Association), and NEXCO East Engineering Company held information exchange meetings about road ecology. Through these ongoing meetings, we can promote animal pathway activities as well as increase research into road ecology and developing technologies.
4. Awards and certifications
- Received a prize at 2014 Biodiversity Action Awards Japan ( hosted by UNDB-J)
- Received the Outstanding Performance Prize at the Ministry of Environment’s 2014 Good Life Awards
The Good Life Awards hosted by the Ministry of Environment is an event that gives awards toorganizations that improve the environment and society. We were chosen as one of the 10 finalists out of 135 applicants and as a result of a public vote, we received the award consisting of a plaque and certificate at the ceremony.
- Received The Nature Conservation Japan Award, Biodiversity actions Award: We were chosen from 112 applicants.
- Received the grand prize for Global Environmental Award
We received the Jury’s special award at the Global Environmental Awards hosted by FujiSankei group. Imperial Prince and Princess Akishino attended the award ceremony and this provided a great opportunity to have a conversation with them.
- Approved as collaborative projects for Japan Committee for United nations Decade on Biodiversity
“Protecting forest and wildlife through animal pathways and promoting development and awareness of these issues was approved as a collaborative project for UNDB-J. https://www.keidanren.or.jp/kncf/news/2014/08/29150431.htmlhttp://undb.jp/event/event_cat/meeting/
5. Media information
- May 30: Animal pathway was broadcast on Nihon TV as a part of the “Mirai Theater” program.
- June 16-July 1: Chairman Minami was on the NHK radio 2 as a part of High School Lecture English Conversation 2.
- July 13: Yanagikawa advisor was on “Baby Planet”, BS Japan.
- October 20: Two new books were published
- “ Possibility for environmental education and practice: how can companies promote benefits of biodiversity?” published by Kei-dan-renWritten by Mr. Ishihara, planning manager at Keidanren Committee on Nature Conservation, Mr. Minami, the chairman of Animal Pathway & Wildlife association, Mr. Iwabuchi, the environmental education department chief at KEEP. Animal Pathway Association is described as one of the successful examples in this book.
- “Future lead by seniors” published by Bikou sha.Animal pathway activities are described in the book.
- ecoReco aichi vol.9 magazine included illustrations about our involvement in the Eco Product exhibition.
- January 11: A segment about the Yamane museum was broadcast on the “ Sunday Morning” program
- February 7: One of our members Mr. Komatsu was on “Senpai ROCK YOU” on NihonTV and presented animal pathway activities.
- January 24: Pictures of animal pathways were published in Nihon Keizai Newspaper
- May 5: Mr. Aiba was featured as the “ZERO human” for his animal pathway activities on News Zero, Nihon TV.
- June 20 on Fuji TV& June 28 on BS Fuji: As a result of winning the “Global Environmental Award”, animal pathway installation activities in Hokuto-shi will be highlighted in two upcoming TV programs.