The Mitsui & Co. Environment Fund

Introduction to Grant Projects

The Setagawa Preservation and Pastime Trust

Conserving and restoring the environment around Lake Biwa and the Setagawa River

Activity grant

Project Description

The Setagawa River is a crucial part of the lives and culture of 14 million people in the Kinki region and the only river to flow out of Lake Biwa. This project aims to conserve and improve the river's aquatic environment by trimming reeds, removing, monitoring and educating on invasive fish species, surveying water quality, and removing trash. Through this activity it hopes to contribute to building a comfortable regional society that is free from water damage and mindful of the history, culture, and environment of the Setagawa River and Lake Biwa.

Preservation of biodiversity and ecosystem
Grant year
FY2007 Activity Grants
Grant term
3 years
April 2008 - March 2011
Grant amount
2,300,000 yen
Activity region
Lake Biwa, the Setagawa River Basin and tributaries (Takahashigawa), Japan
Dissecting fish caught at an invasive species fishing festival

Overview of the Organization

Chikanori Tomioka, Director
Chikanori Tomioka, Director
Establishment purpose
The Setagawa River, our hometown river, is the only river to flow from Lake Biwa and it enriches the lives of 14 million people. Although our ancestors suffered from its floods and overflows, it also taught them the power of nature, the importance of human spirit in the face of this power, the remarkableness of wisdom, and how to respect the coexistence of man and nature. We strive to impress the blessings provided by the Setagawa River and Lake Biwa into our hearts, pass this onto the next generation, and conserve and restore the environment and ecosystems of the river basin, as guides to the people of the region for creating a Setagawa River that we can be proud of.
Main areas of activity
Lake Biwa, the Setagawa River Basin and tributaries (Takahashigawa), Japan
37 full members
Annual operating budget
1.11 million yen in 2005, 2.21 million yen in 2006, 2.84 million yen in 2007
WEB site
Recent activities
In order to conserve and restore the natural environment of the Setagawa River and Lake Biwa to pass on to the next generation, the Setagawa Preservation and Pastime Trust collaborates with employees of the Shiga Prefectural Fisheries Experimental Station to hold invasive species fishing festivals, invasive fish species observation tours and dissection classes for children, in order to pass on historical knowledge and conserve and improve ecosystems. It engages in the beautification of river area environments, water purification, cutting reeds that grow along the river in winter to provide an environment for native fish species to lay eggs and raise young, and holding lectures on reeds and reed flute concerts. It also regularly works with local residents on initiatives for cleaning the river and its tributaries, and is expanding its scope of activity to include protecting landscapes and conserving the ecosystems of the river and Lake Biwa. In addition to this, it plans to hold seminars on the lake, academic events, and citizen council meetings.