Small and medium sized businesses join hands to conserve biodiversity
Twelve companies from the region are working together with the local administration and research institutions to conduct 4 times surveys annually on the water quality and living organisms in 6 areas along the Okamigawa River. The survey results were compiled into a report and have been shared with participating companies, administrations, institutions, and researchers.
The Shiga Committee for Economic Development announced the “Biodiversity Initiative for Lake Biwa – to bequeath a biodiversity rich society to future generations” in 2009, and pledged the implementation of a 2-pillar initiative – “Sustainable economic activity for companies” and “Contribution to the restoration of the region’s natural environment” – as business leaders of Shiga Prefecture. And in 2010, they announced their initiatives at the COP10 public forum. The group further encouraged business leaders to lead the way for others to follow.
In support of this declaration, 12 companies in the Konan area created the “Konan Kigyo Ikimono Oendan (Companies in Konan Support Living Creatures). They have pledged to monitor the health of the region by conducting surveys near the Okamigawa River as part of corporate activities.
This group of companies kept 3 key points in mind. 1) “Ease of participation”, 2) “High quality environmental education for companies”, and 3) “Regular collection of accurate data.” Regular monitoring has become possible by reducing the burden (cost and manpower) on each company through the division of roles among companies in the network. Moreover, by enabling sharing of information and providing a platform for exchange for companies across industries, the group is working with administrations and research institutions to contribute to town building whilst working together with the local community.
Six fixed observation points were set along the Okamigawa River and regular surveys were conducted. Moreover, working together with the Environment Division of Kusatsu City and the Lake Biwa Museum in Shiga Prefecture the staff participated in surveys conducted in accordance with Kusatsu City’s program to encourage measures that promote the coexistence of man and nature, and curators also collaborated with the surveys as part of Lake Biwa Museum’s citizen partnership program to identify fishes and infauna and to verify water quality data.
2015 marked the group’s 6th anniversary, and so far they have conducted 23 surveys with the help of 481 participants. The information gathered has been compiled into an “activity report” every 2 years and shared with Kusatsu City, Lake Biwa Museum, and other institutions and researchers. There are also plans to utilize the data collected at Okamigawa for development of nearby towns.
・ Nihon Kanko Kaihatu KK (Japan Tourism Development)
・ Nakayama Soko KK
・ Goh Intex Co., Inc.
・ Kinden Corporation
・ Shiga Chuou Shinkin Bank Ltd.
・ Nippon Glasstronics Company Ltd.
・ Asano Warehouse, Inc.
・ Kusatsu Electric Co., Ltd.
・ The Shiga Bank, Ltd.
・ KK Fujita
・ Panasonic Corporation Appliances Company
・ Isamu Paint Co., Ltd.
・ Shiga Committee for Economic Development Bureau
・ Kusatsu City, Environment and Finance Department, Environment Division
・ Lake Biwa Museum