Reduce / Reuse / Recycle

January 31, 2003


Sheep Help Improve River Environment

Keywords: Ecosystems / Biodiversity Local government Reduce / Reuse / Recycle 

To encourage communities to "adopt-a-river" and promote activities to create better river environments, Osaka Prefecture has launched a project that involves raising a pair of sheep along the flood channel of the Matsuo River, a Class B river in Uchida-cho, Izumi City. On August 26, 2003, the prefecture held a "sheep commissioning ceremony" with the prefectural governor present.

This approach to create a good river environment using grazing sheep is expected to provide benefits such as a reduction in weeding costs, to help deter illegal dumping, and also to provide a positive effect through contact between children and animals.

The prefecture tried weeding using sheep along another river from April to July 2002, with good results.

The benefits expected from these "community sheep" are as follows:
1. Encouraging the community to care about the river environment
2. Offering a place that the community feels an attachment to (a recreation area for local communities or children, and a place for refreshment)
3. Reducing costs by having sheep do the work of weeding (weeding cost reduction, deterrence of illegal dumping)
4. Making a contribution to promoting a recycling-based society (CO2 emissions reduction by reducing incinerating, composting of sheep waste)

The twelve signs of oriental zodiac, used in the past to indicate time and direction and created in China more than 3,000 years ago, are deeply ingrained in daily life in Japan. The fact that the year 2003 is the year of the sheep will help draw attention to this project.

Posted: 2003/01/31 11:42:07 AM
Japanese version