The Mitsui & Co. Environment Fund

Introduction to Grant Projects

Mori wa Umi no Koibito

Regeneration of the natural environment abruptly changed by an earthquake disaster, and the building of the environmental education field

Activity grant

Project Description

This project advocates sustainable recovery by local communities coexisting with nature in the regeneration of tidelands and lowland wetlands, rather than by conventional approaches of building gigantic tidal breakwaters or by large-scale land uplifting. This project targets the Kudan district in Kesennuma City where the tideland submerged and disappeared, and the residential area became a salt wetland. Monitoring of environments of forests, rivers and wetlands, assessment of biodiversity, analysis of the value of using them as a field site for forest/community/sea environmental education programs, and the creation of environmental education programs and organizations to run them. In addition, analyze traditional uses of the land, supply information to the disaster-affected community and build consensus about relocating communities to higher ground and turning the post-relocation sites into natural parks. Furthermore, we will send reports of this project out into the world to encourage the process of creating areas that do not depend on tidal barriers and to achieve the regeneration of tidal land and wetland conservation.

Marine resources/foodPreservation of biodiversity and ecosystem
Grant year
FY2011 Activity Grants
Grant term
3 years and 6 months
October 2011 - March 2015
Grant amount
18,848,000 yen
Activity region
Within Miyagi Prefecture, Japan
We are conducting hands-on learning that combines biological surveys utilizing wetlands created by the effects of the earthquake

Overview of the Organization

Shigeatsu Hatakeyama, Director
Shigeatsu Hatakeyama, Director
Establishment purpose
This NPO treats forests, rivers and tidal basins as a complete system. In order for many people to enjoy fertile seas in the future, we are working with groups in Japan and overseas in the areas of forestation, environmental education and the protection of the natural environment to help build an affluent society in which people can live in harmony with nature.
Main regions of project activity
Kesennuma City, Miyagi Prefecture; Tome City, Miyagi Prefecture; Ichinoseki City, Iwate Prefecture
4 full-time staff members, 14 part-time staff members, 80 full members
Annual operating budget
2.17 million yen in 2009, 3.08 million yen in 2010, 47.8 million yen in 2011
WEB site
Affiliated organizations
Kyoto University; Tokyo Metropolitan University; Keio University; the University of Tokyo; International Institute for Advanced Studies; National Institute of Technology, Ariake College; Tokyo University of Agriculture; Bouchou Tei wo Benkyou suru Kai; Murone Dai 12-ku Jichikai, NPO, Ocean Family Kaiyou Shizen Taiken Center; Mizuyama Oyster Farm Co., Ltd.
Main activities
  • Environmental education to inform people about the links between forests, communities and the sea
  • Creating forests to enable fertile seas for future generations
  • Sustainable town development support that makes full use of the natural environment in the wake of an earthquake
  • Town development and disaster prevention education that does not depend on tidal breakwaters
  • Investigate the post-disaster natural environment in collaboration with other organizations and research institutions, and disseminate information out into the world