WWF (World Wide Fund for Nature) is one of the world’s largest conservation NGOs (non-governmental organization). It was established in Switzerland in 1961 with a purpose to protect endangered wildlife. Since then WWF has gradually expanded the activities to cover wider range of biodiversity conservation -- from forest or coral reef ecosystems to climate change. Having WWF International, its secretariat, in Switzerland and offices in over 50 nations, WWF operates globally in over 100 nations.
WWF country pages
WWF Japan was established in Tokyo in 1971. It grapples with various national and international issues that Japan is involved - conservation of Nansei Shoto Archipelago (including the coral reef in Shiraho in Ishigaki Island) and tidal flats in many places, promotion of forestry certification scheme and environmental education, prevention of global warming through promotion of natural energy, policy advocacy on the CITES, etc. It also supports citizen groups and researchers engaged in conservation through fund grant programme.
Activities of WWF Japan
Timber is a sustainable natural resource as long as productivities of forests are carefully assessed and appropriately utilized. It is a must to create a society in which timber is sustainably produced and marketed by curbing the present overuse and giving consideration to social development in producing nations. Japan is one of the largest consumers of timber in the world. WWF Japan targets to realize a responsible society in which people live with forests and make timber use sustainable.
Japan is rich in natural freshwater ecosystems including man-made water channels, rice paddies and irrigation ponds. However, these ecosystems are being lost rapidly in recent decades due to various development activities. Based on a concept that "Rich freshwater ecosystems provide clean water sustainably", WWF Japan conducts a field project of Lake Biwa, the largest lake in Japan, pursuing the ways to use and conserve freshwater ecosystem.
Marine ecosystems have been degraded in many coastal regions throughout Japan. WWF Japan targets the conservation of coral reefs and tidal flats under collaboration with researchers and local citizen groups. It also promotes sustainable use of fisheries resources on which Japan has deep impacts as a large consumer.
Japan, a large consumer and importer of wildlife, is inevitably responsible for wildlife and ecosystems overseas. At the same time there are a number of endangered wildlife and critically damaged wild habitats within Japan. WWF Japan grapples with domestic and international wildlife trades.
The world is getting concerned of global warming as the most serious boarderless environmental problem. Japan is the fourth largest carbon dioxide emitters after the USA, Russia and China. As a part of WWF Global Climate Change Programme, WWF Japan advocated the Kyoto Protocol to enter into force. It encourages the Japanese industries and the power sectors to reduce carbon dioxide emission.
The toxic chemical issue is worsening steadily in our daily life. Japan is well behind EU and the USA in policy making and countermeasures over this issue. Therefore, WWF Japan endeavors to bring the advanced regulatory framework of EU and the USA to Japan. The Nansei Archipelago toxic project is also under way to determine the effects of chemicals on the marine ecosystem.