ITOCHU conducts various environmental conservation initiatives in collaboration with local governments, NGOs, and educational institutions.
Mangrove Planting with Uken Village of Amami Oshima Island
Through mangrove plantations, the project aims to contribute to the biodiversity conservation and to generate blue carbon credits in the future.
Collaborative Research for Rare Freshwater Fish with Shiga Prefecture and Lake Biwa Museum
We started collaborative research to protect and contribute to a recovery in endangered species of fish in the Lake Biwa and Yodogawa River water systems.
Reducing Food Loss through the Donation of Processed Chicken Products
We are working to reduce food loss by donating excess inventory instead of throwing it away.
Protecting Green Turtles, an Endangered Species
We support green turtle conservation activities on Chichijima Island in the Ogasawara Islands.
Support of Amazon Ecosystem Conservation Program
The Kyoto University Wildlife Research Center supported the “Field Museum Initiative” in the tropical Amazon forests promoted by the Kyoto University Wildlife Research Center and the National Amazon Institute in Brazil.
Tropical Rainforest Restoration and Ecosystem Conservation in Borneo
As a social contribution project to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the company’s founding, reforestation activities were carried out for about seven years in cooperation with WWF, and employees planted trees.
Support of Climate System Research at the Atmosphere and Ocean Research Institute, The University of Tokyo
We have been supporting climate prediction research related to climate change since 1991, when the University of Tokyo’s former Climate System Research Center was established.
Amami Oshima Island, a remote island located in the southernmost part of Kagoshima Prefecture, was registered as a World Natural Heritage site in July 2021 in recognition of the diversity of life that inhabits and grows there.
Since 2014, Uken village has been involved in tree-planting activities using seedlings of Kandelia obovata*1 grown by local elementary school students as an initiative to protect and nurture this irreplaceable nature with pride by the children. ITOCHU agrees with the purpose of the project and has been supporting the tree-planting activities since 2021, with a view to contributing nature positive*2 and generating blue carbon credits.
- Kandelia obovata is a species of plant that comprises the mangrove forests found in Kagoshima and Okinawa prefectures in Japan.
- Nature Positive is the concept of putting nature, including biodiversity, on a recovery track.
Effects of Mangroves
Mangroves are called the “cradle of the sea,” and on Amami Oshima Island, Creatures such as mud crabs and barred mudskippers inhabit the mangrove ecosystem. Mangroves are known to absorb a large amount of CO2 per unit area as their densely growing rootlets constantly repeat a process of extending and dying and the fallen branches and leaves become peaty and accumulate, isolating high-density carbon in the soil. For this reason, mangrove forests are attracting attention as a climate change countermeasure and are one of the “blue carbon ecosystems*”.
* Blue carbon refers to carbon sequestered in marine ecosystems such as seaweed beds and shallow water, which was presented and named as a new option for sink measures in a report by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) in October 2009. Marine ecosystems that sequester and store blue carbon include seagrass beds, seaweed beds, wetlands and tidal flats, and mangrove forests. (Cited from the website of the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism)
The plantation is located on Edateku Island at the entrance to Yakeuchi Bay. In Uken Village, the “SATOUMI Creation*” of Yakeuchi Bay is underway in conjunction with the village’s tourism plan. The goal is to conserve and utilize Yakeuchi Bay and to promote sustainable tourism, and mangrove planting on Edateku Island is part of this initiative.
* SATOUMI is a coastal area where biological productivity and biodiversity has increased through human interaction. (Cited from the website of the Ministry of the Environment)
Nurturing the Next Generation of Youth through Nature Experiences
Since 2021, when ITOCHU began providing support, we have also been participating in tree-planting activities for local elementary school students. We hope that the children will develop a desire to cherish nature in order to pass on a rich environment to the next generation.
In June 2023, we produced a newspaper advertisement for our company with the cooperation of elementary school students in Uken Village who participated in tree planting. The ad won the Excellence Award in the Government Public, Foreign Government, Trading Company and Logistics category of the 72nd Nikkei Advertising Awards.
On September 17, 2023, Uken village, Japan Airlines Co., Ltd. (JAL), and Sophia University signed a partnership agreement to promote environmental conservation and regional development in Uken village. Sophia University and JAL launched a joint initiative in Uken Village in 2022 to build a model for achieving regional revitalization through both environment and tourism (the Amami Model), and will collaborate with mangrove planting. By utilizing their respective human and physical resources and expertise, the four parties will work to promote Uken’s goal of a zero-carbon city and the conservation and restoration of biodiversity, as well as to build a symbiotic relationship between nature and people, create new human flows, and achieve sustainable regional revitalization.
As Ex-Situ Conservation of Kandelia obovata, we have been displayed Kandelia obovata seedlings in Tsukuba Botanical Garden of National Museum of Nature and Science. Please click here for this Initiatives.
With support for mangrove plantations at its core, the project aims to generate synergies in environmental conservation, regional development, and growth of future generations.
We are working to reduce food loss by donating surplus inventory generated in the course of handling processed chicken products to certified NPOs that support the needy, and provide meals to those in need.
Supporting Climate System Research at the Atmosphere and Ocean Research Institute, The University of Tokyo
The Division of Climate System Research, Atmosphere and Ocean Research Institute, the University of Tokyo advances research into climate systems through numerical models and the analysis of observational data, and engages in enthusiastic research with the goal of giving back to society through those findings. ITOCHU Corporation has sponsored this mission since the founding of the University of Tokyo’s former Climate System Research Center in 1991, and has continued to support its research.
- Click here for the website of Division of Climate System Research, Atmosphere and Ocean Research Institute, the University of Tokyo.