The Mitsui & Co. Environment Fund

Introduction to Grant Projects

Niigata University Forest, Field Center for Sustainable Agriculture and Forestry, Faculty of Agriculture, Niigata University (recommended by the Mitsui & Co. Niigata Office)

Studying forest ecosystems and considering ways to use the biodiversity of the eco-island of Sado for forest eco-tourism

Activity grant

Project Description

Sado Island has been positioned as an eco-island and is being used for trekking and eco-tours that take advantage of its natural resources. Currently there are plan to increase the number of courses available, but big issues remain in how to improve the abilities of the eco-tour guides who work with the university and how to conserve rare species such as orchids that are found around the courses. This project aims to conserve forest ecosystems and conduct environmental education while also revitalizing the region by collaborating with government, private, academic and NPO organizations to research the ecosystems found in the university forest, conduct test tours using employees from Mitsui & Co.'s Niigata Office, and create a guide book. It will aim to clarify the distribution of forest and rare vegetation along two eco-tour courses, and improve the abilities of the guides to a standard level using the guidebook. It will also conduct a satisfaction survey of tour participants in order to foster repeat visitors, and the research results will also be a useful material for forest conservation activities.

Preservation of surface soil and forestsPreservation of biodiversity and ecosystem
Grant year
FY2010 Activity Grants
Grant term
1 year
October 2010 - September 2011
Grant amount
1,000,000 yen
Activity region
Niigata University Forest, Japan
A wild Japanese cedar in the Niigata University Forest. The deformed shape of the trunk and branches is caused by strong winds and piled snow.

Overview of the Organization

Hitoshi Sakio, Professor
Hitoshi Sakio, Professor
Establishment purpose
Created for educational field research and public education relating to environmental management and biological production skills.
Main area of activity
Niigata University Forest on Sado Island, Japan, and its surrounding area
4 full-time staff members (2 educational staff and 2 technicians), 3 part-time staff members
Annual operating budget
9.46 million yen in 2007, 10.15 million yen in 2008, 9.45 million yen in 2009
WEB site
Recent activities
Niigata University Forest is famous for its natural Japanese cedar forest, but it also contains spring plant species such as Asian fawnlily and anemone pseudoaltaica, and rare vegetation. As well as conducting research on the interplay of forest and environment, and the life history of individual trees, the university also uses the forest for field training students from the Faculty of Agriculture, and conducting social education activities for the general public. It also collaborates with Sado Island, NPO Shimamurai Shinkou Kikou, and others, to plan eco-tours and cultivate Sado eco-tourism guides. Eco-tours are currently being operated along two courses, the 'gaikai' route and the 'naikai' route, which includes the university forest.