The Mitsui & Co. Environment Fund

Introduction to Grant Projects

The Miyagi Prefectural Izunuma-Uchinuma Environmental Foundation

Research and construction of a conservation network for preservation of Japanese wetland environments: transmissions from Ramsar Convention registered wetland areas and Lake Izunuma-Uchinuma

Activity grant

Project Description

Since Japan's rapid economic growth after WWII, Japan's wetlands have significantly decreased due to urbanization and land reclamation. The remaining wetlands have undergone eutrophication and modifications, and their ecosystems have been damaged. The Ministry of the Environment have pursued registration under the Ramsar Convention, and independent conservation activities by various bodies are taking place to preserve and regenerate these wetland areas. Summarizing of academic knowledge and its dissemination through educational activities leads to an important sharing of information on wetland preservation activities. Despite Lake Izunuma-Uchinuma in Miyagi Prefecture becoming the second wetland area in Japan to be registered under the Ramsar Convention, these preservation efforts have only continued in collaboration with concerned parties. However, since 1992 results of academic studies have not been compiled, a lack of recent data means we are unable to respond to current circumstances on the ground. In this context, survey and research activities, together with educational initiatives, are conducted centered around this organization, to create networks of concerned parties to become a model for the preservation of wetlands. Specifically,
(1) Survey and research projects: Construction of research networks, the publication of annual research reports.
(2) Preservation/educational activities: Activities aimed at the construction of conservation networks, holding of study groups and symposiums aimed at educators and community residents. The organization aims to construct research and conservation networks to serve as a model for other regions in Japan for wetland preservation activities.

Preservation of biodiversity and ecosystem
Grant year
FY2005 Activity Grants
Grant term
3 years
January 2006 - December 2008
Grant amount
18,000,000 yen
Activity region
Lake Izunuma-Uchinuma, Miyagi Prefecture, and surrounding areas
Second Izunuma-Uchinuma research gathering (February, 2008)

Overview of the Organization

Hiroshi Kawai, Chief Managing Director
Hiroshi Kawai, Chief Managing Director
Establishment purpose
Towards construction of a new style Izunuma-Uchinuma sanctuary in harmony with the local community, actively conduct information dissemination relating to environmental preservation and conservation awareness, create platforms to promote encounters between nature and humans. By such means, contribute to regional developmet and promote conservation of the natural environments of Lake Izunuma-Uchinuma which integrate the administration and region.
Main activities region
Izunuma-Uchinuma, Miyagi Prefecture and surrounding areas
4 full-time staff members, 1 part-time staff member
Annual operating budget
53 million yen in 2005, 56 million yen in 2006, 56 million yen in 2007
Recent activities
  • (1) Water purification; preventing the waters becoming shallow by planting colonies of wild rice; harvesting the correct quantities of ditch reed, lotus, and willows; restoring biodiversity with an emphasis on extermination of the large mouth bass,
  • (2) Wildfires, water gardens, observation routes and weeding operations, water pipe management, and clean up campaigns towards the appropriate management of flora on embankments
  • (3) Garbage collection, conservation patrol instruction, various volunteer projects for planting of vegetation and garbage disposal, through clean up campaigns as part of maintenance for the surrounding environment
  • (4) Interactive nature courses aimed at the spreading of nature conservation awareness. Actively hosting research and observation meetings with local authorities, NPOs, schools and all varieties of association.
  • (5) Organizing the Izunuma-Uchinuma photo contest
  • (6) Ties with universities and other research bodies with an emphasis on surveys of geese and scarce freshwater fish by specialist researchers