• 2014-02-20 topics > No.12 Survey Briefing Session
    A survey briefing session was held at the Kushiro Koryu Plaza Saiwai on February 20, 2014, to report on the results of surveys conducted over the four years from 2010. The event was attended by 50 people including previous survey participants.
    Mr. Yasuhiro Akiyama (Director of the Flood Control Division, Kushiro Development and Construction Department of the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport) used a video and slides to outline a restoration project for the Kushiro River in the Kayanuma area. His presentation was followed by a report from a KIWC Bureau official outlining local environmental surveys and their results. The experts who led the surveys also made comments highlighting changes in the topography of the Kushiro River’s banks and bed due to erosion and sedimentation that have occurred since the restoration of meandering sections, and indicated that that a desirable river environment for a variety of creatures were being formed.
    At the venue, facilitator Mr. Hisashi Shinsho and the experts present exchanged views with attendees, who gave their impressions on the research activities and provided suggestions for Signal Crayfish surveys.
  • 2014-02-20 topics > No.11 Report from an ex-trainee of JICA training course on Conservation and Sustainable Use of Biodiversity on a Community Basis 2012
    Mr. David Musingo of Uganda Wildlife Education Centre participated in Ecotourism Course of 2012. He kindly sent us his current challenge for conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity. You can read it by downloading the PDF file below.

  • 2014-02-01 topics > No.10 Winter Eco-tour 2014 in Celebration of World Wetlands Day
    An eco-tour for local residents was organized on February 1, 2014, in celebration of World Wetlands Day (February 2; this year’s theme: Wetlands and Agriculture). A total of 21 people attended the tour and visited Tsurui Village to learn about the relationship between Red-crowned cranes inhabiting the Kushiro Wetland and agriculture.
    Guided by Mr. Kunihito Otonari, the head of Tancho Community (a local Japanese crane conservation group), attendees observed wild cranes at a winter feeding site and viewed their nests in the river before visiting a farm near the Kushiro Wetland, where dairy farmer Mr. Hidetatsu Fujiwara gave a talk about cranes arriving at the property. Against a background of Red-crowned cranes walking on the farm, he pointed out that although these birds are a national natural treasure and popular among visitors, they are problematic for farmers because they damage fields and enter barns to steal cattle feed.
    Then the group made crane feed (an activity promoted by Tancho Community to connect farmers and cranes) by separating specially cultivated dent corn, and deposited it at a feeding site with message cards from all participants.
    Problems caused by cranes are not limited to agricultural damage; they also collide with electrical wires and cause other issues. However, most people on the tour were unaware of these problems. For such people, the experience was a first step in considering harmonious coexistence between humans and cranes in their role as a symbol of the Kushiro Wetland.
  • 2013-11-06 topics > No.8 KIWC Technical Committee On-Site Study Meeting
    As part of the Wetlands and their Regional Blessings theme of studies conducted from 2013 to 2015, the KIWC Technical Committee held an on-site study meeting in Hamanaka Town on November 6, 2013, to promote the observation of examples in the Kushiro region.
    A total of 14 people, including Technical Committee members, visited the site of the Project on Connections between Wetlands and the Sea, which has been run by the Kiritappu Wetland National Trust since 2012. The project focuses on iron and other nutrients carried into Biwase Bay by the Biwase River from forest and wetland areas. The river flows from forestland into the bay en route to Kiritappu-shitsugen (Kiritappu Wetland). This non-profit organization works to 1) scientifically highlight wetland-marine connections based on observation of how these nutrients affect the growth of marine organisms, and 2) promote the establishment a Hamanaka marine product brand.
    Following a presentation by Trust representative Ms. Naoko Kouchi on the project, attendees visited a sample water collection site on the Biwase River and a habitat of surf clams, which are seen as an indicator of water conditions. On the shore of Biwase Bay, local fisherman Mr. Takashi Watanabe provided information on sea surf clam habitats and showed how they are manually harvested using a sickle-like tool.
    After the observation, attendees spoke with staff from Hamanaka Town Office and a fisheries cooperative at Kiritappu Wetland Center. The topics of the lively and interactive discussion covered survey methods, fishing conditions and other related matters. Technical Committee members expressed an interest in trying Hamanaka surf clams and sea urchin, which are renowned for their exquisite flavors, at the next opportunity.
  • 2013-10-14 topics > No.4 JICA Training on Eco-Tourism for Sustainable Use of Natural and Cultural Resources 2013 (B)
    The second JICA eco-tourism course held from September 9 to October 14, 2013, was attended by eight administrative officials working in the field of tourism promotion from Albania, Argentina, Georgia, Kyrgyz, Peru, Serbia, Macedonia and East Timor. As in the first training session, the group learned about eco-tourism in the Kushiro region and other parts of Hokkaido, Tokyo, Kyoto and Okinawa. KIWC Technical Committee Chair Mr. Hisashi Shinsho again served as leader throughout the course.
    Trainees experienced a wide variety of eco-tourism programs in Hokkaido’s autumnal environment. These included horseback trekking on indigenous Dosanko Horses, a fishing boat trip to an uninhabited island and an environmental study session with local children. Attendees analyzed these programs at weekly meetings and discussed what they had learned from them.
    In Kyoto, trainees attended a workshop with university students majoring in tourism, and also exchanged views with young students on eco-tourism in their respective countries in a cafeteria at the university where the workshop was held.
    On the last day of the course, trainees presented their action plans at the JICA Tokyo International Center. The concepts were tailored to actual situations in each country, and included ideas developed in Japan to encourage the use of natural and cultural regional assets in order to promote tourism and the allocation of profits in a way that will benefit the relevant locality.