The Mitsui & Co. Environment Fund

Introduction to Grant Projects

Global Environmental Forum (GEF)

Understanding and protecting forest biodiversity in the Ussuri Taiga - a 'Taiga Forest Forum' including locals, NPOs and corporations

Activity grant

Project Description

The Ussuri Taiga (mixed forest of conifers and broadleafs) is a unique forest in northeastern Asia which boasts extremely biodiverse forest ecosystems. However, it only covers a small area making it particularly susceptible to degradation and deforestation as a result of human activity. Throughout the twentieth century, it was subject to logging in order to export timber to neighbouring countries, including Japan, and now only a small percentage remains in its original condition. The Global Environmental Forum is working to encourage the conservation of the Ussuri Taiga on both a local and global scale by establishing the 'Taiga Forest Forum' with NPOs and corporations, spreading information about the taiga throughout Japan, and holding seminars and symposiums. Specifically, this involves creating a website as a platform for distributing information and activity reports, and regularly posting key information about the Ussuri Taiga and commentary by the people who live there. It will also hold seminars, symposiums, study visits to the Taiga, and briefings explaining the group's activities to coincide with the 10th Conference of Parties (COP10) Convention on Biological Diversity being held in Nagoya.

Climate changeMarine resources/foodPreservation of surface soil and forestsPreservation of biodiversity and ecosystem
Grant year
FY2009 Activity Grants
Grant term
3 years
October 2009 - September 2012
Grant amount
12,155,000 yen
Activity region
Japan, Russia
The Bikin River Basin, a part of the Ussuri Taiga still in its original condition

Overview of the Organization

Shigeru Sumitani, President
Shigeru Sumitani, President
Establishment purpose
The Global Environmental Forum (GEF) was established in May 1990 to conduct scientific research on global environmental issues, and publicise and raise awareness of its results. The name of the group symbolises the desire to create an environment where people and the earth (nature) can coexist, and in order to acheive this it provides forums where governments, corporations, researchers, NGOs, NPOs, media, and a wide range of other parties can freely assemble, discuss issues, and work for the good of society.
Main areas of activity
Japan, overseas
40 full-time staff members
Annual operating budget
539.10 million yen in 2006, 533.85 million yen in 2007, 498.33 million yen in 2008
WEB site
Recent activities
GEF conducts research in a wide range of fields, including atmospheric environment and climate change, sustainable forest management, combating desertification, sustainable raw material procurement, and development in developing countries. In order to raise and spread awareness, it issues reports and holds seminars related to these fields, publishes a quarterly Global Net journal, gives out awards such as the Environmental Communication Awards, and supports networks in various sectors, including government, corporate, and journalism.