The Mitsui & Co. Environment Fund

Introduction to Grant Projects

The Organization for Industrial Spiritual and Cultural Advancement International (OISCA)

Cultivating medicinal herbs to green desert and eradicate poverty in Alxa League, Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, China

Activity grant

Project Description

Alxa League in China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region is the source of the yellow dust which is causing problems around the world. The region is suffering various problems, such as sandstorms that are damaging structures, sand movement extending the spread of desertification, and immigration policy that is destroying small communities. In order to prevent overgrazing, one of the causes of desertification, a policy was implemented that forbid livestock grazing, providing the nomadic herdmen with aid money instead, but this aid is gradually drying up. This project aims to implement a comprehenisve initiative to create industries that green desert areas and provide stable livelihoods for local people. Specifically, this involves using a desert biological resarch center established in Alxa League as a base for providing technical and financial support to local medicinal herb associations to cultivate Cistanche salsa by grafting it onto native sousou plants. It will introduce emus as a measure against rats and a future source of meat. It will also hold environmental conservation seminars for local people and planting initiatives in which children can participate.

Preservation of surface soil and forestsPreservation of biodiversity and ecosystem
Grant year
FY2009 Activity Grants
Grant term
3 years
October 2009 - September 2012
Grant amount
9,067,065 yen
Activity region
Alxa League, Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, China

Overview of the Organization

Yoshiko Nakano, President
Yoshiko Nakano, President
Establishment purpose
OISCA was established in 1961 with the aim of 'helping all peoples overcome their various differences and co-exist, and to protect and nurture the planet as the foundation for all life on earth'. Its headquarters are in Japan and it engages in agricultural development and conservation activities, primarily in the Asia Pacific region. It puts a special emphasis on cultivating individuals and provides leadership training for youth from around the world, so that the graduates of this training can lead agricultural development in their own countries.
Main areas of activity
Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand, Cambodia, Myanmar, Malaysia, East Timor, Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Papua New Guinea, Fiji, China, and other countries
106 full-time staff members, 5,776 full members
Annual operating budget
1.35 billion yen in 2006, 9.68 billion yen in 2007, 1.12 billion yen in 2008
Recent activities
Since its establishment, OISCA has helped cultivate individuals and countries across the Asia Pacific region. This involves providing education by operating agriculture and forestry training centers and implementing agricultural development projects to cultivate individuals in each country who can become community leaders. Recently the organization has been focusing on conservation initiatives focused on tree planting. It is tackling deforestation, a huge problem for tropical countries, by implementing local participation-based planting projects and planning 'children's forests' that are planted by individual schools, as well as engaging in other initiatives, such as mangrove planting and coral propagation.