• 2013-09-07 topics > No.7 Kushiro River Environmental Survey: Public Participation Survey of a Restored River Environment – Autumn 2013
    An environmental survey was conducted to clarify changes resulting from work conducted in the Kayanuma district to restore the meander of the Kushiro River, which runs through Kushiro-shitsugen (Kushiro Wetland). Twenty-seven people canoed from the part where the meander was restored to a natural stream section in Sugawara (approx. 5.5 kilometers) observing riverbank trees, landscapes, animals, plants and other elements of the surrounding environment on the way.
    During the survey, participants stopped twice near the lower end of the restored old channel at sandbanks that formed after the meander’s restoration and elsewhere to investigate environmental changes. To check the sedimentation status, the surveyors measured sandbanks using a long tape measure and observed sediment structures using a special tool known as a soil auger.
    After the canoe survey, the contributors went to a canoe house near Lake Toro to review the results. Observation records and findings were shared among canoe groups, with presentations covering sedimentation and erosion seen in the restored channel, plant growth on sandbanks, encounters with red-crowned cranes, Hokkaido sika deer, various types of dragonflies and other forms of wildlife, and autumnal riparian forests. The results showed clear changes in the restored channel and highlighted the wealth of flora and fauna in the natural environment of the Kushiro River.
  • 2013-09-02 topics > No.3 JICA Training on Eco-Tourism for Sustainable Use of Natural and Cultural Resources 2013 (A)
    KIWC runs JICA group training courses for developing countries on eco-tourism – an industry that supports the sustainable use of local natural and cultural heritage elements as tourist resources for regional development. In FY 2013, trainees from 16 countries attended two courses held between summer and autumn under commission from the JICA Hokkaido International Center (Obihiro).
    The first course held from July 29 to September 2, 2013, was attended by eight staff working in tourism administration and related departments in Cambodia, India, Nepal, Palau, Senegal, Sri Lanka, Tonga and Vietnam.
    Trainees learned about trekking outings and other types of tour in forests and mountainous areas around Lake Shikaribetsu, canoeing in consideration of wildlife, and tourism development leveraging local industry (e.g., agriculture and fisheries) in the Kushiro region.
    The group also traveled to Japan’s main island of Honshu and the area to the south of it. In Tokyo and Kyoto, trainees learned about the utilization of traditional culture and historic sites and attended lectures and practical training sessions on theories of eco-tourism and other policies in Japan. In the Okinawa area of southern Japan, attendees observed how trips to coral reefs and mangrove forests helped revitalize local communities. KIWC Technical Committee Chair Mr. Hisashi Shinsho accompanied and supported the trainees as leader throughout the course.
    As part of the trainee experience, social gatherings, home visits and other programs were also arranged with the volunteer support of local residents of Kushiro. Outside the busy schedule of the training, attendees had memorable experiences with their host families, trying on traditional Japanese cotton kimono, cooking Japanese food and engaging in other local cultural activities.
  • 2013-07-08 topics > No.9 (JICA) Training on Conservation and Sustainable Use of Biodiversity on a Community Basis 2013
    KWIC was commissioned to organize a JICA Group Training Program entitled Conservation and Sustainable Use of Biodiversity on a Community Basis (May 27 to July 8, 2013) under the supervision of the Ministry of the Environment. The event was attended by seven administrative officials involved in wetland and biodiversity conservation in China, Costa Rica, Mexico and Malaysia.
    Taking advantage of Japan’s natural environment and biodiversity, training was provided at various types of wetlands in five areas from Okinawa to Hokkaido. By studying examples including the Fuyumizu Tambo (winder flooded paddies) Project at the Kabukuri Wetland*1 and the trust movement at the Kiritappu Wetland*2, trainees learned how to encourage local people to take part in related activities and examined methods to enable sustainable use of the benefits provided by wetlands. The activities involved dialogue with officials from administrative agencies, NGO activists, farmers, fishermen and other related people. (*1Osaki City, Miyazaki Prefecture *2Hamanaka Town, Hokkaido)
    At the end of the training program, attendees made presentations on action plans to be implemented after their return home. A number of ideas based on knowledge and experience gained in Japan were highlighted, including the launch of visitor center-based promotional activities and ecotourism for local residents.